Today’s reflections are from Catherine. Catherine and Bill are New Yorkers. Now retired, they are living in an apartment in Key Biscayne, Florida. Their two daughters with their families remain in New York.
What a different world that was just a couple of weeks ago! I was in Manhattan then and went to the theatre, museums, out for dinner, birthday party for the twin granddaughters (now 5). Now all trips are cancelled at least until Autumn. And who knows when we will ever return to Manhattan.
Technically I am outside the quarantine time (14 days) for someone who has recently visited New York, so I am hoping I am ok.
Staying at home all day takes up a lot of time; morning exercises, laundry, therapeutic walk, meal preparation and cleanup (no restaurants, limited take-out), agreeing on the evening’s tv entertainment, but so far Bill and I are doing well. We are both enjoying the reading time. He is well into ‘The Mirror and the Light’ but I haven’t started it yet as I am reading ‘The Witch Elm’ by Tana French. I just finished ‘In Love with George Eliot’ a novelistic biography (what a strange era for women) and am now considering re-reading Middlemarch, but The Dutch House and others are also on my list. Still if the lockdown goes on for months, I may read them all.
The weather here in Key Biscayne is lovely and our local Mayor had the good sense to shut everything down more than a week ago (whereas the governor of Florida refuses to shut things down state wide including beaches and bars). I miss the beach walks, and look longingly at the beach almost every day. But it could be a lot worse, because we have a large outdoor deck in our apartment (we are on the ground floor) so we don’t feel so confined.
I feel sorry for the families all around us who have little kids in quite small apartments; it is hard to keep them busy all day. The girls and their families seem to be managing alright in Brooklyn although the rapidly rising infections and shortage of equipment in New York are very worrying and home-schooling can be tiring. For fortunate kids (with tablets and internet access) there is quite a lot of on-line schooling including class meetings on Zoom.
Some nice things have emerged here. There is a community volunteer service that does grocery shopping at the local supermarket for people over 60 – they leave it outside your door and send you a bill for the groceries later. I’m happy to use it, as I must stay healthy and look after us both. Also, every Wednesday and Sunday a local violinist gives a half-hour concert on his neighboring balcony at 7.p.m. It can be heard by many people in the surrounding buildings (including us) and people sit on their balconies with their evening drinks, enjoying the music and clapping enthusiastically.
The following is a cheering Cov 19 message from Broadway – if you haven’t already seen it.