I got an email today from the riad where J. and I stayed in Marrakech 15 months ago, offering extra nights to health care workers.
Remember when we could travel?
After weeks of avoiding it, we started taking the pup to doggie daycare again. People joke about how dogs are loving having their people home, but our dog has just ramped up her protective instincts and now she is anxious all the time. She has an archnemesis, Big Floof, and she barks like her life depends on driving the enemy away when Big Floof walks by. Other floofs get varying treatment (some pass unnoticed, some also get barks), but the passing by of Big Floof is a matter not to be tolerated. Unfortunately, Big Floof's people walk Big Floof by our house about 6 times a day.
We have to take her to doggie daycare just to give her a break from all the anxiety.
I have now picked her up from doggie daycare one time (in the World Before, J. did drop off and pick up on his way to and from work). I also had to drop off our ballots on the way home, so I pulled through a branch of the library and then drove home on a route that I don't take all that often, but that has, it turns out, quite a few restaurants in which I have spent time.
There is the wings place that makes our favorite hot sauce.
There is the restaurant where I met my friend A. when she came back to town, and where V. and I met after work for a drink on the patio the time that I rode my bike there after Pilates.
There is the restaurant where J. and I went for brunch on our last pre-pandemic baby-free date. It's hard to imagine now that we waited in a crowded line, chatting with the couple in front of us, and sat at tables barely 18 inches apart.
There is the coffee shop where I got coffee and a stroopwafel and sat with them in the sun on the day I picked up our wedding invitations.
I felt overwhelmingly sad.
That life will come back - the epidemiologists I follow on Twitter seem fairly confident that science will find a vaccine or a treatment that works - but those exact places may not. The coffee shop by my work is already gone, the one that made a delightful levain bread and an amazing mocha (I had to limit myself to one every week or two, because they were so rich).
It's such a small thing, but it feels like the beginning of many changes.
We have a collection of fabric masks. My mom sent some, and I ordered some that ended up fitting me well and J. not so well, so we ordered some more in a different size and shape.
I never imagined having a collection of masks, not even when I saw people wearing them in Southeast Asia. It just was never a part of my life.
Now I have a mask with strawberries on it, and one with crabs, and another with robots. J. has one with flamingos and one with a Cuban cityscape. I even got a tiny one for W. with dinosaurs on it. He's too young to wear a mask regularly, but I got one just in case at some point he has a cough and we have to go into a building, say for medical care, to keep him from coughing on people until we get in there.
Daycare reopens soon. What would you do?
We are sending W., I think, so that we can get some work done while the case counts are low here, and to support his daycare. I keep reading of how daycares are going to have to close, since their margins are already so low, and now people aren't sending their kids back.
But then I read about the health problems that Covid can cause in children, and I reconsider.
There is no right decision.