I wondered what the situation would be if my parents, Gail and Clyde Martin, were alive today. How would they deal with a pandemic?
The more I thought about it, I realized that in the last few years of their lives, they had already adopted Stay at Home behavior. Their pharmacy delivered their prescriptions right to their door. Their grandson worked at Walmart and obligingly brought them groceries from their list. Thank you, Paul. Even though they’d given up gardening and canning a few years earlier, their pantry still held an abundance of home-canned foods to supplement their groceries.
Being in their late eighties, they had already opted to stop driving at the time their cataracts became a problem. Even after Mom had the cataract surgery, the results were so bad that she didn’t feel safe driving. I’m glad that they decided this on their own and did not require intervention from their children. Taking the keys away from the folks is a tough decision for many families.
Their daily lives revolved around their favorite shows and baseball games on television. In between, a short mosey around the yard or relaxing on the porch swing gave them time to observe the activities of their neighbors.
There was always a stack of books on the table next to Dad’s armchair and on the bedside table. The family brought them armloads and boxes of books as well. Some came from yard sales and some from the Book Grinder or Next Chapter Bookstore which sells used books. Many were just pass-along reads from family and then the books were sent along to another family member or given to the library for its book sale.
The hardest part of the Stay at Home decree would have been not having visitors. They looked forward to a daughter dropping by at lunchtime with a meal picked up from Long John Silver or Kentucky Fried Chicken or something homemade. The visitor and Mom and Dad would settle in at the round oak table for a good chat and a shared dinner.
So, I’m figuring that the social distancing would be the hardest part for my parents to cope with during a pandemic such as we are currently experiencing.