Finally, a whiff of COVID freedom

Now that the COVID-19 crisis crack in the door has been pushed open somewhat, many of us may have a bit of trouble squeezing through, on account of all those snacks we’ve been having during all those TV binging days stuck at home.

But at least during that time our clever, sarcastic, cynical and amusing internet wags have often kept us smiling when we felt like crying.

To wit: “I washed my hands so many times, I found the answers to my eighth grade social studies test.”

And now, if we’re very careful, this social isolation scenario might start to ease whatever homebound tension we may be experiencing lately.

To wit: “The wife yelled from upstairs and asked, ‘Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body, like someone’s got a voodoo doll of you and they are stabbing it?’”

“Sounding concerned, the husband replied, ‘No…’”

“She responded, ‘How about now?’”

So I was wondering to myself if there was any other time I was stuck for a long time, and then finally became free. But, of course, there’s been nothing like this pandemic, epidemic or any other emic in recent world history.

But I do remember the excruciating anticipation that came with a bunch of us ruffians standing around for hours, weeks and months banging on sheet of plywood in a chilly garage.

Staying basically at home for all this time gets you thinking about things like that. It does all kinds of odd things.

To wit: “This quarantine has me realizing why my dog gets so excited about something moving outside, going for walks or car rides. I think I just barked at a squirrel.”

Way back before COVID-19, or even COVID-1 or 2, a bunch of us hooligans signed up to be in the first marching band in town.

Some of us gravitated toward those sparkling golden drums they showed us on recruitment day. Little did we know that for what seemed like 100 years, we didn’t even get to see those shining drums again.

We had to stand around a 4×8 sheet of plywood and tap away with drumsticks. Something about “learning how to play” and “rudiments.”

We seemed stuck in our drum teacher’s garage forever. Kind of like today’s social isolation.

To wit: “If you see my kids locked outside today, mind your own business. We are having a fire drill. #HomeSchool.”

But eventually, for us so-called drummers, the plywood wore out, the garage door finally rattled open, and the sun shone in the form of those perfect, untouchable golden drums.

We finally got to strap those babies on and join the brass section of the band and hit the practise parking lot, where we stumbled around, attempting to march and play at the same time. This lasted another 100 years.

Kind of similar to what it’s been like lately, stuck at home.

To wit: “Thoughts and prayers going out to all the men who’ve spend months telling the wife, ‘I’ll do that when I have the time.’”

Well, back then, the time finally came when the closed doors of isolation flew fully open and we proud members of The Optimist Drum and Bugle Band strutted into a shiny new world of parades and celebration of something that occasionally sounded like music and looked like marching.

And it felt like it was all worth it. It felt like freedom and it felt good.

And soon, maybe, just maybe, we’ll feel like we’re all in a celebration parade – out there, outside of the house.

There remains many burning questions, however.

To wit: “Does anyone know if we can take showers yet, or should we just keep washing our hands?”

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.

Coronavirus

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