The Big Quarantine – Friday, May 8, 2020
The Day in Sad Refunds: One of my favorite concert events of the year, Forecastle, was officially cancelled. I bought my ticket for the July event last December even before I knew the line-up. I’m happy to get my money refunded but I would have rather gone to the show.
I’m very sad, not just for the demise of Forecastle, but for the temporary demise of live music with large (or medium or small) crowds. I miss my headliners and my up-and-coming bands. I miss being so short that the only thing I see is the plaid shirt in front of me, or conversely, being so short people move me right up to the front of the crowd so I can see better! I miss using my earplugs and throwing my hands in the air. I miss singing along, swaying, dancing, and jumping up and down. Not expecting anything and getting wowed by a performance? I miss that. My feet sticking to the floor, jostling for a better view, cool t-shirts, screaming when the band mentions how great it is to be in Cincinnati, singers who close their eyes, bass players who don’t wear shoes, drummers who don’t wear shirts, the few minutes before the band starts to play, the few minutes when the band may or may not be coming back for an encore…I miss it all so much.
Live music is one of the great unknowns as we move forward. This is a weird pause, but music isn’t going anywhere.
The Bathroom Leash: As a woman who walks around the city for hours at a time, I am keenly aware of the lack of public restrooms. Sitting in the park or strolling around with a cup of coffee, there are precious few places to refresh. Trust me, I’ve scoped them out. One of the reasons there are so few public restrooms is they are beacons for illicit activity. In a pandemic, bathrooms could assist in the transmission of Covid simply because they are common, close-quarter destinations…like elevators, but (theoretically) with more body fluid.
Slate’s article The Road to Reopening America Runs Through the Bathroom breaks down much of the public restroom issue. We can go out and be social at a distance easily. A drive-in theater or a parking lot party are great examples, but not everyone can hold it until they get home. When I run errands these days, one of my considerations is that I don’t want to use a public restroom in a store. I cap the time I spend away from home based on my bladder. Weird, right?!?
As we come out of confinement, I’m actually more concerned about our personal bathrooms in social situations. I can go to a friend’s house and sit outside on their porch or driveway and we can social distance ourselves. But what do I do when I have to pee? Go home? I’m about to start working at my retail job, which potentially exposes me to Covid. Am I someone you want in your house?
I picture myself on sitting on the porch with friends and feeling the need to go. I mask up and gingerly walk inside careful not to touch anything, tip-toeing to the bathroom the way a cat burglar would sneak through a museum during a heist. I use the bathroom (wipe, flush, washy-washy). Then I take the spray bottle of cleaner my host has left on the bathroom sink and I wipe everything I touched, backing my way out. Ridiculous, but likely.
The Day in Another Bar is Back(ish): As the reopening of the country and my community commences one of my favorite neighborhood bars is stepping back up to the plate. I’ve mentioned Longfellow OTR on this blog on several occasions. Their Vegetarian Curry Tuesday special is one of my favorite meals in the city. They aren’t quite ready to get back to that, but my go-to meal there is a scrap sandwich which is normally scraps from the slicer when they make their charcuterie boards and other menu items. I splurged and took the upcharge to add pickled chilies and anchovy because YOLO and this is a pandemic. Although I’ll be eating at my dining room table, I can feel the cords of social interaction strengthening.