Another week, another paycheck. Time to enjoy the weekend.
That pretty tells you how exciting my life is right now. But, hey, at least I am back to work and not having to worry about losing that pandemic unemployment relief, like so many others. There are businesses that haven’t yet reopened – like gyms and movie theaters – and many that have closed completely because they simply couldn’t withstand the losses incurred during shutdown. Most larger restaurants survived, but took a tremendous hit; many of the smaller ones gave up. Many small businesses didn’t survive. For instance, the hair salon I went to for over 35 years is now shuttered and the building is up for sale. I have no idea where my favorite hair stylist has gone; hopefully, he simply retired and is enjoying a simpler life.
Like everyone else, I enjoyed that extra $600 a week from the federal government when I, too, was on COVID unemployment. I debated the wisdom of returning to work when the lockdown was lifted, not only because I’m in a high-risk category for the virus, but also because with that extra $600 a week I was bringing in more dough than I ever did working. My theory at that time, however, was that with so many people out of work, it would be really easy for my boss to replace me if I opted to stay home. In addition, since I was furloughed due to the mandated lockdown, and not because I was claiming my high-risk status, not returning to work when asked to do so likely would have resulted in losing my eligibility for unemployment anyway.
I’m glad I made the “right” decision – my current income is what it was before the lockdown, and I don’t have to fret about losing some of it due to Washington politics.
The upside (if there is any) is that there is no longer a “rush hour” – while traffic has picked up a bit over the last few weeks, it’s nowhere near as hectic as it once was. Many people are working from home; others aren’t working at all. While many unemployed people now have all the time in the world to go wherever and whenever they want, few have the money to do so.
Since all summer events, like fairs and sporting events, have been cancelled, people are finding things to do at home, enjoying their own back yards, hiking and biking, or going to public parks.
Which, of course, has resulted in a shortage of any items having to do with outdoor recreation, at-home entertainment, or home improvement. You’ve all read about my newly purchased camp chair (which is very, very comfy, by the way), which I had to buy online because I couldn’t find one locally. Hubby recently considered buying a bicycle, and there were none to be found. A neighbor told me they wanted to put a small deck in their back yard, but couldn’t find any lumber. While toilet paper and paper towels have been restocked, it’s still a constant struggle to find cleaning and/or sanitizing products. I went to the store yesterday, and the entire cleaning/household products aisle was completely empty.
Still, life goes on. Four days a week, I get up, go to work, come home. After taking Puppy Cody for her short evening walk, the remaining hours are spent in mundane activities like playing videogames or watching TV. The highlight of the day is that evening glass of wine. I consider myself lucky that my worst problem is a bit of boredom.
At least I don’t lounge around all the time waiting for someone to come entertain me, like this “Forest Monster” which I spotted at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY:
Looks to me like he has a bit of a beer belly; I swear I can see a belly button! And I hope that’s an arm and a hand sticking up – surely Forest Monsters aren’t into pornography?
If he’s not sleeping off a wild time, perhaps he’s lying in wait to eat some poor unsuspecting park visitor – like the fat old lady with the camera who just set up that humungous blue camp chair.
May the weather be beautiful wherever you are, and may you all stay healthy and safe.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio, except where noted