By Kathy Morrison
Who would have thought that in such a short time, life as we knew it, would change so much. The date had been on the calendar for about two weeks. Dinner at the Morrison’s with our friends, Beth and Mary, set for Wednesday, March 18th, with an episode of “Victoria”, Season 3 afterward, accompanied by the obligatory bowl of Country Dairy Ice Cream.
But then, that looming microscopic sized killer – Covid-19 - tore into our lives. Day by day, the warnings grew louder of the dire need for social distancing. The pleas from doctors, both in the US and around the world, were becoming clear: wash your hands and stay distanced as much as possible to slow the spread and help them to manage the inevitable overburdening of our health care system.
By the 16th, Mary was coming down with a bug, I’d had a nagging sinus headache for a few days, and coupled with the strong push for social distancing, we questioned the gathering. Maybe we DO have to change our thinking and do our part to help stem the tide. This thing was spreading faster and faster worldwide and had now seeped insidiously into Michigan. Rolling up our sleeves, like Rosie the Riveter, we could do it and work to help “flatten the curve”. We all agreed our little tête-à-tête should be postponed.
However, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Being the resourceful person that I usually am, I asked myself, W.W.T.D.? (“What Would Techies Do?”). With one of those crafty eyed looks that send my poor husband, John, running for cover, and deviously rubbing my hands together (for 20 seconds with soap and water, of course), I schemed a little scheme.
Messaging back and forth with Beth in the early hours of Wednesday the 18th, I asked,
“Will you be home tonight at 5 p.m.? If my headache subsides, we should get together tonight via FaceTime and have a cocktail time!”
(I could literally feel my headache melting away).
She quickly texted back, “Probably. Walking this afternoon with Gloria but I think we should be done by then. I don’t have FaceTime. Do I?”
“If you have an iPhone you do!”, said I.
“So I guess I do!”, she shot back.
“LOL.”, I texted back. “If I call you, it will pop up and just like a phone call, you will hit the green answer button.”
After a flurry of a few more nonsensical texts involving anger at losing online word games, political rants, toilet paper shortage woes, and our Covid-19 weight loss (or gain) plans, she was off her device and I was left to my own devices.
I looked for my bookmarked article about a clever, new drink I’d seen online, born to mark the onslaught of the virus which seemed the perfect combination of both fun and (wink- wink- nudge- nudge) “healthy”. March 2020 had witnessed the birth of the “Quarantini”, a Vitamin C and honey fortified twist on an old favorite. Into the kitchen I scurried in my p.j.s and slippers. I could hear James Bond’s sexy voice whisper in my ear, “A Quarantini, Kathy. Shaken, not stirred”, but in the proactive/ non-panic mode I have been trying to maintain through this Corona storm, I winked at him and whispered back, “No, darling, Stirred, but Not Shaken”. Coming back to my senses when I hear the cat meowing outside, I excitedly rummaged around and did a small victory dance after a quick examination of the liquor cabinet, fridge and vitamins. Plenty of Gin, dry Vermouth, honey, lemon, oranges. Indeed, I had all the necessary ingredients. My panic shopping this past week had paid off!
“Yes!”, I shouted, “my first prepper badge”.
By 3:30 that afternoon, having collected and set out all the elements for the anticipated concoction, I did a little housework, did a little yoga, read a few emails, smiled at the Quarantini ingredients on the kitchen table, prepped a few things for dinner…..and before I knew it, 5:00 rolled around. John, and I pulled our chairs around the kitchen table, ready for our first virtual Happy Hour, swirling our Quarantinis around in their way-sour Vitamin C rimmed glasses. How exciting! Damn the virus, full speed ahead. I hit the FaceTime icon, found Beth’s name and pounded on the call button.
“Ring, ring, ring…...”
“Ring, ring, ring…...”
“Ring, ring, ring…..”
WHAT? No answer? Did she forget? I hung up and redialed. Can’t she find the answer button? Maybe she’s not in the house yet. Maybe she is in the loo. I rang her once more. Again, no answer! Didn’t she know I was serious??? My first EVER virtual cocktail party date and I’m going to be stood up??? This can’t be happening! I grumbled to John, who was hovering over the salty snacks set out on the table. I texted Gloria. Nothing. A minute or two later, Gloria finally texted back. Their walk took a bit longer but Beth should be back in her house by now. Sigh of relief!
FaceTime, calling Beth! “Ring ring ring!” And BOOM! There she was, moving and grooving on the iPhone screen, with a mini-wine bottle already in her hand. That- a -girl! Cheers to ya, Beth! Praise the Lord and pass the Quarantini.
So for the next hour, the three of us talked, laughed, took silly photos of each other over our phones, laughed some more, talked some more and reveled in our first virtual cocktail party during this war Covid-19. Until this thing is over, we really do have to seek out new ways of staying connected with those we love. Over here in Brunswick, we’ve decided to adopt the motto of the United States, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, “Whatever It Takes”.
None of us know what lies ahead folks. Stay healthy, stay connected and keep finding ways to lift your spirits and those around you. Whatever it takes!
Features and Fun
Concerts, Plays, Happenings, Local Recipes, Gardening, Entertainment, Charities, Fundraisers, upcoming events, Theater, Activities, Tech, and much more.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman