Are We There Yet, Mommy?
Are We There Yet, Daddy?
As every parent knows, the most annoying question bar none is, “are we there yet?”
How many of us have had to sit in the car and listen to that question ad nauseum from their children?
Okay my turn…Are we there yet, is COVID gone?
I am sooo over this whole hanging-in-the-house thing. I’ve been patient, stayed put watching Netflix, ate healthy and took walks.
Now I’ve morphed into shoveling in chocolate chip cookies and popcorn and spend more time flipping channels than watching programs.
Although I know the vaccine will be here in October, what will that mean?
The older generation won’t be running out to get stuck until they watch to see if anyone drops dead.
We’re too old to be guinea pigs and we’d rather watch from the sidelines than jump into the game. Besides jumping isn’t an option when you need a walker or cane and are still doing physical therapy for your new knee or hip.
So how will we ever get back to normal?
Aha! That’s the rub because even when we get out of lockdown, captivity or self-imposed quarantine the world we once knew is no longer there.
I feel like Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode when after a nuclear war he finally had all the time in the world to read his books unencumbered and he broke his glasses.
The pre-COVID world was a different place and especially senior citizens will have to accept that the world they knew is gone.
So what will replace the old world?
Well, COVID is not the lynchpin that created the changes, it only intensified what was already transforming.
Ever since 9/11 we’ve had to face the fact that the freedom of movement we’ve always enjoyed since the advent of air travel has been severely restricted.
Terrorism impeded our ability to run amuck along with our own aging bodies.
Sure we figured out a way to get that new hip, but we haven’t figured out a way to see London Bridge without a lunatic running up and stabbing people. Or walking through a German Christmas market without crazies attacking, attending a concert or sightseeing in Madrid or Nice or any number of insane events we’ve witnessed.
I haven’t mentioned Israel because terrorism is a way of life for them and something one accepts when they head there for a visit.
Yet impediments aside we’ve grabbed our passports, packed our carry on and bitten the bullet. We’ve become the “oh-well-what-will-be-will-be” generation and decided that our priority was to live, travel and see the world despite the obvious risks.
So what’s changed? Plenty.
We once believed that after those trips to London, Rome, Vienna or Prague, visits to Singapore, China or Viet Nam we’d return home to our safe perch in America.
Sure, crime existed, but we felt safe and secure in front of our televisions watching baseball and munching on chips and guacamole while running outside to check the ribs on the grill.
Guess that’s over. America is not the same country now.
After COVID most assume we’ll just go back to business as usual, unscathed and unafraid.
Sorry, we need a reality check here. Cities are burning, law and order is in flux and familiar sights and sounds in our communities are gone.
Neighbors who once disagreed over which football team would prevail now refuse to talk to one another over politics.
Families have separated, friendships been destroyed, cities are in chaos, favorite businesses closed, entire sections of communities burned and boarded up.
It’s like walking out of your house after a nuclear holocaust and into a city in ruins.
Am I exaggerating? Actually I’m not sure, but I hope I am. I’m also from Detroit where it took 53 years to bring back a city torn to shreds and resembling London after the blitz, so there’s that.
So many people I know have said they are through traveling and will be staying closer to home.
Yes, cocooning is the new norm. People will entertain in their houses, man caves and she sheds will become palatial and so well appointed the Four Seasons will pale by comparison.
Media rooms will be enhanced and back yards will feature the same elements as the most fabulous five star resorts.
Lush landscaping, pools and recreational games will fill what once was a grass-filled area.
In case anyone doubts that things have changed just do an attitude check on your own friends.
Everybody is just a little bit crankier than they were four months ago. Oh sure everyone is trying to be so brave and double chins up (that would be as a result of the COVID 15 pound gain) but we all know we’re totally over this and ready to break out.
Actually, that’s the irony. After the initial run outside to our cars, faster than a racer at the Indy 500 I’m sure, and that visit or two to the mall, lunch with friends and dinner out on Saturday night, one news story about a rise in crime and we’ll all be hanging in the man cave watching football and sucking down beers like it’s Superbowl Sunday every weekend.
I’ve promised myself I’ll travel more and have my destinations all picked out, but will my will be diminished by a new terrorist attack or perhaps a few new cases of the virus popping up? Or maybe by China unleashing some new plague from some bat they’ve been harboring in a lab somewhere?
The world has changed dramatically and although we all want to believe that once we can hit the ground running we will, our habits have changed and we may not.
We now order Amazon and watch Netflix on that new 80-inch smart TV, we love that new patio furniture and those plans for an outdoor kitchen like our best friends just installed.
Whether we’ve realized it or not we’re now conditioned to staying close to home where we feel safe and secure against an onslaught of insanity that permeates the outside world.
When the virus is gone, that will be gone, but it won’t take with it the other tragic changes we’ve witnessed in our communities and that is what will ultimately define our new lifestyles.
Are we there yet? Perhaps soon, but where we’ll be when we get there, now that remains to be seen.
Champagne Grape and Almond Chicken
4 chicken breasts or boneless thighs
flour for dusting
½ cup of champagne
½ cup seedless red grapes
½ cup seedless green grapes
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup of chopped celery or bok choy
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
½ teaspoon of tarragon
salt and pepper
Season chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour
Sauté chicken in a mix of butter and oil until done
Add celery or bok choy or both and sauté for a few minutes, but keep the crunch in the vegetables
Remove chicken and set aside
Add champagne and deglaze pan then add cream, grapes, tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
Lower heat and simmer until cream coats back of a spoon. High heat will break the cream and ruin the dish. Always thicken cream sauces on a low heat and never boil.
Add back chicken and reheat then serve immediately with almonds on the top.