It has been over a year and though you can find toilet paper in the grocery again, it took forever to get the garden seeds that I ordered and didn’t buy locally because of the desired varieties.
A year ago today, my post on social media was about having been totally sequestered for a month and making our first foray into town for supplies from the Natural Food Store before they began doing curbside pick up, and getting drive thru lunch. I read fear in that post as it also contained information about folks knowingly going to work or about their routines after testing positive. We are now fully vaccinated and though I will go in the Natural Food Store, Grocer, or feed store, I make my visits quick and masked and still note those that refuse to wear a mask or wear it incorrectly.
I have gardened most of my adult life to some degree or another, having the largest most productive one here on the farm that provides most of our green vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, fruit for jams, garlic, onions, and cucumbers for pickles. What I don’t grow, I purchase from the local organic farmer’s at the Farmer’s Market, but so many people who never gardened before, or raised chickens before, are doing so now. This has been a boon and a headache for those businesses that sell related product, thus the seed delays and unavailability. Yesterday, I went to the organic feed and garden supply store to get floating row cover as they are the only one in the area that carries it, and got their last 9 feet. Barely enough to cover the part of the bed that holds my brassicas. They also carry long, thin, flexible fiberglass poles for making the supporting hoops and as the ones I bought many years ago had deteriorated to the point that gloves were necessary to prevent fiberglass splinters, I purchased 6 new ones. If we have another frost, I will use them to create the hoop house or igloo shaped house over the 4 x 4 beds to cover with plastic or an old sheet.
I still have gallon jars of staple dry foods that we filled prior to lock down last year and have kept them filled in case it happens again. Though I let them get empty or nearly so before refilling now, I was buying those items whenever they were available for the first half of last year.
So far, chicken and chick feed have been available, and necessary until the hens and chicks can all be free ranging again and feed used as a supplement. Chicks at Rural King and Tractor Supply were selling out within 24 hours of arrival, where three years ago, I bought some that were already beginning to feather, they had been in the store for more than a week.
The social isolation has made so many people wary of any interaction. It is pleasant when you can have a passing acknowledgement or a wave as smiles are hidden.
As a hearing impaired adult, the masks have made conversations with clerks difficult and I often have to ask them to repeat or speak up. I never realized how much conversation context I obtained from reading lips and facial expression. I am due for a hearing aid check up, a hearing test, and I suspect a second hearing aid.
As family members get vaccinated, we look forward to seeing them again. Having daughter and her children nearby has been a bonus as we visited on porches, masked until vaccines were in place, and can now have dinner together or hike together unmasked.
Hopefully, the lessons learned through this will help if and when another virus emerges or this one continues to mutate into variants with unknown effects. If the conspiracy theorist and vaccine deniers will just stop their nonsence and getting a higher percentage of the population vaccinated, life might resume a new normal.