Each lockdown week has a different theme. Earlier it was all about the OCD-ness of sanitation and washing everything. Now I’ve dumped out of washing Amazon boxes and newspapers. But the rubber glove choreography continues at the gas pump. One gloved hand on the hose and to swipe the card; and one hand free to Lysol wipe the card and car interior. But I end up dropping the card on the ground and driving away with the hose still stuck in the tank — all the while my dirty glove remains half on. Talk about “be here now.”
Last week people seemed depressed as Covid became a real long-term fact of life. The drink of the week was a “Trumptini” — Clorox straight up from the bottle. Now the complaining is not about feeling anxiety over a scratchy throat or tight chest or even rage over having to do another 14-day quarantine. We’ve arrived at a strange kind of personal despair. I think this might be the real “Covid Syndrome.”
We have clearly skipped a few Kübler Ross grief stages — where’s the “denying” (other than the conspiracy theorists blaming Covid on 5G), or “bargaining.” And who has done any “accepting” yet? So far, it’s the physical and fiscal rocky aspects going from anger to sadness and not much in between. And that range can happen within seconds all day long. No wonder we don’t know what day it is or feel as though last week was 10 years ago. No one can get a handle on anything, let alone predict a clear outcome.
When friends warn me not to watch the news — I do. But everything is virus news all day all night. Covid is having its way with you whether you listen to music (streaming tributes to frontline hospital workers via musicians playing in their living rooms) or the NFL Draft (commercials of broken-hearted family members waving to their sick elders at nursing home windows).
We wait in apprehension to see how some states return to business will go. Just remember, Vegas Casinos are supposed to open in August. Masked dealers, sterilized slot machines, strippers dancing six feet apart — does that give you a real glimmer of hope?
It’s interesting seeing all of us in withdrawal from some pre-Covid obsession while in lockdown and not rehab. Sports is an essential and must return soon, but the one issue that keeps coming up is how awful we all look. Let’s face it (do we have to?), we have all aged 100 years in the last 6 weeks and for some people THAT has been the worst part of the pandemic. Not the deaths, the broken economy, the loss of leadership, the health threat – Covid has messed with people who would rather live or die with the Botox needle, the plastic surgeon’s knife, hair dye, wax rips and face fillers.
A friend of mine is actually having a near-suicidal meltdown because she can’t see her personal “service” people till the end of June. She is not a socialite or a celebrity, a news anchor or a head of state. She does the class reunion circuit and must look blonde, beautiful and boobed up for her 55th high school reunion Zoom appearance. I found her priorities astounding, but I do hear it a lot.
Hairdressers and nail techs are indeed one of the most missed ESSENTIAL stars of this pandemic. Their return to work will be celebrated by EVERYONE. Though many are already going rogue and “stealth” by doing home visits.
And believe me, I get that we all look like Gabby Hayes and that is bad for our self-esteem. But isn’t Covid here to teach us a few cultural lessons like our damage to the environment, or economic inequality, our over-the-top materialism, not to mention the narcissistic obsession with youth and beauty. Now some people will have to live with their real faces and bodies going south — and doing it all alone, to boot.
Many have given in to the vanity and powder dyed or attempted a beard grooming and hair trim. Good for them. But for now, where are you going, and who are you primping for? Maybe when we get to the “other side” you will see we won’t need all these services, or at least use them a lot less. Times change. Needs change, and who knows who will be able to afford any of it. Visually “keeping up” is hard to do on all fronts. “Showing up” is enough for me. Find another way to smile with less “work.”
As for masks becoming “fashion statements” as some fashion editors believe — I hope not. Masks are not a Hermès handbag or Givenchy sneakers which meant something luxe at one time to some people. Let the designers fill their empty time right now producing non-medical masks. It’s not a fun cultural statement. Masks look awful on the face. They are uncomfortable for many of us (which is why people look so mean and downcast wearing them). You can’t breathe, and wearing fogged up glasses is a challenge. Plus, I can’t hear what masked people are saying.
Masks are not about style, but about DISEASE. You can have all the fun you want making them out of sequins, glitter and stick-on goofy smiles, but they are still a respiratory condom. They may be here to stay, and though they are “lifesaving” they have done more to isolate and separate us than anything. I hope it is a small price to pay to get the virus over with. I wonder.By the way, there has been a history of masks with every past epidemic. Now everyone has to figure out how to hide your face as best you can. Nancy Pelosi was lucky enough to use an expensive sheer white scarf (which matched her outfit, of course) while appearing in Congress last week. But that was not a mask she was wearing; it was a political statement. What isn’t nowadays?
One thing is for sure: the cosmetic industry could tank as no one needs makeup as long as the mask rules. And you can forget eyelash extensions (a service I never quite understood).
Last week I got the only Covid gift so far. My Amex bill arrived and for the first time in 40 years, my balance was a “ZERO.” I framed it. What a real STATEMENT!!