I was starting to look like Robinson Crusoe before I got my first coronavirus haircut in August.
I wore a mask. The woman cutting my hair wore a mask. She took my temperature before starting the haircut. All went well. I am happy to report that I am now my normal mildly bedraggled self again. Ah, normalcy.
There are a lot of things my wife and I haven’t done since the health crisis began. We haven’t gone to a restaurant. We haven’t been in someone else’s house. We haven’t traveled.
Even though my old gym has now reopened, I’m not planning to return there until I’ve been vaccinated. I haven’t been to a gym since March. I now lift weights on my driveway. I’ll be working out at home for another year, I reckon.
In short, we’ve lost from many of the little pleasures in life. But there are important things we’ve resumed doing.
My wife and I have started seeing friends again—but not indoors. Our favorite venue is our backyard where it is possible to be socially distanced and not share air. According to everything I’ve read, there is virtually no chance of catching coronavirus in these circumstances.
I’m seeing doctors again. I have a benign but annoying esophagus disorder that needs to be monitored. Recently, my gastroenterologist did an endoscopy on me. He made me get a coronavirus test—I was negative—a couple of days before the procedure. It was a hassle. I had to drive into New York City for a nasal swab test at a lab that promises quick results. Then my wife had to drive me into the city for the procedure and wait in the car for a couple of hours while the endoscopy was performed. In the end, it all worked fine. My throat is fine. I didn’t get sick. Nor did I get my doctor sick.
Six months into this health crisis, the country seems to be separating into two camps. Those who want to go on with their lives as if there were no coronavirus; and those who are trying to resume their lives while still being careful.
I have some sympathy for people in the first camp—life is uncertain no matter how careful we are. But put my wife and me in the second camp. We both have risk factors. For starters, we’re each 63 years old, not elderly, but not exactly young. And my wife donated a kidney to a brother, and the coronavirus causes kidney problems. If you have only one kidney, it’s not your disease of choice.
As I’ve written before, the toughest part of the crisis for us was being cut off from friends and family.
Our youngest son lives in Philadelphia. We had seen him once, briefly, since the crisis began. He recently visited us for two days. He and his girlfriend camped out in our yard to avoid close contact with us. But we still had meals with him outside, were able to hang out with him, and even celebrated his birthday.
In the age of the pandemic, I’m calling that a win.
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