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. It’s likely that our libraries will open for limited patronage during the next phase of restriction relaxations, which are to begin in a week. Good luck navigating through your reopening.

    Wishing you a great reading week


  2. I’m desperately waiting for my library to reopen. I think a curbside pickup might be a good start if the library isn’t comfortable with opening fully, but so far there has been no statements either way. Like everyone else, I’ve been using the digital library a lot but would like to get some print copies.

    Good luck and enjoy heading back to work!! I know it’s great to have some semblance of normalcy back.


  3. Good luck! I’m not sure what our libraries are planning now. I think the current closed schedule ends tomorrow? They’re allowed to open by the state’s mandate now, but the city is keeping them closed. Stay safe out there!
    I need to figure out how to find a good dietitian.


  4. I can’t believe it’s been 60 days but then it also feels like so much longer. There has been no word yet as to when our libraries are likely to open, although restrictions are slowly being lifted.


  5. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania for over 30 years and I’ve never even heard about The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon- It is now on my list of places to see! Thanks..My mother in law turned 95 last week and my sister in law arranged a Zoom call with 27 families from all over the world including Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Marseille, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Los Angelos, Philadelphia, Georgia, New York, Florida, She was able to see 10 Great Grand Kids all over the world, her sister in Israel, sister in law in Toronto, nieces and nephews that she hadn’t seen in many years! Zoom is taking us to a whole new level!!


    1. I think Zoom is thinking of of ways we might not thought of communicating previously across distances. And that’s very cool with your mother-in-law. Happy belated to her.


  6. Good on your Office of Commonwealth Libraries. That seems to be a pretty good framework. Businesses and services in Tempe have been reopening this week and my big worry is that guidelines to be followed have not been put into place. No word on when our library is opening, but my material check-outs have been extended to July1st. Phoenix libraries have opened curb-side pickups.


  7. At least your library gave notice to its patrons, ours just closed with no warning…. No sign of them re-opening at least for another two weeks since we are still in the ‘stay at home’ phase. Even if they were to re-open I would be reluctant to go when the virus is still so prevalent.
    Hope your return goes well, I imagine it will feel odd for he first week


      1. This reminds me of a time I visited the high school campus in the summer. One of my friends was the school secretary and she was busily working on a project when I stopped by. I commented on this to her, and she replied, “We get so much done when all those pesky kids are gone.”


  8. We’re not open quite yet but I know preparations are underway for cleaning, procuring PPE, curbside, etc. Our patrons have been eagerly awaiting our reopening too. It’s going to be a slow, deliberate process especially since we’re such a big system (19 branches, 500+ employees). I’m fine with that. Being on the admin side of things, I’m expecting to be working from home a bit longer — which, personally speaking, I could do indefinitely. I’ll be interested to hear how your reopening goes!

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    1. Yep, ours is slow and deliberate too. Just glad we finally got the framework. Will help some, I’m sure. And yes, I’m sure your reopening for limited services will look a bit different, but in the main ways, with concerns for health and safety above all. It’s just going to be interesting to see how we all navigate through “this.”


  9. I can’t tell you how much the opening of the library improved my mood, and I suspect it will improve the mood of all who can soon use the library services of your library. Our library has curbside pickup from M-F 12-5, and that works well for me. I request books online and then pick them up about a week later. I focus on reading my books from the library now first, and I look for books to request from the library before I look for them as ebooks. I am so grateful to have library services again.

    We have almost finished The Good Place, and I feel like we should probably look for Schitt’s Creek sometime soon. I was happy to find Seinfeld on DVD at the library, so we will probably binge watch that next.

    My brother-in-law is a dentist, and he reopened as soon as he was allowed to do so by our state. He spoke with dentist friends and disease specialists, and he did training with his staff, and he ordered plenty of protective gear for everyone during the time his office was closed. He was a little nervous about reopening, but he said medical personnel deal with infectious disease transmission all the time, and he always has taken great precautions in his work, so he is not overly worried.

    I hope it will go well for you next week.


    1. I’ll be honest with you, Deb, that you might find Schitt’s Creek a little bit too vulgar for your tastes. That and it might be hard to find unless you have streaming. But…you are welcome to try it.


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