Leisure time in the age of Covid-19 has definitely taken on a different meaning from the not so long ago past. Sometimes it seems we have been living in a time warp forever. Sometimes it seems only briefly. Then, often it appears we are walking in some sort of dream – or nightmare depending on one’s perspective and that it is not really happening at all.
I remember my Aunt Fran’s consciousness of danger in surroundings. It was only recently I realized she lived through another time – the Spanish flu – when she was a small child and recognize the effect it must have had on her. She wanted us to be insulated with a protective shell and with good reason.
Today I am surprisingly struck by gratitude for things we rarely noticed before. Living in Chester County, Pennsylvania for more than 30 years I never realized the beauty of the nature trails. I was always working and “did not have time.” Now there is some more time or it seems so.
Being well and knowing that many people I care about are still well is a great source of relief and gratitude. Still, I know it is not true for many others or even for some of my family, friends or clients. I do not know whether we will be able to express to people who are born later and did not live through this time what effect it has had on us or even express it to ourselves since we might not realize the effect, having lived through it. Anxiety, worry, restlessness, grief can be constant companions that come alongside gratefulness and appreciation. There is a reason why people are birdwatching in parks or even in our own backyards. There is also the realization that others suffer in a way we did not have to and we need to respond and help and we often do – or at least try to. There is no road map or directions manual for this time.
I miss movies. I confess. They had just gotten to the point where they were amazingly comfortable as we leaned back in our chairs and forgot our surroundings. Movies were open to everyone and I selfishly believe it is just not the same to sit in a chair at home.
I want to know that the world is going to be better after this and that people and businesses will come back. I also especially want to know that those who are older, frail, and living under circumstances and in places where they are more prone to illness or death will not have to continue to live in fear. I want people to come together from every racial, religious, ethnic and political background and recognize truth for what it is and practice truth – always and everywhere and recognize that truth is paramount and it cannot be overcome by loose words and loose connections with facts. I want professionals to be honored and recognized for what they do and know and want people who know what they are doing to be working in their own fields and doing well.
I recognize that, when the fear is over or lessened either or both because a vaccine is developed or social distancing and masks and protective measures have persisted and worked, the world that I want will still wait to be made. We have not done our best job of making it. The problems we have now are only superimposed on the problems we also had a few months ago. Remember the opioid crisis, racism, the environment and global warming? Remember great inequities?
My daughter and I started to ride around during these times. It is comforting to ride – especially when you can no longer go to the movies. We get a chance to talk about anything. I recommend great conversation highly – with children, adult children, parents, grandparents, friends and new friends – maybe someone not like yourself. It can be a great stress reliever. It just needs to be done in a friendly spirit.
If I am a utopian, it is better than being a dystopian. Stay safe, be well and share it!
Esquire, Colliton Law Associates, P.C. Janet Colliton has practiced law for over 38 years, 37 of them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her practice, Colliton Law Associates, PC, is limited to elder law, Medicaid, including advice, applications and appeals, and other benefits planning including Veterans benefits, life care and special needs planning, guardianships, retirement, and estate planning and administration.