Life: one year after Covid
March 13, 2020 is a day that I remember so clearly as if it were yesterday. I wouldn’t have known this would be the last day the world seemed normal. No masks, no social distancing and above all no worries. I remember everyone watching the news and trying to figure out what was going on in the world. People were rushing to the grocery stores, buying all the medicine and toilet paper. No one knew exactly what COVID-19 was, or how it worked and how to treat it.
One month in
The first month was pretty scary. Being inside all day and watching the news for updates was stressful to me. I was stressed out while eating, gaining weight, and having mild panic attacks. Never in my life have I logged in to watch the news every day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to watch Mayor Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom give updates on COVID-19. It was like watching the Saturday morning cartoons again. Being locked inside and eating poorly was doing more harm than good. So what did I do? I did what everyone did in quarantine. Turn to Amazon! I had just started hockey, so I ordered a hockey stick, gloves, and a few pucks to learn inside. Luckily I have hardwood flooring so it was easy to learn stick handling in the living room.
It was also my first semester in Rio Hondo after seven years. I was really excited to be back and continue my education. I had only been on campus about two months before we had to go and lock up. Learning online has been an experience. The end of this spring semester had a lot of hiccups, but that was to be expected as most of the courses are not taught online. At the start of the summer semester, online learning improved greatly.
As the summer wore on, I started to go out a bit more, other than shopping and basic necessities. I bought a pair of roller skates and tried to learn to skate. I would look for empty parking lots to train. In addition to learning to play hockey, I went fishing a lot more. As long as I was outside, I took all necessary precautions to stay safe. Fortunately, fishing is the most socially remote activity you can do. I stayed away from piers and large crowds. The best way to do this is to get up early and fish the waves. I would arrive in Newport Beach at 6 a.m. and leave at 10 a.m. before the beach goers started showing up.
The seasons have changed and Christmas is here in no time. It was horrible not being able to spend the holidays with family and friends. Sadly, COVID-19 finally caught up with me on Boxing Day. I didn’t attend any parties or gatherings, but I was still working in person at the time and that’s probably where I caught the virus. I was ill for a total of nine days. It was the worst illness I have ever experienced. It was different. From the moment I woke up I knew I had it. I had all the symptoms in the book. The body hurts, fever, chills, cough, cold, everything! I had been scared ever since I developed asthma a few years ago from a pulmonary embolism. I celebrated 2021 at home and sick as a dog, but I am truly grateful that I was able to fight this horrible virus.
Obviously we are now over a year old and things are improving a bit. Los Angeles and Orange Counties are now in the Orange level, but we constantly hear about new variants of Covid-19. I’m still skeptical of how quickly we got out of Purple and Orange, especially with the newer variations found in parts of California. Am I ready for classroom instruction? Not enough. There is still a lot to do and not everyone is vaccinated. Until then, I’m still hopeful we’ll be out of it soon, but you’ll still find me wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away, and taking my lessons virtually.