The New COVID-19 Normal

Today I put on my facemask and gloves. I hate writing that, but it is what I did before going into a store to buy things like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, food, toilet paper, oh, and a luxury item, a Kit Kat bar. Well, because sometimes when you’re locked away from everything, you could use a little wafer mixed with chocolate.

I’m not a selfie kind of person, but I took one because it felt beyond ridiculous that I had on a mask, gloves…, well,  this seems to be the new normal. I’m not sick, but I had a slight tickle and I popped mints into my mouth because the thought of coughing in a store, even into my mask, well, I would rather have run naked down the street than cough in any public place.

There are lines to get into stores. People were lined up around the block to get into a Costco. Others were lined up, down the block, for a local storefront. I felt guilty for driving away. As a pescatarian, I shop a little more frequently and felt some guilt that I was not ready to get in a line for anything.

More important than food is human contact. God, how I miss it. I miss hugging my kids, my friends, the people I work with that make up my day, that I love. I’m tired of Facetime and text messages. I want to hug people, to go out with them, to, well, I’m single, so other things too.

I’m going to bed tonight saying prayers about our future, because what else do we have? Our president is conducting press conferences based on ratings. My governor is having a pissing match with the mayor of NYC. Where does that leave the rest of us? They’re all fighting each other and their messages are mixed. So what about us, the regular people looking for guidance?

So I stay at home. I get in my car and take drives, with my windows up, because I still need to get out and see things like the ocean and trees and, well, stuff. And then I feel bad because I realize that there are so many locked in who have no place to go and see and escape.

After I masked and gloved up, I sprayed some Lysol all over my steering wheel, my seats, me, the air. And then I put wishes and love out into the Universe. I have no answers. I am only one person living this, just like the rest of you.

All I know is that I don’t want this to be the new normal. I want all of us to be able to shop for non-essential items like dresses and shoes and go get eyelashes and manicures and Kit Kat bars. I want us to be able to drink and eat with our friends in groups of 50 or 100, and go wherever the f&#k we want, because this is America and that’s what we do. And especially in New York because nobody tells us what to do. EVER!

For now, though, I’m masking up. I’m putting on gloves. And I’m loving my kids, my family, my friends, even those I don’t like so much, from a distance. And I’m saying prayers that there will be a cure, a vaccine, something because there has been too much loss, too many suffering.

We will get through this. I truly believe that. I can’t believe anything else. Stay home, but go out and look at the sky, the stars, the sunrise, the sunset. Do whatever it is that you need to do to flatten this curve so that we can go back to normal, a normal that is not this new normal.


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