One of my great nephews calls it “corn team.” Not sure about the corn part, but being on the team has definitely been an important segment of this universal quarantine. I have never done a good job of being a team player, but for the last almost half year I have done my best. So well, in fact, that I am experiencing a “burn out” or something like that .
For most of the last few months, I thought how weird it was to keep a social distance. But then again, I am not so terribly social, so that part was extremely easy. But lately I started thinking about what this quarantine thing was really all about. And I realized that exactly 50 years ago this summer I also spent over four months in quarantine. Lockdown is probably a better word for what I endured.
Oh, I was not ill, nor was I afraid of contracting a novel disease. I was off in lockdown at the Methodist Home Hospital in New Orleans because of what had happened to me and its result, which was not socially accepted in the summer of 1970. From sometime in June (probably before my 22nd birthday) until the first week in October, I was quarantined in a surrounding that was new to me and to the other young women who were staying there with me. That was a time before cellphones, personal computers, iPads, and Facetime. Actually, it was even before color television. So that is how boring life actually was.
I have already written all that I can remember about my stay at the MHH, but after realizing that that stay was a kind of quarantine, it has given it a whole different significance to that time in my long life. I made it through that (sometimes) darkness. Those who knew about my 1970’s quarantine may have had more problems with it than I did. I knew that was what I had to do, just as I know that I have to self-quarantine today. There was an end to that lockdown back then, just as there will eventually be an end to the one today fifty summers later. I have hope, just as I am sure that I did then. Hope that those that I love and care for will come out on the other side of this quarantine and be grateful for the good life that we are given on this earth. And to make the best of every moment we have for the rest of our lives. Or at least until the next quarantine.