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When Will We Feel Safe?

May 15, 2020

I’ve spent a great deal of the last two months with Jamie and Claire of Outlander, in Scotland, then America in the 1700’s. When Corona virus stops being a scourge, I’m heading to Scotland because it’s beautiful and if even a fraction of the men are as handsome as the actor who plays Jamie Fraser, I’ll be very happy sightseeing.

I’m a sucker for shows that take place in Great Britain, especially period pieces with men in riding boots and women in suffocating corsets. There’s a lot of gratuitous sex, raping, pillaging, and violence in Outlander, but once you get past that, it’s mostly a love story. Maybe I find period pieces so interesting because no one ever says exactly what’s on their mind, for fear of impropriety, which is the exact opposite of how my mom approached things.

If couches could scream, “Save me!” This one would!

My couch potato status (see evidence on left) is proof I’m totally comfortable with this whole staying at home business, but I’m starting to branch out. I’ve now gotten together with one friend, socially distancing, of course. My son and I got together to make homemade Carbonara pasta on Mother’s Day and have learned to hug from behind, with our elbows, and eat on the front porch, six feet apart. We’ve gotten a little sloppy, though, forgot the masks a few times inside, so we’ll have to be more careful.

It’s probably because Corona Virus isn’t as scary for me now as it was. I’m hearing that from a lot of people. This is probably the worst possible thing because when people are afraid, they behave. When they’re not they take stupid chances. I still wear my mask when I’m out, and keep washing my hands. I haven’t eaten out in months and probably won’t. But I’m not running to the beach any time soon or flying anywhere yet.

What are you doing? Are you venturing out yet? Do you feel safe? Please take a second to tell me because I wonder whether you feel like I do.

I wonder when we’ll feel safe doing all the things we used to? What will the first concert be like? Will anyone go? Will people sit six feet apart? It feels so alien to me to face illness like this and feel so unsafe. Incurable sickness has always happened in third world countries, not here. I always thought we were so advanced, but Corona Virus has really leveled things.

So, what’s next? Will it become like the flu, with a new strain every year we have to be inoculated against? Or will it fade away? Will it be another hundred years before the next pandemic, or will it be sooner? Will we ever go back to the way things were, or will we like less traffic, less polluted air and being able to work from home so much that we change things? And will I even have a job in a few months? I’m trying not to stress out over things I can’t control, but it’s a little unsettling.

Especially because the next season of Outlander is delayed due to stinking Corona Virus.

  • Reply
    EmilyAnn Frances
    May 16, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Fran. I am glad you found a series to escape into. I retreated into the library of books Mom left me. I will blog about that adventure in a day or two. I am returning to work within the next 2 weeks. I am very dazed. We are up for an audit in early June and there is already a sense of stress building up in me that is hard to shake. I cannot see myself walking in and picking up so quickly where I left off and then having that audit! Spending weeks considering my own mortality and actually working out a plan for my estate will never leave me.

    I hope we can live saner lives. Lives without the rush-crush-phone and laptop screen in your face all the time-multi-tasking brain drain life can be if you let tech take over.

    I had a tantrum yesterday, screaming out of the screen door to my terrace. A guy kept racing his motorcycle around the block at full blast. My nerves could not take it after weeks of quiet, birdsong and actually hearing the wind blow in the trees.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 19, 2020 at 8:46 am

      Emily Ann! I totally get it and agree. I have so loved the quiet in my neighborhood, but now the traffic is increasing and the trash is everywhere and it’s pretty frustrating. Maybe situations like this will force us to re-think our lives – and make changes for the better when it comes to work or life – if that’s something that’s even possible. With all the dire unemployment news, it’s worrisome for sure. I’m glad you have that job to go back to , or maybe a better one soon. I’m trying to turn this time into time I work on my personal projects and writing. My self discipline is something I have to keep working on – it does not come naturally.

      • EmilyAnn Frances
        May 19, 2020 at 4:50 pm

        Fran, yes, keeping that self-discipline going is a challenge. Your writing and humor are superb, as is your flair with food. I wish you success with your creative projects. Perhaps one will lead you to a new source of income.

  • Reply
    Beverly Cieply
    May 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Fran! I love hearing your voice in my head as I read. =) In response to your question: Yes, we feel safe, but remaining careful. “Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.” That is the advice of our 71-year-old PCP. He said the chances of acquiring this virus through the air from a passer-by in a grocery store are minuscule.
    I heard the same thing confirmed by a doctor in NYC working at the time with all COVID patients. He said the virus is transmitted from the hands to the face (mouth, nose, eyes). That has been our “flu shot” for years, anyway, so hearing this from two trusted sources made us feel better about things.
    I don’t think masks we wear do much good, but I wear one when I go in stores so people don’t freak out.

    Sometimes this feels like we are living in a bad movie. People are robotic and so skittish now in public.
    I’ve been practicing smiling with my eyes above the mask and acting as normal as possible. “Hey, do you know where the bread crumbs are?” To the workers: “Thank you for taking such good care of us. Are you doing o.k.?”

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my Uncle Merle, my mom’s baby brother, lately. He passed away in 2008 after a long battle with stupid cancer. He was the kindest, jolliest man I believe I ever knew. Once, when he was nearing the end of his fight, he joined some of us family members for lunch at a local restaurant. He and his wife came a bit late after his oncologist appointment. All eyes were upon him as they walked to our table, waiting anxiously for an update. He grinned at us and said in his slow, kinda country/redneck drawl: “Well…. they told me I’m going to live ’til I die!” And he did. He really lived. That’s what I decided to do, too.

    Take care, Fran, and God bless! <3

  • Reply
    Emil Mitchell
    May 15, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Stay well stay safe would be my comment to all, do what you must but do not give up on yourself, this too will pass!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 15, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      You’re right Emil. I have to stay diligent. Just heard that my local grocery might have had someone ill there. Eeek.

  • Reply
    Jane Jacobs
    May 15, 2020 at 8:32 am

    I share the same doubts and wondering/wanderings as you. Will there be a job to return to? Do I even want to be an actor if it means performing for video sharing or the isolation of self-directing, self-recording, self-producing all audio product in the future? How relaxed vs. OCD do we need to be? For me, I do not venture into public without a mask and I cringe and rage at those who do. I have not comforted my heart with the embrace of friends for at least 2 months. I am devastated by the lack of sharing a smile. But in my heart I know that if we relax too soon, too much, we are dooming our recovery and survival. (And unlike you… I am still hamstrung by the Kitchen Remodel from Hell (11 months into a 4 month project) with no kitchen in which to create any Foods of Comfort….)

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      May 15, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      Wow Jane, no kitchen would do me in. I’m impressed at your resilience! Stay strong. I agree, we can’t relax too soon, so I have to fight my urges to get too comfy. And I agree, I am always smiling and waving, with much less response than I used to get. It’s so lonely to feel that way. Hang in there, we’ll get through it together/apart!

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