Opening Up

New York City is a doing a “Phase 1” opening today, which means construction can start up again and subway service is back to normal and stores can open for pickup/delivery only. Doesn’t make much of a difference to me, except I was able to drop off dry cleaning this weekend for the first time. (we didn’t have much)

Last week I went into Manhattan for the first time in a while for a dentist appointment, riding the subway. I wasn’t particularly freaked out, but I got some strong reactions from my FB post about it. Look, I’ve been going out in public pretty much every day, and social distancing and using a mask when I can’t and being careful about the handwashing. This was just more of the same – the subway cars are literally being disinfected every night, the cars were empty enough that you could social-distance (and masks are required), and New Yorkers know to touch anything as little as possible and wash hands anyway. Didn’t seem to me like a big deal, but let’s check in again in three weeks.

I realize that I may be inappropriately blase about this. C only gets out a couple of times a week, and clearly worries about it when he does. There are definitely people who try to never leave their house at all. I’ll be visiting my dad in a week or so, and there’s an element of danger there (for both of us, I guess) and news reports are that the numbers are ‘ticking up in North Carolina’, which is making C skittish about going. But I looked at the actual numbers in Durham County, and of course they’re nowhere near what they are here at home, and in any case, I will still be social-distancing and wearing a mask and all that – and driving, too (normally, I’d fly).

It reminds me of my early 20’s, when I was newly out and dating and AIDS still had no cocktail treatment, although it was clear how to avoid getting it. Partners had varying levels of ‘safe’ that they were tolerant of, and when you ran into someone you thought was being way too cautious, there was a mixture of ‘that’s ridiculous’ and ‘but is he right?’. So like then I am moving forward basing my decisions on assumed risk… but I know that the risk isn’t zero.

Honestly, I can’t think much what to blog about. Job search has seemed more hopeless than usual, but I know that is cyclical and as soon as I get even a nibble, I’ll bounce back. Continuing on my certification training. And my piano practice. And my knitting and walking. Oh, here’s a neat video about the avenue they’ve closed off to pedestrian traffic in my neighborhood – I’ve been walking the length of this most mornings.

And I did an over-20-mile bike ride yesterday. It was a push, but I never felt like I was pushing too much, and I was fine in the afternoon, after a break. So I’m heavy, but not unreasonably out of shape.

I guess we saw two movies this weekend. The first was God’s Own Country, aka “British Brokeback Mountain”. Actually, it was pretty good, but it very much felt like Brokeback Mountain almost beat for beat. Also, one of the two boys was such an unattractive character – both physically and personally – that there wasn’t a lot of reason for the handsome and far more competent Romanian guy to fall for him, other than proximity. Nice to see both Gemma Jones and Ian Hart (didn’t recognize him without Voldemort on the back of his head) as the older relatives.

(speaking of Voldemort on the back of his head, I am going to stay far away from the JK Rowling TERF controversy for the moment. On the one hand, I like to think I am a very trans-positive person, and certainly advocate for ‘you’re the gender you say you are, regardless of your body’. On the other hand, I really like JK Rowling and have definitely seen tweets of hers that others found offensive, but it hadn’t occurred to me to take them as such. So I’m just going to Not Opine until I can back up my opinion with some serious thought.)

The other movie we watched was I See You. I started out thinking it wasn’t very good, and then there was a plot twist and then a couple more and I ended up liking it well enough. It still feels like there’s a lot missing and I wonder if some ended up on the cutting room floor. Part of it is you keep wondering why Helen Hunt is in this movie – her part isn’t that large or interesting and it never develops. You figure that if she’s the only name in the movie, it would be about her or there would be some inherent reason she’d want to do it. (She doesn’t work much, and I’m assuming that’s by choice.)

Enjoy the week!

This post is part of a larger project, #MOC19. Read more about the Mass Observation COVID-19 project here

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