Stay Six Feet Apart

for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

September 22

In each neighborhood, a street or streets are closed off that weren’t closed off before the pandemic. This gives more space for people to get out and walk – more space for social distancing. Kids have a place to play since they aren’t going to a mortar-and-brick school, but an online school. People set up basketball hoops and sit out in lawn chairs on nice days. 

The next photo is a sign in the window of Enjoy Vegetarian, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. The restaurant is closed for inside business, but you can get take-out. In case you need a mask, they sell those too. As you can see, they were $20.00 for a box, but have been marked down to $15.00. It’s cheaper than buying them on Amazon, and you don’t have to pay for shipping! Smile…

Here’s a sign outside the restaurant, reminding people to socially distance when they wait in line for their food.

See you tomorrow!

My Mouse

Since the pandemic, I’ve been sleeping with stuffed animals. Some are leftovers from my grandchildren, and one is a toy mouse that my now passed-away cat used to play with. They comfort me when I sleep and I am like a small child holding onto them because… well, just because.

I don’t like mice generally, but this one looks so cute and friendly. It’s missing its tail and its right leg is chewed on. One ear flops forward, the other straight up. I even kiss it and tell it goodbye before I leave my house. 

Please don’t tell anyone.

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This is for Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s weekly flash fiction challenge. September 17, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story of mice. It can feature any variety of the little critters in any situation. Are the the character or the inciting incident? Use any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story). Go where the prompt leads!

Hurting, Angry, Impatient

September 20

for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

Today we finally had the outside birthday party at the park for my friend R. We’d had to cancel it before because of the wildfire smoke. Today and yesterday – pretty clear – but this evening when I took Tiger for a walk, I could smell the smoke blowing in from the north. So we had the party just in time.

Our lives here in San Francisco are dictated by the air quality. Not just the pandemic.

I spoke to someone on our walk, an older retired cop. He said his life has changed very little due to Covid. If anything, it’s given him more time to work in his garden because he’s not always running here and there. He has a pension. He’s good.

There was a march here in the city today by a group of Catholics, hundreds of them who walked from City Hall to Grace Cathedral protesting their inability to worship. Right now, indoor services are not allowed. You can’t have more than twelve people at an outdoor service. People are antsy. They want Covid to be over. They want to get back to normal. I understand that. Today, going to the birthday party was only the fifth time I’ve been out in public since late March., other than to the grocery store. Two family barbecues. Three get-togethers with my socially-distanced small group of friends. Six months.

People are hurting.

Angry.

Impatient.

Who is your hero?

September 19

RBG was a hero to so many people, me included. It’s so important for the psyche to have a hero, someone to shine a light for us and help us down the path of rightness and greatness. We don’t get heroes very often. They are few and far between.

She’s gone. Mitch Mc Connell is not a hero. He is pushing for the Senate to appoint a new Supreme Court justice immediately. The Republicans can’t wait to overturn Roe v. Wade and cause misery to women. Little boys in men’s clothing, stupid little boys.

Am I bitter?

Yes.

Bitter doesn’t help me. What helps is prayer, asking my God for patience and tolerance and to remember that love is the answer. It lets me off the hook of suffering.

It seems like my whole life is about changing myself. We don’t come out of the womb programmed to be nice people. It’s hard work, forgiveness and taking the high road, being kind to ourselves and others. Our minds aren’t programmed that way. It’s easier to be bitter and nasty and impatient and mean and sarcastic. But these things are toxic and don’t help. They make us feel bad. They keep us there.

Here’s a feel-good image today from @BBAnimals:

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for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

RGB Died Today

September 18

I was just coming in from walking Tiger and the news was on the TV saying Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died. Her body couldn’t hang on any longer. She was 87. 

First, John Lewis. Now, the notorious RBG.

She did so much for women’s rights, civil rights.

I liked that she could be liberal and still have friends who were conservative. I liked that about her.

My morning was filled with my online in-service for learning how to be a substitute for distance learning. There’s so much to learn about technology. It’s not that I can’t learn it, but it’s just a lot. Tomorrow, I’m going to go back over a lot of the tech information.

Teaching in-person will probably not happen this year in San Francisco. That’s my forecast. The schools in other cities and states that have opened are reporting large numbers of Covid and are closing down. I’m so glad I’m not a parent of a school-aged child right now. I read that the children of Covid, so to speak, will be less educated and this will follow them through their lives.

Think about it. You’re in the first grade and learning the basics… online. There’s no social skills being taught because you’re by yourself without classmates. There’s no teacher in the room with you. 

This would be hard.

****for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

San Francisco Breathing…

September 16

for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

YES! The air has cleared in San Francisco. We can breathe. I can take Tiger for a walk.

My lungs are still inflamed from the wildfires but they feel so much better. I feel better.

I hope this lasts for a while, the air. If it does, we can finally celebrate my friend’s birthday in the park.

Here’s some Covid updates.

We now have 6.74 million cases of Covid in the US.

Recovered: 3.65 million.

Deaths: 200,000

Worldwide there are 30 million cases.

Recovered: 20.4 million

Deaths: 943,000

Tomorrow, I am going to an online in-service for substitute teachers to learn distance learning. It lasts 7 hours but we can revisit it for a month. I’m excited. My last day working was March 12, 2020, a little more than six months ago. 

I miss the kids!!!

Below is a video of anti-maskers inside a Target in Florida. I can only imagine how painful this would be for someone to see who is experiencing Covid, or has someone in their family or in their group of friends who has Covid.

Unhealthy for sensitive types…

September 14

The air quality this morning was listed as unhealthy for sensitive types. I can’t stop thinking of sensitive people, like me. Sensitive emotionally. Like there’s weather for my disposition. Unhealthy for bitter types. Unhealthy for drama queens.

By the afternoon the air had cleared and the weather app just said Sunny. I took Tiger out and we walked a good twenty minutes. I still had to give him a bath when we got home because he had flung himself on the ground and wiggled around on his back. He had ash all over his back from the sidewalk.

Who would have ever thought these things would be happening?

The pandemic and the wildfires feel similar to me in that they both affect your lungs, your breathing. I’m ready for both to be over.

Don’t ever take what you breathe in for granted.

Don’t take anything for granted.

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for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

Bad Air

It’s hard to write about anything other than the bad air quality due to the smoke from the wildfires. I’m trying to think of something else and will let you know when something comes to mind (!) I took Tiger for a quick walk and he flopped down on the sidewalk and did the happy dance. I had to bring him home and give him a bath because he was covered with ash.

A blue sky appeared this afternoon in parts of San Francisco. This seemed so hopeful. There was even a small breeze, although the meteorologists are telling us that the air quality won’t improve until Wednesday, two days from now.

I feel comfortable wearing a mask in the house now.

I still have a constant headache. It gets better and worse during the course of the day. My lungs hurt and besides using an inhaler I’m now also using Vicks Vapor Rub. None of this was happening a week ago.

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for Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project.

On the Radio

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This is for Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s weekly flash fiction challenge. September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radion connects people and places. Go where the prompt leads!

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I’m sorry, so sorry

That I was such a fool

I didn’t know

Love could be so cruel…

Brenda Lee’s voice bled through the radio. The walls sagged, the lights dim with memory. 

Marla could not turn back the hands of time. She was sorry. She had been a fool. And from her end, cruelty had entered into their break-up. 

There was only one thing to do. She would buy new makeup. She would get a new haircut. She’d go to her aesthetician. She’d practice her coy smile in front of the mirror. 

She would get her man back.