Is anyone else nervous about a return to normal?

maine coon on a sofa
Olive has given me great comfort and company during COVID-19.

After spending March 2020 through April 2021 mostly at home, quietly in solitude, reading, writing, packing and unpacking because of our move, I have been more social the past two weeks (post vaccines) than in the past year. It’s fun but tiring and stressful, too.

Tomorrow my son, his girlfriend and a sister come for a long weekend. It will be their first visit to our new home. Last weekend, we got together with friends from Palm Springs who we discovered moved less than five minutes from our new house. A few days before that, we got together with a Palm Springs couple from our old neighborhood who were visiting Arizona.My daughter also managed to drive down from the Bay Area for her first visit at our new home. So much socializing and I’ve been used to solitude. It’s a weird feeling. I enjoy the interaction, but it’s almost as though I’m afraid to get out and it’s more tiring than I remember.

My son told me that since he’s now fully vaccinated, he’s going for it. He said it’s the only way to get past the shelter in place feelings. So they are flying and coming here. Of course I can’t wait.

Then for Mother’s Day, my daughter bought me a ticket to fly to Seattle. My mom is in assisted living up there a few miles from where the first bad COVID breakout happened in a nursing home. I missed my mom’s 88 and 89 birthdays due to COVID and I did say the first thing I wanted to do when things were normal was visit her. I called the home and they said all restrictions are off for in-person visits. I cried, I was so excited.

My daughter said that our son was bragging about “winning” my birthday with the best gifts, so she had to step up her game to “win” Mother’s Day. I kind of like their competitive spirit when I’m the one benefitting from it. I’ll get to see Mom and my Aunt, too (mom’s little sister). Plus, I get to see my best girlfriend from college days.

It’s a dream come true, but I’m filled with apprehension. The idea of the airport, plane getting a rental car seems overwhelming. But I’ll do it.

Cactus Arizona sunset
Sunset in the neighborhood.

What are your thoughts about returning to normal? What did you like about sheltering in place?

Thoughts on the shot

I did it. I got my first Pfizer shot Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. I set my alarm for 4 a.m. and we left the house at 4:30 a.m. in the dark. What I liked best about the hour-long drive was the lack of traffic.

Our state lowered the age group to include me. But the downside was I could only find appointments open from midnight to 6 a.m. I’d rather get up early than stay up late, so that’s why we drove through the dark morning to the State Farm Stadium.

I was impressed with how organized they were. It was a drive-through vaccine station with several stops as we serpentined through the NFL stadium parking lot with hundreds or thousands of other cars. The many volunteers were probably on their feet all night long in the cold, cold weather. Many had torches pointing and directing us to our next stop. They were all friendly, welcoming and upbeat.

Everyone we spoke to had an iPad and entered in my appointment number, age, answers to health questions, etc. When we finally got to the tent with the nurse, she came over to my window, reached in and gave me the jab. I could barely feel it.

When we were eventually released, we returned home as the sun was rising. I crawled back under my covers and fell asleep for a couple hours. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the vaccine or just a bad night’s sleep and early wake up. Today, my arm hurts! It’s black and blue and I feel a little queasy. But I’m relieved to get shot number one. Number two is on Easter Sunday.

Red sky sunrise
Sunrise view from our back yard.