Is It Over Yet?

Months after the onset of COVID-19, much uncertainty still abounds

June 2020

Is it over yet? The deadline for this column is six weeks before the issue date. That means I’m writing this in late April. So: I don’t know what I don’t know.

Are the tests for the virus readily available yet? Are we able to go back to church? And to brunch after? Can those pesky but apparently necessary masks be tossed aside in a lower drawer?

Please tell me we can now go to the hair salons and barbershops. We’ve become a nation of shaggy men and women with visible roots in a different shade than their “real” hair. My hair is normally rather “untamed” looking.

It was always full of unruly curls. Well, now it has gotten so long, the curls have given up and deflated.

The worst-case scenario is that even more of us have contracted this thing, despite being under house arrest for almost two months. I pray this is not the case.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve been glad not to be in New York City, my favorite place to visit and gawk. In fact, the tiny, remote corner of the world where I live — Bath County — is, as I write this, thus far untouched by the disease. I hope and pray this holds true.

I don’t worry that word will get out, and we will be besieged by visitors fleeing from more dangerous zones. There’s no place for them to stay. For the first time in ages, the venerable Homestead actually closed up and locked the doors. I am tired of having to make my own meals. I cannot wait for the restaurants to open. Thank heavens, most of them around here are making accommodations, so we can order, drive there and pick up whatever delicious thing we were unable to replicate at home. Sadly, there’s a lot of that cursed plastic foam in my garbage.


Grocery shopping was never a chore for me. Actually, I enjoyed it. Well, I got over that quickly. A trip to the grocery store became stressful and fraught with perplexing disappointments. God bless the stores for staying open and the grocery workers for staying on the job, though.

I must wonder: What is, or was, the deal with toilet paper? The shelves were invariably bare. Signs limited shoppers to two packs. Shoot — I’d have been happy with one. It got to the point where I didn’t care whether it was the expensive, cushy stuff I always buy; I’d have taken just about anything. (One of my maxims is this: Life’s too short to buy cheap shoes, cheap champagne or cheap toilet paper.) I found myself going into a bathroom storage closet and counting the rolls I had left.

Another word about those masks we were advised to wear. Where were we supposed to get them? We were advised to make our own. Well, I am not the creative type when it comes to that. I do have two bandannas, one purple, one pink. I wear them tied around my head in a triangle,like a gaily attired bank robber. A fellow I know made his own mask. I asked him how he did it, and he said he used a bandanna, staples and shoelaces. Too bad I own no shoes with laces.

Like all of you, I have been sequestered in my home, except for those edgy trips to the grocery store. I like living alone. I am actually glad I’m not “trapped” in here with loved ones who would have gotten on my nerves. The only place I go without fail is my daily walk on a deserted wooded road. My only companions are the dozen horses in the field. And the occasional bear, squirrel or family of deer. They run when they see me. Maybe it’s my hair that scares them?

Stay well and pray it’s over soon.

Pass the time with a laugh. Order Margo’s “A Party of One” by calling 540-468-2147, Monday-Thursday, or email [email protected].