Almost two years ago, Bill and I traveled from Mesa, AZ, to Denver, CO, to spend a few days with our grandkids. Since spending winters in AZ, we have often taken a quick trip in March to assuage my homesickness for our kids and grandkids. It’s true that we were hearing noises about something we then called coronavirus, but we weren’t yet taking it too seriously. It didn’t affect us, after all.
While we were there, things began getting worse. We returned to AZ on March 17, and the very next day, the world closed down. We were all under quarantine. Grocery stores were on high alert. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found. Neither was pasta or Ramen noodles or many other things that we were used to be able to buy without a single thought.
You all remember the next year, when we lived in isolated fear, waiting for a vaccine and for things to get better. It was a situation that we wouldn’t have considered possible even a year earlier. What kept us going was the hope that before long, it would all be over.
And, to a large extent, it was. Slowly but surely, we have gotten our lives back. We are peeking out from beneath our masks, we are gathering to worship and to celebrate and to eat someone else’s cooking. But even after almost a full two years, we are still feeling the effects — or the after effects — of COVID.
For reasons I don’t understand because I am not an economist or a sociologist, COVID led to enormous problems with businesses actually being able to find people to employ. Inflation has ballooned in ways we haven’t seen since a peanut farmer was president. We went from worrying about an invisible virus to a very visible lack of supplies. So our grocery shelves are still empty, but for different (if related) reasons. We can’t afford ground beef or gasoline for our cars.
Speaking personally, Jen and Bill and I have wanted to do some remodeling on our AZ home. Specifically, we want to get new floors. We started thinking about this seriously a couple of years ago, and got bids a year ago. We sat down the other day to revisit this idea, and realized how our different world is impacting our little project. Not only are the costs of supplies and labor increasing enormously, it is likely that due to a lack of labor, we will probably be put on a list and by time we get to the top of said list, Cole will be leaving for college.
I exaggerate, but I have to admit that I didn’t think that a full two years after the coronavirus began, we would still be facing issues directly related to that little son of a bitch bat that started it all!