COVID CHRONICLES Day 22 & 23
Lisa Goes Outside for the First Time
Saturday and Sunday, April 11–12
First, wishing a Happy Easter to all who celebrate!
I have to admit we both got a little stir-crazy this weekend. Neither of us were at our best. We had a few minor clashes and spent a fair amount of time apart in our two rooms, where we’re still hanging out most of the time. But three wonderful things about our relationship.
- We’re growing in both self-awareness and partner-awareness.
- We are more adept at making requests and saying what we need and understanding what our partner needs.
- We’re able to honor each other’s separate space and remain connected.
Yesterday (Saturday) Lisa was going through the aftermath of her migraine, and I spent much of the day on my own, focusing on a Passover project I’ve started (man, am I getting a lot done!). We ate together and watched Saturday Night Seder, hosted by Jason Alexander. It was a benefit for the CDC Foundation and was really fun.
A high point was Stephen Schwartz playing his song, “There Can Be Miracles” from the Prince of Egypt. (As an aside, the movie is a very good retelling of the Exodus story. He’s wearing a jacket for the musical on Broadway. We saw the premiere run of the show by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). He was joined by Cynthia Erivo (Academy Award nominations for Harriet) and Shoshana Bean (Wicked, Waitress). These women can SING. And it’s such a beautiful idea, with such beautify lyrics and music. It brought both chills and tears.
Fellow Northwestern alum Richard Kind (Mad About You, Spin City, Curb Your Enthusiasm — he was three years ahead of me) and Debra Messing (Grace from from Will and Grace in round glasses and strong accent) did a nice back and forth with a part of the story. And I learned that Mrs. Maisel isn’t Jewish (I mean Rachel Brosnahan, a nice Irish name, now that I think of it)!
In another moving segment, we learned about the Jewish origins of “Over the Rainbow.” That’s going into my Seder!
Today (Sunday) I worked off my stir craziness by, drumroll, doing seven loads of laundry! I also cleaned out my closet and put things away in the bathroom that had been lingering on counters. We’re on the second floor with two pretty good flights of stairs. One of the ways I get some exercise is going up and down those stairs multiple times a day. Note that I need a knee replacement on one knee and the other one is only a few years behind. So, on the best of days, both are pretty sore by the end of a day of carrying clothes down and up. No different today (I’m back to using Advil). But there was a good pain too in my body from using it in ways I haven’t in a month.
Also today, we set a final date with the House Health Officer (my sister-in-law, the nurse) for our release from wearing gloves and masks. I think part of what was making the weekend hard was being at this point without clarity about when we’d take the final step.
No more. It will be this Thursday, 38 days since we isolated. Huzzah! Note this is one day longer than the longest reported time from infection to transmission from others (in China, see the study), a week longer than the County Health Department and CDC advise, and four days longer than Stanford recommends. No one can say we haven’t been cautious enough!
Finally, in the best news of the weekend, Lisa took her first walk in a month. Our neighborhood is next to the county Equestrian Society, and a 1600-acre state park (currently closed). She was out for an hour. Here are some of her photos, along with her impressions. Assembled and lightly edited for clarity (it’s what I do).
“First walk since COVID!!! Feeling so blessed and grateful to live where I can walk right out the front door into the respite and renewal of the living, breathing natural world.
“Redwoods, both starkly independent and intimate within their fairy circles.
Weeping cherry trees (weeping for Moses, weeping for Jesus, weeping for the earth and its inhabitants under siege?) incongruously pastel against the ruddy bark and solemnly verdant towers of the redwoods.
“The grasses hued tender green, the light underbelly that emerges from the winter rains before the blades hunker down for the long days of summer sharper, denser, darker.
“Two horses across the field, heartbreaking in their brazen proximity.
This is the instinct of all living beings:
draw near to me friend, so that I know we are both free.
“I walk, and I walk, and I pray in gratitude,
and with the fervent wish for freedom for us all.”