The Big Quarantine – March 22, 2020
The Day in Postcards (I Kid You Not): One of my on-going projects (pre-Covid) is sending postcards to my friends’ kids. I started this a couple years ago, when I sent a card from the traveling Lego exhibit I visited when it hit Cincinnati. I knew my friends were thinking about taking their daughter there so I bought a postcard in the gift shop and sent it with my thoughts on the exhibit.
Something clicked. I started sending her cards about random places I visited around town or random facts I wanted to share. My plan was to send 100 cards. For her, I’m up to 109. I don’t even know if she got them all. It’s magic to me that the post office can get a piece of paper the size of a postcard to its correct destination. Magic!
In the meantime, another friend’s daughter wanted postcards, too. It would have been easy enough to send two copies of the cards, but I wanted more of a challenge. The new series of cards is about music, songs she needs to hear. Today I wrote up card #10 in response to the letter she wrote me that I received Saturday. In that letter she was trying to teach me a slang term – That Slaps – which the urban dictionary describes as “good as eff.” Well, she didn’t quite put it in those terms in her letter, but I got the point. To respond, I found a 1937 Gershwin song called Slap that Bass. It is not a song she needs to hear, but it does respond to her letter…ish.
The Day in This $hit is Bananas: I don’t know what’s in the air, but even when one banana of four is super brown, it’s time to seriously consider banana bread, and maybe how the air is circulating in my apartment. In real life seeing a brown banana means, I’ll get to that tomorrow and then I forget about it and then I throw the banana away. Covid 19 banana bread gets made immediately. Like, “Oooh, something to do…And something to eat.”
The Day in Movement: I took my regular Sunday walk. I start by walking through my neighborhood where today only the coffee shop was open and the restaurants were gearing up for a new day of their new reality (no raucous brunch, just carry out). Crossing Reading Road passing the Casino, I headed down Eggleston toward the river. There’s about 1000 feet of space, right where cars would turn onto Columbia Parkway that puts me under the confluence of the highway ramps as they merge into and through downtown. It is almost like a walking through a canyon that rumbles above my head. It’s one of my favorite spots in the city.
I walked into Yeatman’s Cove and got down to the River Walk where I always check to make sure the River is still there. I am in awe of the river every time, it just keeps rollin’ along, ya know.* Speaking of rolling along, there were plenty of runners at the riverfront. Did you ever tell a runner to skip a day of running? It’s not a good idea. Run on, runners!
I came back up Joe Nuxall way past the stadium where a man in a Reds hat 6 ft from me said hello, and more wistfully, “It’s supposed to be Opening Day this week.” Yep.
Whenever I came near someone I instinctively held my breath for 12 ft, 6 before/6 after. I hate treating people like walking cemeteries, but there you have it.
It felt good to walk around. And it forced me to take a shower. Gosh, if anyone had gotten within my 6 ft radius they might have been repelled by my b.o. before they realized we were supposed to be in pandemic mode.
*Old Man River written by Jerome Kern for the musical Show Boat is about the Mississippi and I’m talking about the Ohio, but work with me people.
The Day in Desperate Vocalizations: Apologies to my neighbor on the other side of the wall. I can’t carry a tune AND I can’t help but sing along with the Hamilton cast recording. And if Selena Gomez is out of my range (and she is), you know Phillipa Soo is on another planet. Normally I only sing in my car, but desperate times…
The Day in Miniatures: Enjoy some music(ians) from around this cruel world of ours where beauty seems to always break through.
The Day in Sharing Our Strength: (Posted on Facebook after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s order to shelter in place.) I know, I know. Ohio (and many other parts of the country) is shut down and the numbers are really starting looking grim. We knew this was coming. We are ready for this this.
I’ve talked to friends who are angry (at what they don’t know) or scared (of the virus and so many other life things). Folks are feeling any number of emotions, lots of ’em at the same time. There isn’t a playbook on how to respond to this.
Lean into what you are feeling and find your way. I heard the term “radical self acceptance.” Please, accept how you feel, how you react and how you are spending your day. And, try to do the same of others.
I’m looking out my window and into the windows of my computer. It is Spring and it is Spring not just for Mother Nature but for Human Nature. Take a deep breath.
Do good things for yourself and others.
Stay safe. Do good things!
- Total cases: 15,219 (March 19 = 10,442)
- Total deaths: 201 (March 19 = 150