Another day, another one mile march away from home and then straight back again, woot. At least it’s sunny! But, pollen. By evening my eyes are inevitably burning, my throat is scratchy, I’m drop onto the floor exhausted, and even though I haven’t been within 2 meters of another human being other than Spouse since my last foray to the grocery store nine days ago, I’m all oh my god I’ve got it. Then I have to decide if it is a relief to get it out of the way, because, then, when I’m well again, I can gallivant around footloose and fancy free, without worrying that I might accidentally kill someone by infecting them. Then I tell myself, no, no, no. I only have one goal right now, and that’s not to spend my upcoming 50th birthday on a ventilator.
Anyway, I took yesterday’s walk in the afternoon because it was too butt cold in the morning. Rudy did his usual, after having spent the whole day out in the backyard, he waited until we were just too far away from home (and, more to the point, the trashcan) to turn around and carry a plastic bag home then start the walk over from scratch to poop. Sigh…. But at least there is a trash container by the school bus stop, and that wasn’t too far away, so, hah, take that, Rudolph! I didn’t have to walk the greater part of two miles with a bag of your warm poop danging from my fingers.
But shortly after that, I found I was having to drag Ru-Ru along because about 100 meters behind us was a woman walking a bike with some sort of little baby trailer attached to it and next to her was a white toy poodle. And, you know, how awkward, bumping into another dog walker in the time of social distancing. So I spent ten minutes dragging Rudy along by the leash and at every junction I thought, oh, maybe she’ll turn here, but, nope, the lady and her dog just kept following us.
Eventually, I just gave up and stopped and made Ru-Ru sit until they passed us. And it wasn’t a baby trailer. It was a little dog trailer. How totally cool is that?! So when little doggy legs get all worn out, you can stow the little beast inside, hop on your bike, and take it for a ride! If you were super cool, you’d let it wear Ray-Bans and stick its head (and tongue) out the window and you speed along. (Are Ray-Bans still cool? Or does this just make me sound old and out of it?)
On our way back home, we were overtaken by a woman out for a walk and clearly excited about the prospect of talking to someone. She was one of those people (or the children of one of those people) who’d come to German from Italy as a guest worker after the war and then never left. She thought my accent was super cute, which I thought was super devastating, because I like to think I don’t have one, because I know exactly how horrid native English speakers speaking German sound. I got to hear all about how a couple of years ago she and her husband were on vacation in Mallorca (nearly 4 million Germans go on vacation there every year) and he had a heart attack, which was why she was glad that the weren’t on vacation there right now, like they were supposed to be. Not that the healthcare there was bad or anything like that, just, how stressful to be stuck in a major crisis someplace where you don’t live and don’t speak the language and don’t know anyone.
Then we shared a shudder at the carnage that will cut through India and Bangladesh when the virus goes viral there. They’re such crowded places! It’s hard to imagine any health system failing to collapse under the strain that is headed there way.
After that, I ran into my across the street neighbor and her nearly 90 year old mother who still goes out for lots of short walks every day. The neighbor’s husband is in Brazil and was too cheap to spend the extra 1000 euros for an early flight home. So he’s planning to hang out as planned until his visa runs out at the end of April. Presuming that flights will have started back up again by then. At least he owns a house down there and has good friends and there are lots of people there who speak German (and no, not because they are all Nazis who escaped there after the war; the settlements are older than that). But, still, in his shoes I would have totally paid to change my ticket. It’s not like he doesn’t have the money.
There was a really interesting article on the npr website this morning, an interview with the guy who wrote World War Z, about how the US could have totally nailed their response to the pandemic and I don’t mean that in an ironic way. Here’s a guy who has definitely done his research and can speak about it incredibly expressively.
But, anyway, I’m getting a bit bored with not going anywhere. I’d like life to go back to normal now, please!