Closed Down

A couple weeks ago, they cancelled my daughter’s basketball championships.  Her team was in the state semi-finals and had a good shot at winning it all.  The championships were going to be in a high school gym where maybe fifty people would come to watch her sixth grade Catholic league  team play.  The NBA was still playing then before packed crowds.

I was supposed to speak at a conference in Washington D.C.  about Connecticut’s opioid overdose surveillance system, which I helped set up.  The federal government was going to pay for my trip.  I just had to submit the receipts.  I was a bit worried about the COVID things so I bought insurance on my air flight.  Good thing.  Because the head of UCONN banned university employees from going on out-of state trips.  I had 72 hours to cancel my hotel reservation, but unfortunately, I was between 72 and 48  hours and since I had to reserve the room with my credit card, I got stuck with a night’s fare.  I was a little annoyed because at the time, the UCONN basketball team was still traveling and playing in front of crowds.  

One of my biggest joys is swimming.  I get off work and I go to the pool, and I swim.  Its feels great.  It washes the city’s grime off me and when I get home, I am decompressed, calm, relaxed, not tense and agitated.  Plus, swimming is great for my back.  I have two bulging discs and sometimes have trouble feeling the backs of my legs.  The swimming makes it better.  Lately, the pool had been pretty empty.  Sometimes just me in the eleven lane pool by myself or one or two other people, particularly when I got off work late.  They closed the pool.

They cancelled my daughter’s spring softball season.  Her AAU basketball season is on hold.  What joy I get out of watching her play.

They have a little gym at my hospital.  It’s a five minute walk from my desk.  I go there and I am often the only one.  I ride the bike, I hit the weight machines, even the free weights. Do some stretching on a yoga mat.  Again, great for the back.   I take a quick shower and I’m back at my desk, refreshed and fit.  They closed the gym.

I just went part time on the ambulance after 25 years full time.  I thought I’ll still be able to pick up two, three shifts a week.  Then people stopped going to the hospital.  They’re scared.  With the volume down, they are cutting cars.  No more open shifts.  No more calling in and saying, “Hey you need me?” and hearing, “How fast can you get down here?”  I’m getting maybe one shift a week now and I have to sign up well in advance.

My daughter and I went to a nearby playground yesterday.  The place was deserted.  We were going to shoot some hoop.  Here’s what we found.  They had a wood board over all the hoops.  The park across town where we sometimes shoot just by ourselves, they took the rims off.

Whine.  Whine. Whine.

It’s a new world.  At the hospital, I have to have my temperature taken every morning just to get in the building. They only allow three in the elevator at a time.  I have to wear a mask all day.

But, you know I have to hand to the people making the decisions.  They are doing their best to keep this thing under control.  Doing their best to flatten the curve.  They’ll be days ahead to swim, and play basketball and work out, and watch my daughter play sports.  And I’m sure they’ll be plenty of shifts ahead when the storm hits.

Right now its about saving lives.  Slowing the spread.  Social distancing.  Keeping people safe.

You can’t be against that.

1291 cases in Connecticut, and this is with limited testing.  Hear the drumming.  27 dead.  More to come.

We’re all in this together.

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