Last night entailed a lot of tossing and turning. For one, I was woken up at 4 in the morning as sometimes happens in a geriatric person like myself, by a major cramp in my left calf. It starts when I’m still asleep but one leg feels this irresistible urge to stretch. So, I’m still asleep, what do I know? I let it stretch. Immediately, the calf muscle starts cramping, as if to say, well, I thought I wanted to stretch, but now I don’t want to. Needless to say, by now, I’m fully awake and grabbing my lower leg, screaming and moaning and waking up my husband. …Not to mention that the calf muscle becomes totally charley horsed for the rest of the week, as if to say, you overdid it, Bonnie, and now you’re going to pay for it. Well, dammit, I didn’t do anything! The muscle decided to overdo it all by itself and now is paying me back for its own stupidity. It brings to mind a neighbor’s dog that used to sit on our lawn and bark at us to get off our own property.
Okay, that really wasn’t where I intended to go with this blog, anyway. I meant to explain the tossing and turning. Of course, this is Week 6 of sheltering at home, so my brain (and everyone else’s) has turned to mush.
Let me start again. Lately, I’ve been obsessing about where we really want to live. (Not that there is any safe place in this coronavirus world.) For the past five and a half years we’ve been living in a converted stable in Fishtown, a traditionally blue-collar but now “up-and-coming” neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia. Over the past year Fishtown has begun to be gentrified. The tons of millennials who are moving in love this, while Fishtownies who have lived here for generations, don’t. That’s a story in itself, but I’m not going to tell it. However, Fishtown has been opening restaurants, galleries, refurbishing old row houses and filling empty lots with new construction. For us – two retirees in our early seventies – it’s been great. Additionally, we’ve added a cozy backyard and plant-filled conservatory to our place: it‘s a little piece of Heaven in a big city. Main point: we’re happy here.
Then comes the pandemic and we’re stuck in our little piece of Heaven, baking bread and having happy hour in the backyard, reading the news online, facetiming our Passover seder with our son’s family in Canada. Zooming lectures, film series and even a wedding reception in London. Not exactly Parc restaurant on Rittenhouse Square but hey, I’m not really complaining. We’ve worked our entire lives, have a little nest egg (screeching up and down in value, but better than the folks who need to get out and work for a living, as many of the rest of Fishtownies do.) People are in much worse shape. Our main goals are how to eat and how not to get sick.
So, after this drivel, I come to the point of my turning and tossing. We’ve already NOT gone on our once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Zealand in March. We’ve not gone to that wedding in London in April. My fiftieth reunion at U of Penn is postponed. Our big fiftieth anniversary party will not be held this May. We’ve given up on taking the family to Disneyworld in February. The border has been closed to Canada, so we’re still wondering whether the waterfront property we’ve rented for the whole family in Ontario will be accessible this summer. I think I’ve made my peace with all that. Hey, other people are scrambling to get enough money to survive. Other people are sick. And dead.
But the closed border bothers me. Our son can’t get to us and we can’t get to him. God forbid, one of us gets sick, it’s goodbye on Facetime. So, I’m thinking of the future. Do we move to Canada? (Full disclaimer, we are both dual citizens of US and Canada, so it’s not such a stretch.)
But I LOVE where we are. I like Canada but I don’t love it.
Then again, I LOVE my son and my daughter-in-law and my four wonderful grandchildren.
But I DON’T WANT TO MOVE!
Don’t be stupid. If one of you gets sick, what will you do? If both of you get sick?
Okay, so that took up part of the night. The rest was filled with worry about whether Trump will intentionally wreck the plans for a mail-in election amid a second surge of coronavirus. After all, he’s undermining the US Post Office, because of a long, Rube Goldberg series of steps in his stable, genius mind: Because it makes money from shipping the last leg of the delivery trip of Amazon packages, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, which criticizes him. Makes sense to him. But, meanwhile, it undermines the post office, which is crucial to the country in the middle of a pandemic. And it incidentally (and serendipitously) sabotages any mail-in election that must also take place in a pandemic. Because, in his own words, Republicans can’t win if everyone votes.
So, by now it’s about 2:00 in the morning, and I’m obsessing about how Trump is lax to the point of doing nothing to insure a fair election. The same as he did with the pandemic, and look at where we are now. And somehow all his passive, stupid malevolence seems to benefit him. I worry that if we stay here waiting for the November election, it won’t happen, the borders will be closed forever, and I’ll never see my grandchildren again.
So, on top of Trump and the pandemic and the election, there’s this other existential question of whether we should pack our bags and rush off to Canada….
And THEN there’s David Ignatius’ article in the New York Times that contends that the Wuhan lab in China was ENHANCING coronaviruses in low-level security research labs….
And THEN there’s all that stuff about how the coronavirus not only attacks the lungs, but the kidneys, the heart, the liver, the brain, and how it’s causing strokes by inducing dozens of blood clots in young people.
Shortly after this, my brain exploded and I think I fell into a short, dreamless sleep. Then came the cramp in my left leg, which I mentioned before.
Thanks for reading. I feel better now.