What’s your last memory of pre-pandemic ‘normalcy’?
Please share what you remember doing and what was important to you on the eve of everything changing.
My dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer December 2019. We had planned a trip of a lifetime up North ice fishing for March 2020. This was a trip I would not miss with my dad, son, and husband. As we traveled North in his 1991 Buick Roadmaster station wagon, we were filled with excitement and adventure. Over the course of that one week vacation, we literally watched the nation shut down around us....including the resort we were in. As we traveled South heading home at the end of the week, I watched the Hawaiian hula girl dancing on my dad's dashboard and thought to myself how eerily empty the roads were and how quickly life had changed.
Friday 03/14 While at our local restaurant, enjoying Friday Night Fish, my 2 best friends - one retired, one a teacher - and I learned the governor had called a halt to all in-person schooling. Saturday 03/15 I met my son and daughter-in-law to celebrate my birthday. This would be the last in-person meeting for us. Monday 03/16 My friends and I met for a long-planned movie day, enjoying the end of life as we'd know it for a while. What will the "new life" look like?
I returned March 1 from a trip to CA to visit a friend in what was to be the beginning of travel to places in the US and around the world to visit friends and explore new and old places of wonder, I had retired in September of 2019, and was looking forward to the freedom to take better care of myself, and to travel. In CA, my friend was talking non-stop about the pandemic in China, He does business with China so was alerted early. I was playing the fear and panic down, but by the time I returned on March 1, I was a little nervous to fly, When I got home I started to notice the creep of fear and closing to the East Coast. My brother was supposed to come visit from Maine on the weekend and cancelled The last thing "normal" thing I did was go to Ikea to meet with a kitchen designer on Friday, March March 13. I went with friends and by the time we went we wondered on the drive if we should be going, or wearing masks. We persisted in going. Ikea was like a ghost town. When I met with the designer, I remember thinking, "Should we be sitting this close?" I coughed one or two times and got up to walk away and cover my mouth, We ate dinner in the cafeteria, but the whole thing seemed a bit surreal. There were maybe 15 people there in a place that is usually very busy. The whole thing felt like a curtain coming down, slowly. That was the last time I left the house with anyone else and drove in their car till the end of August when I got tested and went to see family in Maine.
Before quarantine/lockdown, I would make weekly trips to Rite-Aid, Walgreens, and the Dollar Store for basics and trinkets. Picking up rubbing alcohol, peroxide and witchhazel almost every trip to the point where my family teased me about stockpiling.
March 13, 2020
My family and I took a visiting student to dinner at a local tavern restaurant in San Francisco. Every table was full being a Friday night. Lots of laughing and talking and eating with no fear.
Next day, the rumor of a total lockdown in the Bay Area had made rounds. I had already committed to taking an elderly friend to Safeway before 8 am.
By the time we arrived at the store, the toilet paper had already been bought out from the shelves. I told her to grab the food and I would look around for paper goods. I found the last packs of napkins, baby wipes, and paper towels in other parts of the store that people were trying to hide and come back for. I bought them all for her.
It was all very surreal how frantic people were. I remember looking at a small bouquet of flowers thinking of what a luxury it was in the midst of this frenzy for "necessities". I regret not buying them for her. I haven't seen her in person since then.
We dropped necessities off every week, when we could find them and until she was put on a delivery schedule by a community group that serves the elderly who live alone.
All that stockpiling? We made care packages for friends and family to get them through this if they had to leave their homes for medical visits.
During that trip, she decided to buy out all the Coca Cola products she could find. She seemed to think we wouldn't be able to leave our homes for months. She wasn't wrong.
Make. Share. Reflect.
Our Community Forums are a place for us to contribute our ideas, thoughts, and feelings about these strange days through creativity, plus respond to what others are sharing in the conversation.
Don’t forget, creativity takes many forms! From doodling to gardening, poetry to photography, writing to singing, and everything in between. They all help us get to know more about the real you. And we can’t wait to hear!
Host Your Own Creative Social
We’ve put together a step-by-step plan you can download that makes it easy!