I ran the numbers on our home budget last month, hoping to find a new basline normal for what we're spending with not traveling and not eating out and... basically no, a couple trips across town for grandparents is the same as wife's commute costs, and groceries has expanded to cover the difference. It's ok.
Still doing better than a whole lot of people, while campus reopened a few weeks ago for in-person classes (and has been leading the nation for positive cases among students for that head start), wife was among a small percentage who were given health-or-age-related exemptions to teach all semester online, so our endless distancing continues only slightly varied from last month and the month before and... our privilege is profound, and the solidarity with everyone working at risk, from grocery store to college is harder to make connections through as everyone's stress bounds back and forth outside of our collective dis-involvement.
Sent off a bunch of emails today to local folks and local politics, pushing through months of anxious delay to say hi and find some ways to connect and act. (Thanks R343L for the kick.) I've maintained my cadence of chatting with virtual and remote friends and family through the months here, but it turns out that has been at the expense of not bringing locals into a steady phone/virtual pattern, even while acknowledging this isn't going away some part of me was still saying "ah, I'll see them soon though".
So why not have a get together in our back yard or at a local park? We're dipping our toes in that with the grandparent's neighbors, and probably overly hesitant, but let's list off my fears that are keeping us so isolated.
- Georgia remains on a slow burn of widespread community transmission. We have just started to decline from our second peak of cases, and with the college our rural county is currently at 1% of total pop infected in the last two weeks.
- Because we chose to include the grandparents in our bubble, we've got three at-risk folks in with us. Being fairly fanatical about not getting this at all still, curbside for all our shopping etc.
- Burned by not being able to articulate shared protective measures - earlier on in the summer I visited a friend here for a drink on the back porch, it was good to see him but jarring to hear he was grocery shopping 3 days a week and was going to visit friends in FL the following week. He asked if he could come over the week he got back from FL and basically I've been weirded out over how much to interrogate folks about their activities.
- Our city parks basically don't have public bathrooms. So it's our house or theirs.
I'd be remiss not to mention that Kenosha nearly broke my spirit this last week. Mostly numb as I stare into the next few months of escalation.
Be well all, I've still got some capacity to care and to carry and you all are on the list!
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