Pandemic Updates

Firs,t if you haven’t read it yet, please read The $900 Facebook Pony’s rant about how we’re still in a pandemic, because, FFS people, WE STILL ARE.

covidexitstrategy.org map on 7/24/2020

Here in my largely empty corner of Vermont, we are one of the only places in the US that has been consistently named as doing okay and on a path to an exit strategy. On the other hand, as our governor pointed out just this morning, we are still connected to a larger country that is not doing well at all. We can play defense all we want, but we can’t get too confident or relax.

longeing on Wednesday night

I am still working from home, and will be for some time yet. We’re having conversations about what the fall looks like and I honestly don’t know how that’s going to land yet. I really love working from home, but I also like being able to schedule office time when I need to do things that can’t be done from home. We’ll see how it shakes out. Nothing surprises me anymore.

Barn time continues just fine, with rigid protocols still in place. Unless I have a scheduled lesson, I don’t ever go before 5pm. 90% of the time, I’m alone, which was the case before the pandemic as well, so that’s fine. I’ve got a routine worked out so that I only touch 2-3 things and wipe them down before I go. One bonus is that wiping down the stall door handle has eliminated my worries about not closing the door handle. So that’s an improvement.

new gym space, with boxes outlined on the floor in tape

Now that my semi-quarantine has ended with a negative test, I’m back at CrossFit, and I’m of two minds about it. On the other hand, I’m thrilled, and loving it. On the other hand, it feels tenuous. Like it could vanish again any day. I do my best to keep it a safe environment for me: I always choose a spot right next to the big open garage doors, I wear my mask if I so much as set a toe outside my taped-off box, I don’t go near anyone, I clean my stuff. I’ve seen the coaches clean before classes and I’ve never felt even once like someone has gotten closer to me than I feel comfortable with. That, combined with our local incidence (there hasn’t been a new case in my county in weeks), makes this still feel okay.

brunch with theme reading

We’re still doing a lot of work on the house and spending time outside. Last weekend we took the canoe out for a cooler brunch on the water on a hot day. (90 degrees is hot for Vermont.) We love taking the canoe out and haven’t done it enough recently, but there’s also this constant itching, and feeling of being cooped up. It’s one thing to be a homebody, it’s another entirely to feel trapped in place.

But what does the fall look like? People from states with incredibly high case counts keep waltzing in to Vermont because FREEDOM or some dumb shit. We know we’re going to get a rise again, but how bad will it be? And when will it be? I’m tired of having every choice weighted down with life-or-death consequences.

5 thoughts on “Pandemic Updates

  1. I did not even go back to my gym when it opened up – it seemed the most risky of my activities (corporate franchise indoor gym with poor cleaning guidelines pre-pandemic and a staff who is underpaid and doesn’t care) so I just opted out (and I had stopped going about a week before we were SIP). Other than that we (my household) are keeping on in the same way we were before and we are prepared to live this way for the long haul.


  2. Vermont’s situation is idyllic and I hope with all my heart that it holds!

    Your CrossFit gym is gorgeous! The one I went to was a similar space…but they were cramming 20 people indoors and making them be responsible for cleaning equipment used. They were using diluted bleach, which isn’t good past 24 hours; you need to make a fresh batch every day. The owners were not aware of this. Initially they were allowing 30 minutes between classes so everything could be cleaned thoroughly by athletes, but when they expanded the number of people allowed indoors, they also cut back on the time reserved for cleaning before the next class starts: only 5-10 minutes. They are only deep cleaning once a week. Add to that several coaches and gym users going on vacation to hot spots and Carlos and I were like, “Ok peace out!” Had the circumstances been different, we would have stayed. I would have happily continued using the outdoor mats if they had been cleaning and disinfecting properly.

    Thank you for writing about your precautions and your world up there. It’s always good to know we are not alone in our views of the world right now. ❤


  3. I have gone back to Crossfit as well but seriously considering stopping again. They do have squares taped off and everyone cleans well, but people don’t tend to stay apart when moving around to grab weights or whatever, and just being in a room with people breathing heavily makes me nervous. My county in WI isn’t the worst but it’s very near to some of the worst and cases are going up. I’m balancing my physical and mental wellbeing with safety and while working out makes me feel greatt, the scales are tipping toward safety.
    All that said, I too have decision fatigue. Every thing feels like a life or death decision and it’s exhausting.


  4. I really only go to the barn and occasionally to see my parents. And I’ve been riding at the barn before work, so other than the workers I’m the only one there. CT is doing fairly well too, and last I heard my town hasn’t had a positive case in about a month. But still… I’m content to stay home. There’s still so much I want to get done here anyway. My parents and I are planning to come up to VT for a quick day trip next weekend. We’re flying in, just visiting my brother’s farm (he has cows now!), then flying back out. On dad’s little puddle jumper, so no contact with strangers. I promise we’ll keep any potential germs to ourselves!


  5. Like Vermont, Massachusetts is trending better but last week the governor chose to not move forward with further openings. Lots of vacationers from out of state on Cape Cod is worrisome. And lots of folk from Massachusetts going to Rhode Island beaches. Part of last’s week’s protocol change is that if you visit Rhode Island now you have to fill out paperwork, quarantine or show negative Covid test. The fine for failing to do so is $500 per day for not providing paperwork. Rumor is the State Police have been patrolling the boarder. It’s tough since Rhode Island is only three towns away. All the other New England States and New York are exempt from this restriction. And now EEE has surface and someone recently died from it. I guess that’s normal this time of year. I’m starting to despair this will not resolve quickly. My company told us we will continue to work from home until January when they will reassess. Luckily I get to trail ride 3 – 4 times a week. Being at a small backyard boarding facility has some perks. We are right near the trail head.


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