Coronavirus Diaries: Week Fifteen

June 6

The zoo opened this weekend to members–that’s us. There were timed entries, and the buildings would still be closed, but the outside–where a majority of the animals are–would be available to roam. It seemed rather low risk, and it seemed like the zoo was taking precautions, so we signed up for 10am tickets and went out on our first large-gathering outing since March.

We took our masks, but neither Amelia nor I wore ours because we were out in the open and when we arrived, there was plenty of room to spread out from others. But quickly the outside spaces started to get crowded. While we watched the otters slide through the water, we stood on a green dot painted on the pavement, and another family stood on a green dot painted 6 feet away, but the widths of our respective families were so large that my shoulder nearly touched the other family’s dad’s shoulder.

The concept of taking turns at the zoo has always been an elusive concept. Animals aren’t always moving or aren’t always up close, so when they are, kids and parents alike rush to the glass or the fence to get a view. A virus doesn’t take away that instinct, apparently. When we visited the new meerkat exhibit, and the tiny animals popped sporadically from their holes, kids jumped up to the glass; hot hand prints left behind on the glass. I felt my chest seizing up, all the potential germs swarming around the spectators. I put Amelia and my masks on.

We were only there about an hour before the crowds got too thick to consistently keep 6 feet between us and other families. So though the weather was perfect and Amelia was having fun, we called it quits early, no longer feeling like we were safe.

June 8

First day back at work in almost three months. I was on my feet for nine hours, and I felt it by the end of the night.

Another thing I found uncomfortable: mask wearing for nine hours. My face felt moist from my breath, yet I could feel my lips chapping.

Nothing has been to get us ready for patrons coming into the building. Even though we have three weeks before that happens, it would have felt more reassuring to see measures being taken to keep us safe. Instead, it feels as though we’re responsible for looking out for ourselves.

It was an exhausting day, both physically and emotionally. I stopped for ice cream on my way home.

June 9

JK Rowling has tweeted some offensive things about trans people lately.

With everything going on in the world today, with it being Pride month, I have to ask WHY. WHY would she be so hurtful when so many people are hurting already?

JK Rowling thinks that allowing trans women in cis women spaces takes away from the experience of being a cis woman, but it doesn’t. Trans women have to face just as much discrimination as cis women–more in most cases.

Why is she trying to be exclusive when right now what we need more than anything is unity? Right now what we need more than anything is to care for our neighbors, keep their best interest in mind. But instead of tearing down walls, she’s building them.

June 10

I ate red onions for dinner, and then went to work and wore my mask for three hours. Big mistake.

June 12

We’ve been responsible at work this week. Everyone has been wearing masks nonstop. Everyone has been taking their lunches at different times. Everyone has been standing 6 feet apart when we gather for meetings.

Not that I’m worried about my coworkers. They are all socially minded people (HELLO! OUR JOB IS IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY), so I know they’ve been responsible during this time. It’s really the patrons coming back in a couple of weeks that has most of us worried.

But then I got an email from HR saying two people in our library system have been told to quarantine themselves due to Covid. So maybe being around my coworkers isn’t as safe as I thought it was.