The changes aren’t a novelty anymore. Settling in to the new normal is comforting. Shock of the first weeks has worn out, though I’m still uneasy with how deep fear and suspicion of others is growing. Wearing masks even when not required is now more than just a precaution to self and others, it’s a common courtesy to let others know you are taking precautions and are about their loved ones lives.
The atmosphere is divisive and shaming culture is real. Local restrictions are lifting, and people will have to choose between staying in and patronizing businesses that are trying to remain open. Others are quick to criticize their decisions as either out of control fear or blatant disregard for life.
Businesses wait to see what the next weeks hold. Will there be a gradual increase in customers, or will most people bunker down for a while longer? On an outing last weekend, my fiancé and I discovered a cafe that was still open. The owner is hoping business picks up, since it’s been just eight months since they first opened and they haven’t had time to gain a loyal clientele. As the spacious dining area was empty, there was no one to disturb if we sat on some of the soft colorful chairs to sip fresh hot coffee. It was a pleasant moment, an almost forbidden indulgence.
As a home health nurse I believed I’d be sheltered from most of the contact with COVID that my colleagues in the hospitals are facing. However, the family I serve was among the first group of residents to be affected at a local hotspot in the city. When the first family member tested positive, I also had to get tested and wait out a quarantine until I heard that my test had come back negative.
Finals finished last Friday. Grades are in and I can breath a sigh of relief. Even with a two week break I’m still working on school, focusing on clinical arrangements and inter-state networking with pro-life physicians and pregnancy care centers. This is more enjoyable than studying though, since everyone I speak with is passionate and dedicated to sharing their knowledge. I’m looking forward to meeting them when I transition from classwork only to on the job training.