Between the 3 Ps (pandemic, protests, politics), I wrestle with low grade depression (like Michelle Obama) and medium to high grade rage (depending on the daily lies and manipulation coming out of the Trump administration). Emotionally, I’m frayed. Still, unlike millions of Americans, physically I’m fine. I am employed. I can work from home. My bills are paid. I am healthy, comfortable and white.
I live in Chicago. I support the Black Lives Matter protests. In June, there was a large, peaceful demonstration four blocks from my condo that shut down the south lanes of Lake Shore Drive. It lasted about an hour and ended with people dispersing and walking in small clusters down the highway. Even though there have been nights of looting and property damage in Chicago, there have been more days and evenings of protests with signs, speeches and community support.
I’ve been asked by an out-of-towner if I feel unsafe during these turbulent times. Sure! My current fear is Trump forcing Federal officers into my city to stir up violence to provide carnage footage for his campaign commercials.
I do feel unsafe!! And it is related to the systematic racism and the economic crisis plaguing this country. It’s COVID-19 that has gone unchecked, untested and untraced. And now, IT is the leading force governing this nation. I am anxious that I will get coronavirus, spread coronavirus and possibly die from coronavirus. Yesterday, the U.S. surpassed six million cases and 183,000 deaths. Last March, we feared the second wave after the summer would be even worse. The truth is the first wave still hasn’t ended. We aren’t getting a break from this relentless pandemic. And now, my friends and I have loved ones who are sick. The pandemic has gotten personal.
Still, I have a lot to be grateful for over the last two months…
- I hired a handyman to fix and paint my condo. I also did some painting and spackling (I didn’t know it was in me). It looks fabulous. And Bill has listed it for sale.
- When the handyman was working in my place, I retreated to Jenny’s lakehouse for July weekends, a wonderful respite from the pandemic monotony.
- Instead of working out in the gym, Josh and I have been training on the rooftop at 7am. The weather has been ideal.
- I have been to 3 restaurants and dined on the patios with friends. And I’ve hosted a few dinners on my roof for my pandemic pod-sters.
- Zoom meetings have continued with regular Sunday evening check-ins with family and sporadic friend hangs on Saturdays.
- I’ve been to the office twice to film. One morning, it was just three of us doing a quick video tour. The next time was a full day of filming. I saw 12 colleagues total, 4-6 at a time. It was like first-day-of-school vibes after a summer of not seeing your friends.
- I’ve read/listened to 3.5 books: Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” (disturbing), Kate Mulgrew’s “Born with Teeth: A Memoir” (I’ve loved her since “Ryan’s Hope” and her voice is so soothing), Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” (Smart, witty, hysterical! The woman is beyond talented), and Ezekiel J Emanuel’s “Which Country has the World’s Best Healthcare?” (Both dull and interesting. I’m still getting thru it).
- I bought a new tv and a credenza. I got my old tv for free when my friend Crid moved to London. For the last couple years, it started having weird ghost dots on it. A few weeks ago, a crazy three inch vertical stripe split the screen in half. I splurged on a new tv. Since it’s the source of pandemic entertainment for my ongoing evenings at home, it was worth it.
- I’m walking and biking to get fresh air and exercise. On the weekends, I’ve explored different parks around the city. I’m trying to quench my travel lust by touring my own city… outdoors.
- After four years as a foster car, mom’s PT Cruiser officially became mine with Illinois license registration and brake replacement. She was then hit by a woman who is making payments to cover $1300 damage. Fingers crossed that she’ll be healed this month following a final payment.
- I donated blood, completed 5 puzzles, babysat Josh’s wonderful kids, and hit level 4366 on Candy Crush.
- Oh, I also got a new toothbrush.
It wasn’t the best summer. I hope it’s been my worst. The last six months have been surreal. Long hours of solitude leading to long days becoming short months. I usually know what day of the week it is but I’m fuzzy on dates. That it is September 1st already is shocking. Time is going fast and slow simultaneously.
As we go into a new month, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Remember, you can do your part in stopping the spread by wearing a mask, physically distancing and voting. As always, have courage and be kind!