I wrote and published this two days ago:
Like with everything in life and the world right now, I may change this in a week because things may be radically different in a week. I would be surprised if Vermont goes truly shelter-in-place; we’re already tiny and spread out. I live in the 7th largest city in the state and things are distinctly, noticeably quieter. Maybe I’ve been lucky not to see it or maybe the people around me really have been smarter, but I have hopes that I can continue to go to the barn.
Three things have happened since then.
My husband, who works in healthcare admin, was told he would start going into clinics for direct support.
The governor of Vermont has issued a mandatory stay-at-home order starting at 5:00 pm tonight.
The barn is closing to all but staff at that same time.
I had already agonized over and made the tough decision not to go to the barn once my husband started going to clinics. No matter how carefully I isolate, contact with him exposes me. He headed out to start that this morning.
The governor’s decision, and then the barn’s decision, were just the icing on the cake. Last night, I lingered a bit, sitting on Tristan alone in the middle of the empty ring and just breathing. I rarely do that; people using horses as furniture is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. But I just wanted to stay in the saddle for a few more minutes.
Today, I will make one last stop by the barn and then my office, to collect the last necessary things. Then that’s it.
Like many others, I’m bitterly disappointed, terrified, and want badly to just sleep through this whole thing and wake up this summer to warmer weather, happier people, and for everything to have worked out.
One year ago today, my dad, after suffering from an unexplained fever for about five days, collapsed and was taken to the hospital. He never left. It feels like a particularly cruel joke to have so many things closing off on the anniversary of that day.