They tell us that we are the vulnerable ones. We get flu shots and shingles vaccines. We try to do everything that we can to “social distance” and keep ourselves safe. A lot of sacrifice, some loneliness, but at our age, that’s what it takes.
Some people are better at sacrificing than others — we couldn’t give up spending time with our grandchildren (aka little bacteria-filled petri dishes). We tried. We do our very best to be safe but one thing we can’t do without is this time with them — time that is such an important part of our lives and theirs.
We wear our masks religiously, to protect everyone we come in contact with. Those we socialize with know that this is our choice, and we totally accept whatever choices they make.
Then COVID-19 came to call — not at our house, but even worse, the home of our children — and grandchildren.
One tested positive, but what a flurry of activity was unleashed. Phone calls to doctor’s offices to find out the exact protocol. Grabbing calendars and counting back – trying to figure out who was with who and when. Exposure became the word of the day. Who should be tested? Where should they go? What should we do?
I, of course, did the most important thing. I got out my big soup pot and began throwing in chicken, carrots, celery, parsley, onion, etc. I’m a Jewish nana after all.
A most pressing question — noodles or rice? I decided that a situation like this called for both.
And the phone calls: Was calling them every half hour too often? Not to mention all of the family members and friends calling us to make sure that we were feeling OK even though we tried to reassure them that as far as exposure (that word), we were out of the danger zone — hopefully.
You know how you hear people say: “It should have been us rather than them?”
Well, that really is a thing. But thank God our one affected member seems to have a very mild case. Even so, Facetime makes me cry.
And the system works — the testing was rapid and efficient. Food, fun little gifts and lots of love have come pouring in from family and friends. Their neighbors on this amazing little island literally can’t do enough. After that one mega batch of chicken soup, my pot is going to grow cobwebs. (Probably our only Halloween decoration!)
And so they quarantine and my arms ache for them. I want to kiss their soft, little cheeks, but I can’t.
They are all at home, working and schooling, virtually, and not missing a beat.
Some dressed in full princess regalia as well as superhero apparel. Some wear worried expressions and drooping eyelids.
When their house is free of the virus and their quarantine is up, how will we begin again? Will we open our arms and hug them? You bet.