10 Things Covid 19 Has Taught Me

Toshiba Digital Camera

Skagit Valley tulips I missed this year. Next year for sure!

  1. I now know what clean air looks like. I always thought we had clean air here in  the Pacific Northwest, but this is day after day clean and clear skies. The Olympic Mountains have been beautiful! Fewer gas-burning cars, pick-ups, and planes out there make a difference.
  2. People are kind. Almost without exception when I meet people walking, they will cross the road or walk clear out into the middle of the road in order to keep that six foot separation, but they almost always wave or smile as they do so.
  3. Yes, I feel sympathy for all those who are hurting–job losses, deaths of loved ones, etc. But I also have been feeling sorry for Suze Orman. Remember her? She preached financial responsibility at us for years and years on PBS. Perhaps she still is. Her first and strongest advice was always, “Have enough cash set aside to tide you over 3-4 months in case of an emergency.” Was anyone listening to her? Anyone? And yes, I do realize how difficult this is to do on a minimum wage job. Suze was the first person I thought of as jobs started closing down.
  4. I love the quiet! I’m used to hearing at least one siren and usually more daily on the highway up the hill from my house. Almost none now! And how did I not notice the airplane noise before? Fewer cars going by in front of my house means less noise. Boat ramps are closed. I am hearing no boating traffic. I have seen canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and paddleboards, and they are so beautifully silent!
  5. We are not giving our teens enough credit for their written language skills. I owe this realization to my sister. I have had more emails from my grandchildren and they are unusually well written. My sister commented that they seem to be “bilingual.” They can text friends or tweet in their abbreviated, casual style, but when they email their grandmother, they switch to very coherent, clear writing.
  6. I will never again go food shopping more than once a week. Why? With a little planning, I can save some gas and fuss.
  7. I have so much more appreciation for all those people who work the essential jobs who we fail to notice–farm laborers, medical workers of all kinds (including the cleaning crews), grocery store staff, scientists, and news writers who keep us up to date with facts and expert interviews.
  8. We need health care for all. When we all do better, we all do better! And people working low wage jobs or a couple of parttime jobs deserve health care. Some of those workers are caring for us now.
  9. I don’t know if I can attribute this to the virus, but I am seeing and hearing a lot of birds. No, not like years ago, when we used to see flocks regularly, but I’m more aware of them now. Perhaps it’s the quiet that makes me notice? In a time when bird populations are falling, this gives me just a tiny glimmer of hope.
  10. I have realized that if we can survive and come out of this very severe crisis (and I think we can), we are absolutely capable of removing war weapons from our streets. I’ve had people tell me it’s too late–there are too many. It’s not too late. We have the means and know how to do it. If we don’t have the will, then God help our children and grandchildren.

I’m sure I’ve learned more, but those are the ones that rise to the surface now. How about you? Have you had any insights?

Blessings as we continue on this journey. Continue to take care and be safe.

6 thoughts on “10 Things Covid 19 Has Taught Me

  1. I’m getting a taste for retirement knowing I can sleep in and I don’t have to get a job done because I work tomorrow or I can get things done because I don’t work tomorrow,but having husband home 24/7 I’m not ready for lol….I worry for my kids both mine and son-in-law work with people at grocery or more dangerously,my daughter at doctor’s office. I am high risk so been to red apple once,looking LIKE bandit from the old west with my kerchief mask. I promised my daughter,who incidentally has now become my mother, that I would not go to Wal-Mart because “you’ll die,you will just be dead!!!” So I have refrained,but my husband who is in risk group too(not as bad as me,I’m special!)has made many trips. He has gone to Safeway but gosh darn sundries ,if you can find them,cost a fortune at other stores than Sao mart. I fear our lives will never be the same again,I weep for the seniors missing their dance,cruise,and even ceremony itself. Scholarships in sports maybe ruined,SAT’s screwed up,young girls who have dreamed of their wedding day,let alone the planning and expense,all their lives,my daughter in law just lost her mother and they can’t even have a funeral…I love less traffic and noise too,reminds me of being a little girl growing up here….But this virus is a massive horror and wether it was developed in a lab or not the people on this earth need to decide that this never happens again and we all learn to protect each other and live in peace.

  2. Thanks Mary; I enjoyed reading your perspectives, and it made me wonder what I would write if ask what ten things have you learned since the beginning of this Covid-19 crisis. I’m going to reflect on that a bit… stay well! Love, Sher

  3. What a great set of observations.

    The quietness you describe IS Idyllwild most weekdays. Plus there is the sighing of the wind through the tall, tall pines. Hemet does not share that quietness, although traffic is somewhat less. There have been some gorgeous photos of Los Angeles without smog.

    About six years ago a colleague and I talked about dual language and amount of writing time teenagers actually spent doing it: texting has its own code and they are fluent! They don’t analyze text the same way, but they do get the nuances of text abbreviations.

    What has stuck with me is that our daily lives benefit when we live with deliberateness: It is possible to slow down the pace and have a calmness that allows us to appreciate small things. Like you we’ve come to realize “less is more” one trip to the P.O. per week instead of daily IS enough. In this house we don’t have cable TV so we’ve been spared the endlessly repeating nightly news videos and anxious talking heads.

    We have an annual conversation centered around selling this Hemet property as its necessary upkeep seemed overwhelmingly time consuming. Every single time there has occurred a time when we needed it: evacuations, providing housing for a family who had a high school student during last year’s road closing, a temporary home for a woman who was in training with her companion dog. Now we’ve come to realize how very much work the Idyllwild property is with its (mainly)wood heat, how tiny its kitchen meal prep space is, how much Vic enjoys the garage space here. It’s certainly helped me think about what I’d want in a next home.

    On the personal front. I’ve made slightly more than 100 masks, and still sewing. Vic has worked on the landscaping (weeding, weed barrier, and mulch) and the ‘A’ which he’s given Rob lessons in driving. Rob has tinkered with three cuckoo clocks, set up multiple train layouts, completed two new kits, and now is repairing and doing layouts for another construction toy. We will return to Idyllwild when the weather settles.

    Enjoy your quiet! Alice


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