The Corona Journals - Week 4, April 20, 2020 - April 26, 2020
Here's our fourth round of journal entries for the week. If you'd like to play a part in history as it unfolds before us, please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Magiet (Eastport)
We used to be busy as bees At luncheons, theater and high teas
Now we stay away
Keep all friends at bay
Spend time counting the holes in Swiss cheese
Who would have believed our fate
Who could begin to contemplate We’re stuck in our houses
With or without spouses We have to unsave every date
Nancy Kane (Southampton)
25 Things I took for granted before Corona:
1- Celebrating holidays with friends at my house
2- The Ladies Village Improvement Society
3- Browsing at a local bookstore
4- Research at the library
5- Seeing my family
6- Hanging out at Catena’s
7- The Village Cheese Shoppe
8- Darts at Murf’s
9- Hugging a friend hello
10- Going to yard sales
11- The Southampton Dog Park
12- Steak Night at Fellingham’s
13- Ordering a drink at a bar, any bar
14- Yoga and Pilates classes
16- The Southampton Arts Center
17- Weekend guests
18- The American Hotel
19- A weekend in Asbury Park
20- Sip n Soda
21- Driving to Montauk
22- Ye Olde Village Bake Shoppe
23- Going into the city; staying over
24- My writing group
25- Holding hands
Pat Garritty (Southampton)
My Covid-19 testing experience was an insight into this pandemic and a reminder of how we, as individuals, fit into it. As I wrote 2 weeks ago, I had a possible exposure and called the New York hot line for COVID-19 testing prior to self quarantine. It took 3.5 weeks to get a call to be tested - really, 25 days later! On one hand, I thought this was a reassuring comment on my lack of symptoms and on the other hand it was an illustration of our systems are being totally overwhelmed.
The next day, having been given an appointment test time, I drove 45 minutes to Stonybrook University with my appointment time, my mask and gloves and identification card. Upon arrival I saw that it was just like the test sites on television and I wondered how the nearby neighbors felt about this site right across the street? There were warning signs everywhere to stay in your car and to not open your windows – at all. There were police and military personnel everywhere, barricade’s, big white tents, checkpoints and masked volunteers giving directions. It was a bit frightening and a huge insight into what others are dealing with everyday. After proceeding through 4 checkpoints to show ID and confirm my appointment I proceeded to the medical person who took my sample. Finally, a medical person who did not intone “this will be a little uncomfortable” but one who prepared me from behind her face shield with this will be extremely uncomfortable before putting a huge swab up my nose. Sipping water and gagging, I drove off to drive the 45 minutes back home to safety.
I received my test results 3 days later via email and was fortunate to find out I have not been exposed. But then I thought, was I fortunate? Wouldn’t being asymptomatic and now possibly immune be a better outcome of that awful cotton swab???
Mary Cummings (Southampton Village)
Though I’ve never written a poem in my life, for some reason, in these strange times, I wanted to write one. If I had known how very hard it is to write a sonnet, I might have chosen a different form. As every real poet knows, a sonnet is like a puzzle. Ninety-nine percent of the time when the rhyme fits, the meter doesn’t. Frustrating, but I think I’m hooked.
The times are full of fear and dreams of doom,
The plague is here and spreads a deep malaise.
Unseen, unheard, the virus killers loom,
They haunt our nights and cause us anxious days.
I am, of course, among the lucky few,
The larder’s full, the family near, and yet,
I watch and wait and know not what to do,
The clock has stopped, its hands need not be set.
We drift from day to day, we grieve the dead,
We wonder why we’re spared and they are not,
But reason has no pow’r when all is said,
The virus has the pow’r and rules upon our lot.
The sage can’t know what lies ahead,
Yet knows the life we knew is dead.
Laurie Collins (age 62, North Sea)
Observations over the last several weeks.
- An elderly man in his 90’s survived COVID-19 and was recently released from a LI Hospital. The staff lined the halls and clapped and cheered as he was wheeled out.
- Every day of the week is the same now for most people who are at home. Kristin W. says we all need a set of underwear with the days of the week on them like they used to make for kids.
- A disaster in Texas. A tractor trailer truck filled with toilet paper rolled over on a highway and caught on fire. (The driver was not hurt.)
- What a production it is if you are (health compromised) and live on an upper floor in an apartment building and you need to go up and down the elevator alone.
- On the TV news they are showing lines of cars miles long waiting for food because the stores are depleted. In the next segment they are showing dairy farmers pouring milk on the ground and vegetables rotting on the vines for reasons beyond my comprehension.
- Usually when I visit the post office it is a bustling place. I usually meet someone I know. People are on line chit chatting while waiting their turn. Now the mood is very somber. While waiting on line standing six feet apart masked and gloved, it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. It is especially stressful for me. I’m holding my breath because as soon as I’m in a quiet place my stomach starts growling very loudly.
- A final observation. I was walking down Elm St. in the village this morning and came across a beautiful sidewalk chalk sign. It read, “April Distance brings May Existence”.
Liana Mizzi (age 27, Hampton Bays)
Well, it finally happened, 2 people I knew passed from COVID over the last week. Their deaths are a sobering reality check that it can take anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not, you could still die. It really makes you reflect on all the people who are protesting right now to open business’ back up. I personally think it’s extremely selfish, everyone’s well-being is more important than going to a bar or getting your hair cut. History repeats itself and things are probably going to get worse before they get better so call your loved ones and let them know you’re thinking about them during this time. A little kindness can go a long way. And if you’re lucky enough to live with your family right now, give them a big hug while you still can.