Showing posts with label Good bad and ugly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good bad and ugly. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2021

My Pandemic - One Year Later

It's been a year since we realized that the Pandemic was real and dangerous, since we were on lockdown, since everything closed and the tourists were gone, Cannery Row and the Recreation Trail were wastelands, and we had to stay home to protect ourselves and, with that, our lives changed forever. 

But now things are starting to open up again, which is good, but it's been a traumatic year, so I am reflecting on where I am now, and what I have learned from all of this.

Before I can do that, though, I need to reflect back on what life was like before the Pandemic and how I have changed because of it. And then I can reflect on what I have learned - the good, the bad and the ugly!

[Disclaimer: I realize that there have been many people who have had it much worse than I, people who have gotten sick, who have lost their jobs, couldn't pay their rent or mortgage, who had to homeschool their children and much more.  So this story might be inconsequential to some, but it's my story.]


 I had a routine:

  • Every Friday morning, I would go to a movie. I would sneak in my Starbucks 16 oz. nonfat vanilla latte with an extra shot and watch a new movie in preparation for writing my regular Friday blog, which always included a new film and whatever else I had watched that week. In fact, I still have a vivid memory of the last movie I saw in a theatre - "Emma." 

What I also remember about that day is sitting in the front row of the balcony in a seat I reserved thinking I had the row all to myself.  I mean, it was 11am on a Friday, but, wouldn't you know, just as the lights went down, in comes a woman and her mother, and the woman sat right next to me and proceeded to sneeze in my direction.  Needless to say, I moved, but little did I know then how symbolic those sneezes were and how much I would be avoiding other people in the future.

  • And speaking of Starbucks, another part of my routine was going for a walk and the bathroom at Starbucks was a trustworthy place to go when needed. When you had to go, you could always count on Starbucks! And when I didn't feel like going for a walk, I would go to the gym which was right in my neighborhood. I would walk there and then read a book and listen to music while on the elliptical (I have always been a multitasker)!
  • I also enjoyed "exercising" at the mall, too, doing some normal shopping and trying on clothes. Grocery shopping and shopping at the mall was something we took for granted.
  • Before the Pandemic, I had lunches with girlfriends and a "Girls' Game Day," getting together with girlfriends to confab, play cards and board games. We would go to each others' houses, have snacks, drink wine, talk and play games...and drink wine.
  • Going to a restaurant was one of Hubby's and my favorite things to do, especially after a long walk.  After exercise, our reward was a nice lunch and a glass of wine or three.  Likewise, wine tasting was a regular activity. 

  • Hubby also sang in a band, a band that won the Weekly's "Best Band in Monterey County," so I went out to see him perform, but when he wasn't performing we would go out to local clubs to support other bands and mingle with our friends.

  • Our daughter lives in Virginia, thousands of miles away but we managed to see each other a few times a year, including the occasional Girls' Trip.  

  • I volunteered as a peer counselor and lent support to older people with emotional issues.
  • I went to concerts and had tickets to see Boz Scaggs.

Life was full.


  • When the first lockdown occurred, I was hopeful. It was only going to be for a few weeks, right?  I wrote blog posts about gratitude and hope and everything I was going to accomplish because I had to stay at home. blah, blah, blah. Good luck with that.  That optimism didn't last long.

  • Masks were required at all times.  I acquired a large mask wardrobe. Hey, a girl's got to try to have some fun with this!
  • And speaking of wardrobes, good luck going to the mall. Even if the stores were open, fitting rooms at the mall were closed so you had to buy what you were interested in, try it all on at home and then return the items if they didn't. What a pain! Might as well just order online.  Which I did!  I was drowning in Amazon boxes!
  • If we wanted to go outside, we had to have an excuse, like walking the dogs.  Which we did.  In fact, we did it so much, the dogs were begging us to stay home! 

  • The movie theatres closed. In fact, I think my local movie theatre has closed for good, but it still has that movie poster outside for "Emma," the last movie I saw in a theatre, the poster poignantly frozen in time, now tattered and yellowed. 

  • Because I was no longer going to the movie theatre to see the new movies, my blog became more sporadic and then morphed into reviewing TV shows and Netflix movies, those shows that kept me company while sheltering in place. I especially liked my time with the Duke of Hastings keeping me company!  You ladies who watched "Bridgerton" know what I mean, right?
  • My local Starbucks was closed and worse, so were their bathrooms.  That made those long walks rather nerve-wracking, especially after drinking my Starbucks grande latte!
  • I had to wait in line to get into Trader Joe's and Whole Foods because only so many people could be in the stores at any one time and once in, it wasn't easy avoiding other shoppers. It became an exercise in getting in and then getting out quickly.
  • So I bought a bread machine!

  • I continued my volunteer work as a peer counselor but now it was over the phone and most of it involved people having difficulty dealing with the isolation imposed by the pandemic. Most older folks felt robbed of the time they had left. So did I!
  • And forget going to the gym. They were all closed. So for exercise it was walking or doing yoga with other old ladies on YouTube.  And no nail or hair salons were open either.
  • No wine tasting!
  • We couldn't visit our daughter who lives thousands of miles away and she couldn't come here.

  • No gigs for bands. No Boz Scaggs concert.
  • No toilet paper.


I know, I know.  A terrible cliche but I don't think that things will ever go back to "normal" in my lifetime so I have come to expect a different kind of life, such as...

  • Wearing a mask...forever. We used to wonder why so many people in Asian countries wore masks even before Covid, and I think we chalked it up to pollution, but in fact, I think they knew something we didn't.  Riding mass transit and being in large crowds can lead to getting colds and flu so why not protect yourself?  Now we know.  But we Americans can't just figure it out and do what is necessary.  We have to turn it into a political statement.  "I'M AN AMERICAN AND YOU AIN'T TELLIN ME I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK! or fill in the blanks. 

  • The New Normal has changed what I think about going to the movies and dining out. I don't think I want to see a movie in the theatre again for a very long time (remember that woman who sneezed on me? - it could happen again!), and I am still very uncomfortable dining inside, even though it's now okay for restaurants to open up for inside dining and they are operating at a limited occupancy.  Despite the fact that I want to support restaurants and going out to eat has always been my favorite thing, somehow, I don't feel the same anymore when it comes to dining inside. And so far, dining outside isn't that comfortable either. Besides, while staying at home, I cooked and cooked and cooked and rather like my own food. 

  • And speaking of food, grocery shopping is no longer a leisurely activity that we take for granted. Yes, toilet paper has returned, but now it's still "get in and get the hell out" as soon as possible so as not to encounter someone with Covid or a possible nut case with an AK-47. 
  • The band Hubby played with hasn't played in over a year and who knows when bands will be playing in clubs and we will be dancing again?
  • Gyms have reopened but not my gym. My gym not only closed during the pandemic, it has closed for good, but now I am not so keen to go to the gym anyway. Wearing a mask while working out is one thing, but breathing other peoples' air is another.
  • Though we have managed to stay in touch with the grandkids, we still haven't seen our daughter and it's now been over a year and not sure when we will as getting on a plane no longer seems normal. And forget that annual trip to Europe.


So... it's been over a year since we learned we were facing a Pandemic.  There has been some bad and some ugly but some good has come out of it, too. And I want to add that whatever "bad" I have gone through, it doesn't compare to what others have, such as unemployment, home schooling, childcare issues, and the like.  Let's just say, these were "bad" things pertinent to me. But first the good...

The Good:

  • Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I learned that once Starbucks reopened for take-out, getting my usual Skinny Vanilla Latte with an extra shot at Starbucks was often the highlight of my day, especially since they know me at my local and say, "Hello, Rosy." They even recognize me with my mask on.  But I guess that could be because my name is on my mobile order. But, whatever, it still makes me happy. These days, you get your happiness where you can.

  • I learned I had many friends to call upon for long walks and well as our doggies.  Well, maybe not the talking part for them, but we definitely walked and bonded, friends and dogs.
  • And where there is a will there is a way.  I learned we ladies can figure anything out when we want to do something. We were able to continue Game Day - we met in a park, wore masks and plastic gloves and played our little hearts out.  So good to have that female companionship during hard times.

  • I have learned to appreciate the beautiful place I live in. I have always loved it here but now I love it even more. I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and those walks in nature went a long way to keep my spirits up.

  • I learned that I actually enjoy being alone and I have many resources to call upon when I am stuck at home.  I enjoy my own company...and television. I have an interest in Tarot cards, but I have stopped practicing my Tarot card readings.  The Tower came up too many times! Didn't need that!

  • With my peer counseling volunteer work, I feel I have helped some people who were struggling with the pandemic and that has made it easier for me to handle it myself. I learned that helping others takes your mind off of your own troubles.
  • I learned that I don't need to go to the movie theatre to see new movies - Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have all made it possible to keep up with new releases in the comfort of my own home and wine.

  • The grandkids are within driving distance and now that we are fully vaccinated, there are visits with hugs!

  • And I managed to avoid getting sick!

But despite the good, I am also still dealing with some bad stuff.

The Bad:

  • My life has completely changed and that routine I was used to no longer exists.
  • I am sick of wearing a mask, even though I have some cute ones, if I do say so myself!
  • I am tired of walking as my main source of exercise and, I got tired of online yoga with those old ladies.  Believe it or not, I miss the gym but I am reluctant to go back.

  • I still don't like crowds or being inside with other people, especially until everyone is vaccinated.
  • I miss going to clubs and concerts and the movies and restaurants, but do I want to anymore?
  • I stopped caring about what I wear. Since I am home most of the time, I have developed a staying-at-home uniform that I wear almost every day - black leggings, black top and maybe, if I am feeling wild and crazy, a red sweatshirt - and with that I have realized I may never wear all of my clothes in my lifetime. I mean, these days, where do you wear a sequined jacket and bejeweled booties? But I can't bring myself to get rid of anything. I still like looking at them. 

  •  I miss my daughter.

The Ugly:

But here is the Bottom Line.  

When all is said and done, we did it!  The Pandemic is far from over, but we have hopefully made it through a terrible time, the worst of it, an ordeal I have never had to deal with in my lifetime before. The uncertainty, the lifestyle and schedule changes, the fear of catching something that would kill me, having to wear a mask all of the time, waiting in line to buy groceries, canceled concert tickets, eating at restaurants outside in the cold, staying home, walking and walking and walking...  

But I an grateful.  I came through it with a loving husband, with a loving family, with good friends, with gratitude, and with a sense that I am able to withstand anything that is sent my way.  And after not being able to go to the hair salon, I even know what my real hair color is now!

You know that old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?"  Well, this old dog has learned some new ones.

I have learned that I am resilient.  No matter what comes my way, I can make it work.

How have you coped?

Thanks for reading!

See you soon!

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And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.