Sunday, July 12, 2020

Life in the Time of Corona Virus

I didn't worry about catching it at first; I was more worried about being asymptomatic and giving it to someone who was vulnerable. Now that has changed, as I have learned that my age of 58 in combination with my high blood pressure puts me in that category. So I keep my distance.

I started my new job as a long term science sub at Leota Middle School on February 24. I saw students for all of 7 school days before we closed. I won't see them again for the rest of the year.

I've made a couple of masks, the first from a fitted bedsheet and harvested elastic, the second from a small bit of fabric I purchased on sale before I left New York. Lucky for me it was 100% cotton and a much higher thread count than the bedsheet. Yes, I buy cheap sheets.

I wore it once out and then washed it again directly. I don't think I am claustrophobic but can't tolerate tight collars. Not too bad since I only go out about once per week. Being one person alone, it is not hard to stock up, and I did that in anticipation of the stay at home order. I also purchased an Instant Pot before all this and my freezer is now full of soup. It'll last.

So after my experimental cooking endeavors, I have found it useful to be creative every day in some way. While constructing lessons for my classes I get to explore online science simulations and videos, then whirl them into engaging activities for my 7th and 8th graders. I've created videos of my nature walks and melded my ocean photos with a poetry reading of "Sea Fever" by John Mansfield.

I've painted a wooden sign to match my tropical colors of turquoise and bright blue. And I knit every day, just a straight garter stitch wrap in light purples and greens. My biceps tendonitis limits the number of rows I can do, but I still try to get in 5 or 6 a day.

I have done a little bit of unpacking, putting up artwork on the walls, living with it for a while, then moving it on to a new spot. I didn't bring furniture with me, so my apartment is arrayed with a lawn chair, some folding tables, mattress pads and a few crates for the TV to sit on. I'm camping but very comfortable.

And so it is...but for how long?

Penny Lee Soutar

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