Conveniently, the Covid-19 stay-at-home requirement coincided with a time when I would have stayed home anyway due to my worsening, arthritic, walking disability. But, I was determined to socialize. Once a week, with much help from my son, I got seated in my power chair on my back porch to receive guests for a two-hour period. We took all the precautions. Chairs were positioned six feet apart, and we wore masks. Seating for five was about the limit and made for good conversation.
Most of my guests were members of the Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) or Life History writers, so the conversations were lively and entertaining. Topics included how we experienced childhood, whether we modeled our parents’ behavior, our voting history, racism, various writing issues and laughably meager royalties for books published, loquat trees and other oddities of gardening, dream interpretation, bird calls, and my adjustment to having a transgender grandchild!
Spring weather was perfect for these outdoor get-togethers, which were said to be healthier than gathering inside where dangerously contagious viruses linger longer in the air. With a wooded lot beside me and an open field behind me, birds were plentiful. Wrens, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, and owls serenaded us as though they were in choir practice. The sessions ended when my self-allotted two-hour time was up and I telephoned my son to appear, and using a special borrowed ramp, retrieve me and my power chair from the porch. Nobody wanted to stop talking, so we would plan it again for the following week.
I think I have coped well under these difficult stay-at-home, Covid-19 circumstances. We all wished for a longer spring season. Up through May, we enjoyed lovely seventy-five or eighty-degree, breezy afternoons, but my porch is too hot now and the mosquitoes have moved in.
A new method of meeting while socially distancing must be found to get us through the hot summer. Or, we must take more risks of contracting the virus while meeting inside in air-conditioned comfort. Learning Zoom has been fun, and it works quite well for some meetings, but it is not the same as seeing friends in person. A Covid-19 vaccine, or therapeutic drug, can’t come soon enough! Go scientists! Bring us a Christmas gift of safely socializing the old fashioned way with shared loving hugs and the needed human touch! We miss each other.