Our masters swim coach optimistically arranged for a special Pilates class for swimmers beginning the first week of January and ending mid-February. Despite the omicron variant's blaze through Colorado (and our classmates), we've managed to hold two classes thus far. On the way to class last Wednesday, I reached into the glove box of my car, where I keep my special, grippy Pilates socks. As I pulled them out, a lone velvet face mask tumbled out with them. Made from heavy fabric, its purple paisley print cheered me at the time I bought it, when masks were a novelty and we were determined to make fashion statements of them. Everyone's mom and aunt were making masks, and a determinedly positive cottage industry was born.
Now we know that cloth masks don't work against omicron, and are tired of wearing them even as a fashion statement. I replaced my 2020 relic in the glove compartment and reached for my decidedly unsexy but medically superior dull gray KN 95 instead. I wore it throughout Pilates, determined both to exercise and to stay healthy through the end of swim season - now only four weeks away. Many of our swimmers have tested positive and had to miss ten days of training as we approach the championship meets, and all the coaches and athletes are heartily sick of being sick.
What a journey we've been on as a society, and as a world, since spring of 2020. We know both more and less about the virus, we've seen rules change 700 times (unscientific estimate based on a rule change once per day for the past two years). I wake up every day wondering if my dry throat and scratchy voice signify more than cheering for swimmers in the Colorado winter climate, paranoid about both getting and giving something virulent. It doesn't help that I also seem to be going through the early stages of menopause, waking up in a sweat and experiencing feverish moments throughout the day. Plus, my monthly cycle is way off, and when one of my friends asked if pregnancy was possible, I almost threw myself off the nearest bridge.
Rob suggested that I get more rest, and as I peered out of the black holes around my eyes, I told him, "I'm paranoid that I'm sick, menopausal, or pregnant nearly every minute of the day. It's not a good recipe for calm or for helpful suggestions."
But the sun came out today, both of our college kids went back to school and in-person classes, and virus indicators are going down here in Colorado. A new normal may be hiding just around the corner of springtime and until then I'll just keep moving forward one hot flash at a time.