The Long Vacation

I'm a 40-year veteran of the Civil Service, living comfortably on my salary (supplemented by my wife's). I'm starting to think about retirement... but not too hard, because I like my (engineering) job and I enjoy mentoring my junior co-workers. When COVID really hit, in March, I took some vacation time to self-isolate, because I was due for hernia surgery, and didn't want COVID to complicate the situation. But the hospital delayed the surgery, and then my Federal office told me to stay home "until further notice" to minimize the spread of the virus in the workforce. I'm in excellent health, and have been taking Vitamin D supplements for years. (One Friday afternoon in mid-February, I went home early, spiking a fever early Saturday morning, but it was gone by Saturday night and I went back to work on Tuesday. Covid? Who knows? I tested negative before the surgery.) I cautiously tended my vegetable garden while waiting for the surgery. After the hospital resumed elective surgery, I had plenty of time to recover before being called back to work. I read a few books, sewed some face-masks, cooked some good meals for the "working" members of the family.

All in all, it felt like a dress rehearsal for retirement (with CSRS pension). I'm sure that you'll get tales of struggle and tragedy, but the record might as well also include privileged people like myself, watching it all go by in comfort. That's not to say that I'm not anxious about the macroeconomic impact of the pandemic, and I was wearing a mask "before masks were cool". But for me, any pain is a hypothetical future.