I’ve always known we were going to get out of this phase of the pandemic, but this week was the first time I actually could see it playing out. Indeed, what has been a distant promise is slowly becoming a tangible future as concrete plans are being laid across the nation for a gradual relaxing of social distancing standards and a reopening of shuttered businesses. While logistics and timetables are going to vary from state-to-state, county-to-county, and even city-to-city, examining California’s recently announced, four-stage reopening plan offers our first real glimpse at what our new normal will look like and how we will get there.
This lockdown has made for some truly unexpected sights. I never thought I’d see South Coast Plaza’s parking lot entirely empty on a Sunday afternoon, or SoCal’s beaches deserted on the first hot day of the year. But here we are.
As we close out another week, my man and I will do what we do every Friday night these days: We convert our house from office back to home, often in silence, shutting off the news and the work week, allowing the kitchen to temporarily reclaim the counter it loses each week to my standing desk. We wind down with our drink of choice, fade into the weekend, and then sometime Sunday evening, we do the whole thing in reverse. The weekend has to be different, we say. We’ll tune back in on Monday.
In these times, grocery delivery can be stressful. An anecdote: Hearing that Amazon Prime Now grocery delivery windows were being released at midnight each day, last night (or was it this morning?) my man and I set our alarm and tried to time it just right. But the stress of rushing through our grocery shopping combined with miscommunications led to a late-night (or was it early-morning?) shouting match about shared responsibilities, mutual respect, and the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need.’
If it weren’t for the news, every day would have started feeling like the one before--quarantine is least terrible of our current options, this should go without saying, but that doesn’t mean it is fun or fulfilling. The walls get boring, the couch starts to make your back stiff, and every time you stop to think about it, you realize you are doing the exact same thing in the exact same place at the exact same time as the day before.