Uncharted Territories – New Hobby & COVID-19 Hysteria

I don’t really know where to start. What is happening?!?! The beginning of this month was like any other. I was spending my free time going shopping at the thrift store, supported a friend’s new animal rescue, finally started planning Aaron and I’s big Oktoberfest trip for the fall and bought the most adorable pink glitter roller skates (more on my skating trials and tribulations later). Now the only news is the update on the COVID-19 infected numbers and what businesses have closed for the foreseeable future. You can’t help but talk about it. 
Things I want to remember once this is over and life returns to normal: 
– The emptiness of the grocery store. People are limited to two items of the same likeness. i.e You want juice? You can only have two. Doesn’t matter what brand or flavor. No bread. The strangest cuts of meat are available; Ox tail, thin slivers of beef, livers, etc. No toilet paper, anywhere. No paper products to speak of actually. 
– Social Distancing. If your place of work is closed or you can work from home or are not considered essential staff; you are self quarantining. Friends are face-timing rather than meeting up. If you’re a rebel or have to work (like I do) you must stay 6 ft (1.8 meters) apart from one another. The 6 ft rule I’m okay with. I’m not a huger or a person who likes to be touched in general. I’m like a mean fluffy cat you knew as a kid that hid in the corner hissing if you came to close. This is a rule I’ll be keeping well after we make it though the virus pandemic.  
– All large events have been cancelled or postponed. SXSW cancelled. NBA season cancelled. Every concert or music festival has been postponed. And worst of all, the 2020 Olympics have been reschedule for next year. Basically, if you and ten friends can’t sit 6 ft apart, its cancelled. 
– Schools are closed. Its like every kids dream, until they realize they are stuck with their parents, who are also working from home. I hope you know your new bosses coffee order kiddo, because you’re now an unpaid intern. I know you’re only 10 but welcome to the real world.  Classes have been moved to online only and graduations have been cancelled. College kids have been asked to move out of their dorms and return home. 
– How quickly people start to panic. If you cough people look at you like you are carrying the plague. It doesn’t help that the pollen count has been through the roof. Plans are in place to quarantine airplanes and cruise ships if a passenger is believed to or confirmed to have the symptoms. People have been removed from airplanes simply because they coughed. 
Anyways, days before everyone when into hiding and avoiding interaction with one another, I bought a pair of roller skates. This was 100% a peer pressure / impulse purchase. All my friend were doing it, so I did it. To be fair, this same group of friends I exercise with, so I convinced myself in the name of physical fitness I was going to buy the skates. 
While these are the pink glitter roller skates of my dreams; they have tried to kill me every time I put them on. On my first attempt at outdoor skating I quickly learned the earth is not flat (don’t come for me Flat Earthers). Pro tip, skating outside is not the same as the roller rink. Don’t do what I did and hall ass down a paved path thinking you are invincible. You’ll end up tripping over the smallest bump in the pavement; falling flat on your stomach covered in pollen. 
The first day I chalked up to inexperience. So I went home watched some YouTube videos and set out the next day to try again. Not only did I not do any better this day, I was almost severely hurt. Hills are bad. Hill are also extremely dangerous when you haven’t fully learned how to stop or even slow down. Wearing full protective gear may give you elementary school nerd vibes but they are worth every cent. 
As beaches have closed it is becoming more difficult to find places to park to go skating. My goals for the next few weeks is to better learn the basics like stopping, being able to turn in a circle and not fall down (as much). As the news is focusing on the virus it can become overwhelming.  Going outside for a walk or a skate has helped me decompress. I’m hoping we will come out of this crazy time soon. In the meantime follow the CDC recommendations: wash your hands and avoid close contact with people. Stay safe. We will get thought this. 

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