"New Normal" in 2020

  • June 25, 2020, 10:24 p.m.
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  • Public

I hate that phrase so damn much.

I keep coming here intending to write, but then I read and I note and I log out and forget to say anything. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, I’m not motivated to go back and see what I wrote last time I actually penned an entry.

The library has moved into Phase 2 of reopening. Phase 1 was curbside pickup, where people could reserve books and other materials online and pick them up when they received their notification from us that the items were ready. That was exhausting, the sheer volume of materials coming in and going out, plus educating patrons on how the system worked, made for a steep learning curve for staff.

Two weeks ago we moved into Phase 2, where the building is open but only for limited hours. People are required to wear masks, and we removed all the chairs from the common areas and study tables so there is nowhere for people to camp out and work on projects. We have four computers available for patrons to use, but as we typically have more like twenty there has occasionally been a wait which does not make people happy. But at least it’s something - so far, we’re the only library in the area that’s open at all, though we heard this week that the county libraries are planning to open the first full week of July.

The result of all this is that I am tired. I love the job so much, and I love (most of) the people I work with, but it’s taxing for sure to go back to this chaos after weeks and months of watching webinars at home.

Our school system announced today that they are opening up schools with plans to encourage social distancing and cleanliness measures as much as possible. They are giving parents an option - either in person learning or online, but whatever you choose, you have to commit to it for the entire semester. My kids are DYING to go back to school, and I can’t blame them. I hope the new measures will be enough to keep the students and staff safe, but I feel like we need to let them go - they’ll both be teenagers, and they need time with their peers. Plus they definitely learn better in person than in the virtual environment.

I feel like we’ve been fairly careful so far, but Rob and I are both back at work now. I do wear a face shield at work, and I still wear a mask when I go into a store, but that’s definitely not true of everyone in my state. The numbers are rising in states around us, and I’m sure we can’t be far behind. It’s fucking scary, but I’m not paralyzed with fear like some of my friends - I have friends who live with medically fragile parents or very young children, and they are downright terrified to leave the house.

Speaking of states with rising numbers, we’re going to Florida next week for my sister’s wedding. It’s going to be a small affair, but it’s important to me to be there for her. Also, I’m officiating - I got ordained online a few years ago to do a friend’s wedding, and my sister was really happy when I offered to do it for them too. We’ll be as careful as we can, but I still wonder about the risk. Life goes on, though, and I would regret it (and probably badly damage my relationship with my sister) if we didn’t go.

I hate the anxiety this illness has inspired in everyone. I worry that some people don’t take it seriously enough, and then I worry that some people will have a really difficult time ever believing the crisis is over, or at least manageable.

Also, fuck election years. I wish we could just vote and be done with it, rather than dealing with the next four months of campaign ads and other nonsense. More stress that I don’t need.

Enough. I need to go to bed. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Calicakes June 26, 2020

Where in FL are you going? I was really surprised when we were in Marco/Naples. So many people without masks in Publix and other stores. I wore my mask everywhere and we only ate one breakfast in a restaurant( we sat outside at 8am on a Sunday) and one lunch on our way to the airport. I was excited to go to FL to eat out and act normal, but once we got there, It felt weird. We ate lunch out the other day, we wore our masks into the restaurant, and they had a lot of distance between tables. We were in and out pretty fast. Anyway, I can't imagine how our libraries will do it here. Our libraries are havens for the homeless.

Honor June 26, 2020

We don’t have it but we’re opening the island to places that do. As soon as we do I’m not taking my kid anywhere, so I’m enjoying these last couple of weeks virus-free. The uncertainty is definitely what gets me.

aglow July 05, 2020

ALL of this. <3

How was your trip?! How was officiating?!

DE_mkately July 15, 2020

I'm not sure where you're from- I'm in NJ and we are one of the ONLY states doing well but I see the contagion number creeping up and we haven't opened up indoor dining or anything so I think we will go up like the other states eventually. Even here in a very BLUE state, there are people fighting the mask wearing, I cannot imagine what it was like in Florida. I wouldn't have gone out at all. We're skipping a family party next weekend because they don't believe in the virus so we knew we either wouldn't be able to keep distance or we'd be ostracized and I see them living regular life and seeing all kinds of people without masks on, so I'm not willing to risk it. It's crazy. I feel like if everyone would just go out and wear the masks even around people they know, I wouldn't be anxious about going literally anywhere!

Love that you work at the library, I am a frequent patron at mine and admit sometimes I wish I had done that instead of the masters i chose. I advise students, and right now I can't think of any population I'd rather work with less. lol. They're germy just like little kids but a higher target group for the virus.

Adira DE_mkately ⋅ July 15, 2020

I'm just outside of Atlanta, so our numbers aren't great but much better than Florida. I agree, I wish people would just wear masks and it would be so much better! I hate election years, but the politicizing of the mask issue has just been too much for me this year.

DE_mkately Adira ⋅ July 15, 2020

it's just totally insane how a virus became a political issue... it just shouldn't be. you listen to epidemiologists and you do what you to prevent the spread and stay healthy, it's so simple! i'm glad it's not as bad as florida!

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