You Know You’ve Been Alone Too Long When . . .


It’s week ten or eleven of the Covid-19 lockdown — I’ve lost track. I found out in a Zoom meeting last night that two more people that I know had a nasty virus in March that caused them to lose their sense of smell and taste. They are both well over sixty, as are the other five people I know who had the same symptoms.

Only one them was tested positive for Covid-19. Unfortunately she didn’t make it. The others suspect that they had it, but there were no tests available or they were too sick to go out and get tested.

I am also well over sixty. I’ll be halfway through the decade in a couple of weeks. I was looking forward to a big party to celebrate my Medicare birthday. Now, the realist in me knows that won’t happen, just like my eldest child’s planned wedding, undone by the pandemic.

I was looking forward to my first flight in three years. I’ve been grounded due to my role as power of attorney and/or caregiver of my sis. Now I am not allowed into her board and care home. I can stand on the porch and speak to her while she sits in a chair six feet away. The TV is blaring, and she can’t hear me too well, but we do exercises together.

What do the people in the passing cars on that busy road think when they see a woman doing squats as she holds onto the front-door frame?

But I digress.

Because I can’t visit, and because my chorus, exercise classes, and social life have been canceled or become virtual, I am freed up to spend more time at the beach.

This is all well and good. I can walk my dog along some of the most gorgeous coastline in the world.  I can read, weed, watch movies and keep up with most everyone on Zoom.

But what I can’t do is have a one-on-one conversation with someone in person, except for my sweet neighbor who sends me home with bread pudding after I give her a stack of books in Spanish for people in her native country, where she goes with a dentist to do free dental work.

Then this happened.  After washing up the dishes this morning, I looked at sticky Barbie and sticky Ken, who did not fare well in my damp garage for a decade, and thought, they need a bath.

Their legs are splotchy with orange and red like they, too, have contracted Covid -19.

I stuck them in the leftover dishwater to soak off the sticky.  The next thing I knew, Ken was asking Barbie how she liked his new hot tub.  Barbie was answering that she liked it but didn’t understand the soap bubbles.

OMG. I am so lonely I am having my dolls talk to one another in the kitchen sink. This is not good. This may require an intervention. I may need to call someone today and have a real conversation with a real person.

Yes, Zoom meetings are fun, but the host does most of the talking. That was true last night. As I sat in a wooden chair for 90 minutes listening to others, I realized that Zoom serves a purpose, but it’s not the same as being there. Or the same as having a back and forth conversation.

Ken and Barbie were there for me this morning. Oh, how I enjoyed their hot tub banter.

I know I shouldn’t admit it, but I did.


As of this posting, I know 23 people who have had Covid-19 in these states:  CA, CO, IA, PA TX, and AL (five are relatives).  I requested a vaccine through my county health department website today, but who knows when that will be? They said they’d let me know.

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