Sheltered in Place or How to Win the War

IMG_1154Upon completing the third week of Sheltering in Place  I’m remembering what it felt like after 9/11 (I was in the building connected to Tower 1). The attack came on a Tuesday and I spent the rest of the week home unable to think of my job or anything that involved a normal routine. I exchanged escape stories with my co-workers by phone. “The terrorist will strike again”, I was told, “so be afraid, be very afraid”. I was afraid for a time. Little by little, we came to trust the city again and ventured into our everyday lives but with more caution and more aware of our surroundings. If I see something, I say something.

I know this pandemic will pass. It will leave behind a change in our lifestyle. Maybe simpler or I may always wipe down my groceries. But I am encouraged. I’ve noticed people being friendlier. I walk around the neighborhood and pass people I don’t know and am greeted with a smile, a wave or conversations with six degrees of separation.

Nevertheless, Tony and I have accept our humble way of life looking forward to one day feeling safe again.  Here are some of the popular ways we entertain ourselves with commentary:

  • Cooking. I made Matzo Ball Soup – Although I am not Jewish, this soup is rumored to indiscriminately cure all illnesses. I believe.
  • File drawer cleaning – I keep everything for better or worse. Looking back on receipts of past furniture purchases, I can’t believe I paid for things that ended up at my garage sales for a fraction of the price I paid.
  • TV Series  – I’ve been looking for a series that engages me as Game of Thrones did. It has been a challenge unfulfilled. Here are some of the ones we tried. Don’t expect any “Little House on the Prairie” types.
    • Breaking Bad – Everyone told me it was great. The story of a middle class schnook who goes to the dark side when he finds out he is terminally ill. He uses his chemistry skills to develop his version of an estate plan by partnering up with a drug dealer. Story and acting are A+ if you are willing to deal with the drug scene. Personally, I’m not.
    • Tiger King. An ugly, real life series about Joe Exotic (self-named), a psychotic tiger lover who runs a tiger zoo in Oklahoma and his controversial brawl with Carol Baskin whose life’s ambition is to shut Exotic down and destroy his zoo. In the first episode he is shooting mannequins he calls Carol. At this time, Exotic is in jail for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Baskin. The big question is did Baskin kill her first husband. It is menacingly deranged but entertaining in a weird way. I only saw episode one but may go back.
    • Killing Eve About a sociopathic, ruthless Russian assassin who is hunted by Eve, a British spy (played by Sandra Oh). The characters are physiologically engaging with sarcastic humor. I liked it. Season 3 starts this Sunday, April 12.

Chain emails have resurfaced. Lately, I have received several emails from people who have asked me to pass along to at least eight others a recipe, a poem or some form of inspiration. Please note, I am truly flattered to be included on your list but I have nothing that could inspire anyone let alone come up with eight people. You do not want me on your list.

I do, though appreciate the emails with positive thoughts and videos. I don’t know where you find these sentiments but if they do not require me to do anything other than read them, I’m good.

As 9/11 taught us to be more aware of our surroundings, maybe this catastrophe has taught us to adapted to a simpler way of life. My county is number five in the state of NY of coronavirus cases. The safety net is broken. We truly are all in this together and this is a war I intend to win.