Looking to Keep My Distance

CalmKate posted a challenge for Friday Fun to discuss social distancing. This has become a point of contention along with mask wearing. Yes we are all very tired of keeping our friends and family at arm’s length. I even read an article about “COVID Fatigue” that basically said people were exhibiting willful absentmindedness about wearing masks and keeping their physical distance from strangers. For myself, it is hard to give up family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and travel. Still I will persevere in an effort to stay healthy and to keep others healthy too.

How can love flourish at arm’s length
Where distance reduces love’s strength
Six feet apart we fix our place
There is no calm as chaos reigns
Shadow of kindness still remains
Dares to enter personal space
Through smiling eyes and hidden lips
With gesture sweet COVID eclipse
And show each a measure of grace

This is a Nove Otto. It is a form created by Scott Alcorn. This poem is a 9 line poem with 8 syllables per line and a rhyme scheme of aacbbcddc. It is a new form for me but I kind of like it. Of course with any poem with a limited number of rhymes, it is important to choose your rhyme carefully!

50 thoughts on “Looking to Keep My Distance

  1. I feel that Covid fatigue, but haven’t allowed it to make me give up my vigilance. I long for the comfort and ability to greet others socially as I used to do. I’m one of those who begins talking to random strangers when I’m in line or when I just ‘see’ something about them that says I should/can. This self isolation I’m enduring feel punishing at this point. I’m doing it because my doctor has assured me that if I get C-19, I’ll most certainly face dire complications and a changed quality of life if I manage to make it through. Since I am a senior who lives alone, it is almost certain to have me in some form of trouble. So, I’m reminding myself that what I like about life is worth guarding. I am getting jaded at this point, though. I admit it.

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    1. Yes, Dodi it is hard. I’ve been more active online than before (though I limit it to time when my husband is at work or otherwise busy). I’ve started visiting with family via the good old-fashioned phone call and though I seldom called friends, I’m doing that again too. I think I have only 4 people outside my husband that I interact with on a regular basis. Most of the time we are outside or masked up. With winter coming it will be more difficult to get together in person… The specter of COVID looms large as more people in our (former and now distant) social circle have become ill or ended up in quarantine!

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  2. Well done on the new form! I’m sorry people are having a hard time with the pandemic. I’ve read and heard of the graphic details of death from this covid; no, thank you.

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  3. Very clever, your poem.
    I read that predictions are that there will be a vaccine, that’s over 90% effective, widely available by the end of next year. I can maintain current protocols for another year if that’s what it takes to keep my loved ones with me for their natural life span. I know people who have undergone cancer treatments, far more uncomfortable than masks and distancing, in fact for some it included masks and distancing, for a year just in the hope of adding a couple of years to their life. I just don’t get the whining. Let’s put our big girl panties on and get through this! With your poetry lightening the load, it shouldn’t be that hard.

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    1. Shucks Judy. I’m tickled you enjoyed the poetry. I’m up for continued distancing and mask wearing and using copious amounts of hand sanitizer for another year if it means I don’t have to go to any more funerals… Perhaps when a vaccine is available and we all get vaccinated, I’ll get to make my pilgrimage to the west and meet you face to face….

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  4. Lovely poetic form. I just got back from my neighbors. She said, “I got a free turkey and I’m going to share it with you on Thanksgiving.” I felt tears rise to my eyes. I just bought mincemeat for pies, and planned to share that with them. We decided that if this beautiful weather holds, we’ll have a picnic for Thanksgiving. And under everything was the message, “It matters more than we ever knew it did.” ❤

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    1. My heart is full for you and your wonderful neighbors. It always mattered but we just didn’t see as clearly. I’ve got mincemeat filling ready too along with the pumpkin pie! Today is the day I make the menu and start the shopping list. We will have a small feast with just the boys. We’ll take plates to Sparky’s parents and take a pie to our friends to celebrate a birthday (day before Thanksgiving this year…).

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  5. a super cute poem from a complicated form … you like a challenge!

    we are hearing many countries are slack about the distancing and washing and this is why the monster is raging … we are so blessed here. Thanks for adding your voice Val 🙂

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  6. I am hopeful with the vaccine announcements. I haven’t been without a mask outside of my “bubble” of 5 people except for a breakfast in July and a work trip in the beginning of October (and that was only with 2 co-workers – everyone else got the mask). I usually extend open invitations on the holidays. This time, it’ll be just the 5 of us. With any luck, it’ll be a few more months and they’ll be distributing vaccines. I’m pretty tired of it, but I’ll get through.

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    1. We will be doing the nuclear family this year as well. In the past we hosted the whole clan but that isn’t happening this year. I work with a woman who is on a COVID research team. She is working very hard to test a few novel compounds that have promise in the treatment of the virus – a new kind of antiviral medication. Currently it looks promising but she is hoping the vaccine makes this treatment obsolete. I’m sure there will be many who refuse the vaccine – just as they refuse measles and mumps vaccinations. As long as that is the case we will have outbreaks of the virus…

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  7. “How can love flourish at arm’s length
    Where distance reduces love’s strength”.. i love this Val, its true, really.. i was walking with my daughter this afternoon… before pandemic, we used to really hold hands walking, now we can’t anymore..

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I’m sad that this pandemic has pushed us physically apart. But on the other hand we are forced to “use our words” to connect and that has meant an increase in putting to paper what our heart says.

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      1. That is so true Val. Our words have become stronger now. I remembered before pandemic, i get to receive “generic” good morning messages…now, its more persona..freinds are checking in every now and then..

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        1. That is one of the positive changes or at least a silver lining. A good friend (who we would see at least every other week) has gone into seclusion in an effort to keep her 89 year old father healthy. Her “bubble” consists of her husband, father and sister. We are “outside the bubble” so have to talk on the phone more often instead of having dinner or going shopping…

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  8. This poem is wonderful!
    Yes – covid fatigue. It’s very real. I am now struggling with my decision not to visit my mother for Thanksgiving. Either decision is a struggle. After all I work with the public. Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving ✌🏻

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    1. Yes. My in-laws live literally around the corner and we have been keeping our distance. We are in a surge in our county and it is so very hard. I just know that if they caught the virus from us, we’d never forgive ourselves. Instead we are setting up skype with them and have facetime with my mother so even though we will be apart we will still be able to see and hear each other… I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful as well!

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      1. So glad you’ve had all these options to visit with parents and in laws. My mother is not tech savvy and the only time I got to Skype with her was when my nephew was at her house.

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        1. That is so sad. My mother is very plugged in – always has been. She has an apple watch, an iPhone, a laptop and a desk top computer and her giant TV that she streams her YouTube videos on… She has been doing FaceTime with me and Zoom with everyone without an apple product. Tonight we are having a big get together via Zoom. Judyrutrider was saying she has Arlo that lets her family peek in on each other. I think it sounds like a great way to keep parents living solo in touch and safe…

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          1. I absolutely agree! It is a great way to keep in touch and check on the elderly. Our office manager is 80 and she had a cellphone, smart watch, laptop – all of that. But mom, almost 87, has never really been interested. She had a cellphone briefly, didn’t like it and got rid of it. I tried to encourage her to get a tablet before covid so I could more readily show her photos of the garden, etc, and hopefully Skype but she wasn’t interested. She said she was too old to learn all that. It makes me sad 😔

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            1. That is too bad – my mother will be 89 in March and she is all about the technology. She knew that computers were the future and took a class at the university on DOS when the first computers came out in the early 90s. Currently she is the resident photoshop whiz.

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                1. My father was a computer programmer getting into the field when there wasn’t any college degree in programming. He started out writing code and eventually found his niche as a program analyst so my mother was along for the ride.

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                    1. He had been teaching math and science at the high school (didn’t really enjoy it) and there was an ad in the paper looking for Math majors interested in computers… he went for an interview and that was the start of it. It was a govt. contract and he worked there for a couple years and then suddenly everyone was pink slipped and the next day the whole business was gone. It gave him the training to go work for General Motors where he worked until he retired. He was very lucky to have found a profession that was a dream come true!

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                    2. Yes it did. And of course it sparked my mother’s interest in computers thus she is well prepared for the pandemic lock down and resorting to electronic communications.

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                2. My father was a computer programmer getting into the field when there wasn’t any college degree in programming. He started out writing code and eventually found his niche as a program analyst so my mother was along for the ride.

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            2. That is too bad – my mother will be 89 in March and she is all about the technology. She knew that computers were the future and took a class at the university on DOS when the first computers came out in the early 90s. Currently she is the resident photoshop whiz.

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    1. I don’t advocate paralyzing fear. I do however think we need to take it seriously and use an abundance of caution – wear masks, wash hands, avoid touching the face (especially the eyes, nose, and mouth), and keep distance from others. If we can just do that then maybe we have a chance to survive until the vaccine is available to all!

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    2. I don’t advocate paralyzing fear. I do however think we need to take it seriously and use an abundance of caution – wear masks, wash hands, avoid touching the face (especially the eyes, nose, and mouth), and keep distance from others. If we can just do that then maybe we have a chance to survive until the vaccine is available to all!

      Liked by 1 person

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