Blog Series: The New Normal With COVID19. Day 4 of “Social Distancing”

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I have to admit, this has been the longest 4 days of my life in awhile. I still am heading into work – as there are only two of us in the office – the Pastor and me (administrative assistant). Our church building is closed, but church is still happening outside our walls. We will have our first online worship experience this Sunday. Last Sunday, we held our first online Bible Study for the first time, which went well, I believe. Our pastor is bringing us a message and chatting with us every evening too. It is wonderful that he has been doing that, trying to stay connected to us all.

Today at work, I did what some may think is mundane, but in a way, it was quite comforting. I normally spend my days in the church office. Today, I santized door handles and our kitchen tables and such in our Fellowship Hall. Wiping down tables and doing custodial stuff calmed me in a way that was very much needed. There wasn’t much thinking to it, and it was easy to just go about my task. Right now, more than ever, I welcome “mundane” work such as that…

Our small town has become quieter than normal. It usually is quiet this time of year with it still being chilly and not quite tourist season yet. But our downtown Vine Street that usually looks like a mini New York City has grown quiet except for mornings for those who are still heading to work or any delivery trucks that are driving through. The rest of the day, it was empty and quiet. Then it grows busy again when people are returning home.  Some still get out to go to our grocery store that is open or to grab take out at the restaurants that are offering it. Our Dollar General and gas station is still open. But the traffic has died down. I am so thankful to hear the birds sing. It is one of the sounds that bring me normalcy.

At home, I am looking for mundane tasks. I have projects that need completed and I am going to do my best to do those. I am finding it difficult to focus on things at the moment with my mind wandering about this whole situation. I know that it will eventually end, but it is such an unusual circumstance that I have not lived through before like so many others in our world.

Today I made the decision to no longer go into grocery stores. I will only go to work, come home and go on walks. The meetings that I cover for the newspaper are small with very few people. I made this decision because I have a few health conditions that could jeopardize me if I got this virus. I have asthma, diabetes and fibromyalgia, so I have to be extra cautious. Thankfully, my boyfriend will do the shopping that is needed and he has promised he would wash his hands very well upon returning home. I will order other things that we need online.

Some of the larger grocery stores have shortened their hours more and allowed for separate shopping times for the elderly, as COVID19 would be deadly to them with their lower immune systems. Some have begun to instate rations, only allowing families to take two of certain essential items. This is a good thing with so many who still continue to hoard food and supplies.

And just recently in the news, the state of California has been ordered to be on lockdown… Millions of people will have to do “shelter in place.” They can still go to the grocery store, pharmacy, bank and dr appointments and such or go on walks… But everything that is “non-essential” has been closed… They have over 900 cases in that state… and they are suspecting more to come….

I still can’t help but feel like I am living in an alternate reality where things just drastically changed so quickly. I am already missing people I haven’t seen in awhile and I am really needing a good discussion…. I am missing people from church and I am missing seeing other friends and family members. And this was only day 4….

Published by Ariana R. Cherry

“Within the depths of our mind, we are battling the duel of light and darkness…good and evil…love and hate…” Between Light and Darkness is Ariana’s most recent collection of poetry… Cherry’s frequent message she delivers throughout her work is, “The journey through the darkness, back into the light.” Her hope is to let others know that they won’t be in that place of darkness for long – that they indeed can reach the light once again…She also wants her readers to know – that – it is okay if they find themselves in that bleak blackness…Sometimes we feel guilty for going to that dark place – but it is necessary to conquer the demons that battle our souls…. Other books that Cherry has written include "Only If" and "Twisted Paths Poetry." Her epic tale, “Only If,” won the “Reader’s Favorite Award” and a 5 star review…and her collection, “Twisted Paths Poetry,” received a 5 star review from Realistic Poetry International. She has been writing ever since she was a child. Some of her inspirations include Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, Stephen King, Emily Dickinson, Christopher Pike and Shel Silverstein. Ariana writes a variety of genres: inspirational, humorous and horror – although writing horror is one of her favorites…. She was 12 years old when she read Poe for the very first time – which inspired her epic poetry tale, “Only If.“ During other parts of her free time, she enjoys taking photos and creating art. Her “day-jobs” include working as a church administrative aide and reporting for a local newspaper.

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