60 days and counting…

On the day that I am posting this, Saturday, May 16, 2020, it is the 62nd day I have been mostly staying at home after the library where I work closed on March 15. Initially, it was closed through March 29, then “until further notice” after the governor of our state issued a stay-at-home order later in March.

Last Saturday, as planned, I finished listening to the end of a 1981 NPR Radio adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. Then on Sunday, I read A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr, a short novel that a friend recommended to me the previous week. Out of the two, I enjoyed the second more than the first, which in hindsight is because a post-apocalyptic radio drama during a global pandemic is not what the doctor ordered.

That said, I did enjoy listening to the radio drama, which was very well done, the last two weekends. So I think later today, after posting this, I’ll continue to listen to The Complete Sherlock Holmes: The Heirloom Collection, as narrated by Simon Vance, that I got as part of an Audible trial.

I’m not much for audiobooks, but several years ago, I first encountered Vance, thanks to Jennifer of the then book blog, The Literate Housewife, now on Instagram. I even got four audiobooks of him narrating James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, perhaps winning them? through a contest Jennifer was having (to be honest, I don’t remember). I also have two others narrated by him: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, which I never have read, but want to…and maybe listen to…some day.

As for the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday: I had good sessions with my therapist and registered dietitian, with whom I already had started via video and phone before mid-March.
  • Wednesday: Kim and I went for a walk to Barbour Rock at the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, which is near where we live.
  • Thursday: Kim and I had a “Zoom” with two of her sisters and their husbands to discuss the final season of Game of Thrones, which one of Kim’s sisters and her husband just finished watching. Bonus: Zoom gave us extra time so we were able to talk for an hour and half.
  • Thursday: We bought the final season of Schitt’s Creek on streaming so we don’t have to wait until October when it comes out on Netflix.

We plan on finishing up Schitt’s Creek on Monday, which will be apropos for me in light of what I am about to tell you. It was one of the first shows I began binge-watching (reruns up until this final season) when I entered what has been mostly self-isolation and now will be the show with which I end my own version of quarantine…

…because on Tuesday, I return to work at the library as we are slowly reopening in phases with the first one being the acceptance of checked out materials from the public, starting on Wednesday and running through Friday. I should note that my wife, a 911 dispatcher, has not stopped working at any point.

At the library, we also will be preparing for limited services, but not until we make sure we are following the guidelines for the “Framework for Reopening Public Libraries” as was released by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, which is under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, only yesterday. The Framework, in short, provide guidelines to help ensure the community’s health and safety. If you really want to know more about the plan in our state for reopening libraries (and other businesses as well), I encourage you to check this link. I will add here, though, that I might not be able to answer your questions about the framework or our library’s own plans for reopening as I haven’t been back to work yet and I’m not sure how it is all going to “work.”

During the Zoom, one of my brother-in-laws, who also is returning to work next week, asked me if I was nervous about my own foray back into the work environment. I told him I was a little, but also excited, which is true. But I honestly can say that I just want our library to reopen limited services, such as curbside pickup, to start because I know it will benefit our community, both old and young (and yes, those in between too).

29 thoughts on “60 days and counting…

  1. I picked up books at my library yesterday with the curb-side service. It worked well. This was the end of their first week doing it, I’m thrilled about it! Good luck to your reopening as well.


  2. I hope the reopening of the library goes well. I know what you mean; it’s so exciting to see people in person and to change our routine, but I worry about more contact with the public. And quarantine has allowed you to watch all of Schitt’s Creek, which is fantastic!


  3. From my few forays out into public since March, it appears that most businesses are taking the appropriate measures to keep their customers safe. In my town, I’d say less than 10 percent of the people are taking their own safety measures by wearing masks and maintaining an appropriate distance between other customers. I wish more companies would enforce the safety measures – kick people out who are not wearing a mask, limit the number of people in a space, etc. Who knows what the next few months will bring, but I am sure your library will do everything to keep you and your patrons safe and healthy!

    You know, I am not and have never been a Simon Vance fan. He has a gorgeous voice, to be sure. But it puts me to sleep. Every. Single. Time. The only time I will listen to him now is when I relisten to my full-cast version of Dracula, only because there are enough breaks between his narration and other cast members that I don’t get the chance to get too soporific. Silly, isn’t it?


    1. Maybe if I was listening in long stretches, I’d feel the same about Vance…but then again I probably think I would with anyone in long stretches. I’m very slowly becoming an audiobook fan.


  4. Our libraries just opened for curbside pick up today. I’ve been happy with my Overdrive Kindle usage so didn’t feel the closure all that much. Actually, not at all but I am glad they are reopening. A really nice used bookstore by me open for curbside last week for three days a week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They post pictures of the books on the shelf and then you email them to tell them what you want and then pick it up on the weekend. I’ve been excited to try it because they took a shot of an entire Harlan Coben shelf and I am totally into him now since watching his Netflix shows.


    1. I tried Harlan Coben a few years ago, his Myron Bolitar series, but it just didn’t work. I don’t know if I would try him again, but maybe I’d try the TV show based on his books.


  5. I thought I recognized that photo … I’ve been there. 🙂 Now that I’m cutting back a bit on work, I plan to resume my daily walks, which have been on hold since the fall (for various reasons).


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