By Alison Davis Curry
I had not planned to spend the ten days between Christmas and New Year’s isolating in my apartment on West 85th Street. I also had not planned to spend them in a hotel room. I had passed on notions of traveling. Low and behold – I got sick right at home.
I am not dwelling on what I am not doing, although I have been remembering other Christmas/New Year holidays, and some of the places I am not this year.
I am not with my family in Arizona, with their gingerbread house, larger-than-life Christmas presents in the yard, and fresh orange juice waiting to be squeezed from the citrus trees outside the patio door.
I am not in the Dominican Republic, waking at sunrise to go horseback riding through citrus groves and cattle ranches.
I am not in Islamorada, Florida, where my older daughter and her boyfriend are having breakfast in their swimsuits with his mother and sister.
I am in my bed. In my room. With my phone, computer, jigsaw puzzles, books, and yarn to be knitted.
It is fitting that the end of 2021 is a bout of COVID and a 10-day isolation period to ring in the New Year. [This was written before the isolation period was shortened to five days.] As tough as 2020 was – it was the warm-up band for a really sucky 2021.
I imagine I am a larva, wrapping myself in the silks of memory.
In the beginning of the pandemic, sheltering in place felt warm and cozy. My 17-year-old daughter, a high-school junior, and I traveled the storm together. We made our days happy with music, laughter, and conversation. But the promised finish line of this COVID marathon was ever and ever further. The time did not arrive when we could put COVID behind us and come and go freely in the world, with a sense of security, as we once had.
But maybe we were never truly free to roam the world without fear. Maybe being vaccinated enables us to place the fear of COVID back into manageable levels of risk.
Risk and fear are not the same. Risk is intellectual. We discuss and debate risk. Fear is primal. Fear can debilitate us.
For me, the big threat of getting sick has now come and gone.
I have COVID, and I am fine.
Alison Davis Curry runs a boutique marketing firm for clients around the world from the Upper West Side.