By Phyllis Merriam
Covid Time is something I’ve thought about these past two years, as we enter the third year and ﬁfth wave of the pandemic. (I should say, this pandemic. It will not be the last one.) During covid, I’ve noticed time seems to lag, speed up, or result in confusion or forgetfulness.
Our brains need time to process new information. Familiar information takes less time for the brain to process. New information about covid has changed quickly over time as the virus mutated and new variants emerged and may still emerge. Anxiety makes time pass more quickly. So, it’s hardly surprising that new information takes time to process at the same time it makes us anxious and speeds up time. How confusing.
Some say time is the fourth dimension of reality. Einstein believed time was an illusion. Dychromometria is a cerebellar dysfunction in which a person can’t accurately estimate the amount of time that has passed. Over one year ago now, Trump is still saying his re-election was “stolen” from him. Maybe he’s living in a ﬁfth dimension of reality populated by conspiracy theorists? Covid Time.
After an overcast Friday, the brief sunset lit up the sky with neon hot pink, and then reverted back to its steel grey. Maybe the brief brightness was an alert to the frigid weather forecast for Saturday. I made homemade baked beans Saturday that came out kind of mealy. That’s never happened before. I soaked them over night and thought I’d timed the six hours baking time. Maybe I miscalculated. Covid Time.
Before Christmas, I only knew one couple that got covid. Now that number is over a dozen and counting. Dr. Fauci says because omicron is so contagious almost everyone will get the virus. The White House is mailing millions of adult K95 masks to pharmacies and federal (rural) health centers by the end of January. Masks for children will arrive at some point in the near future. Covid Time.
Cat food and toilet paper have reappeared on grocery shelves. Who hoards these? Are they the same people? Is there a new crafting fad employing toilet paper? Cats like to shred toilet paper. Maybe in revenge, owners eat the cat food. Covid Time. There have been a number of shootings in Wally World’s parking lots in Maine and around the country. What is it about Wally World customers? Covid Time.
The federal government has pulled Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies infusions because it was designed to combat delta – not omicron. GlazoSmithKline’s sotrovimab – the only monoclonal antibodies that target omicron – remains in short supply and unavailable to the general public. So, why did our doctors recommend my husband and I be given Regeneron’s infusions? Covid Time.
There is a small study that seems to indicate middle-aged and the elderly can have functional mobility side eﬀects from the virus. It is not known how long that lasts. I think my husband has this mobility decline after his covid omicron-infection. Today his mobility has improved somewhat. Covid Time.
This frigid, overcast day calls for ABC treats with afternoon tea and coﬀee. I ordered one of their cakes for my husband’s birthday. His party had to be postponed due to the omicron spread. I’m hoping to organize a belated birthday party outdoors when the weather warms. By then, he’ll be half a year older. Covid Time.
This morning’s sunrise was strange and magniﬁcent. As the sun rose, a low formation of impenetrable clouds, like a grey ceiling over The Head of the Bay, lit up with reﬂected ruby light. I was reminded of that old mariner’s adage, “Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” The rest of the day was grey with some spitting snow, as though Mother Nature was saying, “Pitooey!” Dragon Products (known to locals as Dragon Cement) ended its train deliveries of cement from Thomaston along the South End rail spur to their Rockland marine terminal. The company says its prime waterfront of 8.1 acres is not for sale. Safe Harbors must be standing by, drooling. The assessed value of $2,783,000 would be a huge bargain. I will miss waving to the engineers as they passed by. Will they ﬁnd other trains to run in these uncertain times? Will we South Enders ever again hear that melancholy train whistle that tugs at the heart? Maybe someday we can walk out our front door to hop a passenger train to Boston and parts south and west.
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