Climbing the Walls - Quarantine in Community- Florence North

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Quarantined in Community
by Florence North

Art Work Titles:
Locked In
Over the Rainbow
Pretty Flowers

I’m not climbing the Walls – yet.

Florence North and Great Grand-daughter

I live in an independent living Senior Residence. Most of us here are over 80 and 3 over 100. I’m 91. I have my own 1-bedroom apartment.  My back door goes out to a lovely plaza with flowers & trees that are taken care of by someone else.  I no longer have a car, so my horizons are slightly limited, but the trade-off is not having to drive. Before quarantine, it was a treat when my daughters came to take me shopping or out to lunch. Before quarantine, we had lots of activities available here from lectures to exercise to art lessons and, especially Bridge. Having activities gave us a reason to get up every morning, get dressed, make breakfast, and get ready to join a class or take a swim. We had trips at least once a week to get us out into the community and our nightly communal dinnertime  was a chance to socialize and be part of a larger group.

So, I’m still not yet climbing the walls, although the Con-Ed blackout for 4 days almost made me lose it. But quarantine did change my life.  All outside activities have been cancelled & my daughters could only come to visit only if we sit out of doors on a nice day. No visitors are allowed, although they say that will change soon.* I do miss seeing friends at dinner as now our dinner, mail, and newspapers are dropped off. There is someone who does our food and drug shopping. He, also, delivers to our door. I do miss food shopping, one of my hobbies.  I go out once a day for my walk and see whoever is sitting outside.  We chit chat through our masks. True conversations are short since many of us have hearing problems and social distancing exacerbates the situation.

I get up each day.  I eat breakfast early so I can eat my lunch early.  My lunch is the dinner from the day before. I like that. Eating early makes it easier for me to digest.  I do not feel the pressure of having to keep to the daily schedule that I had participated in and pushed myself to adhere to.  I can do what I want when I feel like.  I can get up during the night and read. I can sleep later in the morning if I want to.  I eat whenever I want to.  talk on the phone to friends when I want to.  I Use Zoom for talking to grandchildren and their children and to my “Breakfast Club” friends from Arizona.

I do miss my family very much.  everyone getting together. I miss them coming here and I miss going to them.   I especially miss those four 21/2-year-old great grandkids & my very grown up 8-year-old great grand.

Besides phone and zoom communication, I read, books and magazines.  I watch Netflix and, OY, the news. I sit outside and watch the birds come to the feeder. I do some artwork.  Maybe I will get bored with my occupations. I  have already talked to management  about opening the pool on a one person scheduled basis.  I am looking forward to the time  when 10 are allowed in a room and lectures, classes, and exercise returns. I wait for the day that outside people, especially the grandchildren, can come back in  to visit. Meanwhile I have found there are resources on the computer for watching performance, and dance, and current affairs. What would we do without technology?  

My life was limited to an extent before all of this.  I have not found it has changed all that much. Time will tell.  

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“Theatre takes place all the time wherever one is, and art simply facilitates persuading us this is the case”

- John Cage