I'm fortunate to work in a good department at a good company, and we are a kind of support system to each other. All of us are at an age where we've already gone through caring through aging parents and in laws and are past that (due to the inevitable) , or are facing those challenges right now. It's been stressful these last few months as we worked on a large project that had to be completed by year's end, but we are near the end, and can share some good laughs now and again.
I've privileged to still be here, agonizing about my life.
But now, nature has intervened in ways we could not have dreamed of on New Year's Eve.
Earlier this year, I announced my retirement to my company. The date is mid April. I would have my last day, eat some cake, get a gift (hopefully), wave goodbye and head off into the sunset. Not entirely, because I was going back to work, but part time only.
That was while COVID-19 was still a faraway thing, happening to other people
Now, COVID-19 is happening to everyone. And, effective Friday, I am working from home. For how long, I don't know. I'm an introvert, but I think it's still going to be a lonely experience. The socialization is part of why I had made the decision to go part time (retiring first) to begin with. Now I have to learn a whole new way of working. I'm not greatly technological, either. Fortunately, I have a son who is.
I am not a health care worker, a supermarket employee, a pharmacy employee. I am fortunate. Some of my cousins are thick in the fight - one is an emergency room doctor; one is a non medical staff member in a hospital. Still another works in a retail store which is remaining open. Others are teachers, with their classrooms closed, learning to teach remotely from home.
All this time, I've seen what is happening around me. Each day, we awaken to a brand new world. Already, downtown Binghamton, New York (where I work) was emptying out. Already, restaurants are only allowed to do takeout and must close by 8pm. Most of our local communities have declared states of emergency. The City of Binghamton and some others have a curfew. Now, our downtown department store is closing until the end of March.
More and more retail stores are closing. Some. like JC Penney (closed yesterday, until April 2), say it is temporary but I know not all these icons will survive.
Some employers are being decent - like Home Depot. One of my cousins works for them.
My spouse and I own our home, but many others have to pay rent, and how do you do that when you have no job? So I have little to complain about except, perhaps, for some bad timing.
I don't think it takes much vision to see that our world will change in ways we can't quite foresee yet. And those who are high risk, like me, wonder what we will have to go through to see it.
I could joke that it's all because I decided to retire. What a way to start....
No, not really. But you know what? It's time for me to join in and provide comfort in even a small way, through photography and music. We are marching into the unknown, but today, let's take music as our companion.
Let's chillax with the Dropkick Murphy's and their St. Patrick's Day concert, live from Boston, completely on line. After all, today (near midnight) spring begins.
And then - into the unknown we march.