This is the fifth installment of the Covid Chronicles blog from a Castleton University Media Writing class detailing students’ experiences during the pandemic.
It was a dreary morning in March when Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared on my television. My mom and I are sitting on the couch having a late breakfast while watching his daily briefing.
That was when he announced there would be no more gatherings of any size.
It came as a shock.
Ever since we moved back closer to family 14 years ago, we had spent every Sunday night at my Mimi’s house for dinner.
As soon as you walk into her little yellow house you can smell everything she has made.
Stepping into her kitchen, you can see Mimi walking around a table crammed with food while she finishes cooking.
Then the living room where grandparents, aunts, and uncles are squeezed onto the couch, in every chair and spilling onto the floor.
Followed by what we call the green room.
It used to be painted green but since then it has been blue and yellow.
The name stuck.
In the green room is where all the cousins and friends that tag along eat.
Like the living room, there are people sitting wherever they can, the youngest ones often getting stuck on the floor.
The green room is where I have made some of the best memories with my cousins.
The memories from Sunday dinners that lie ahead were taken away with the Governor’s announcement of no more gatherings.
No more laughing at 90 Day Fiancé that the boys reluctantly watched while we all ate.
No more wiffleball games in the backyard between dinner and dessert.
No more teasing each other over anything and everything.
And no more memories in the green room.
We all spent every Sunday night at our own houses, separated by the pandemic.
Then it was finally phase four.
Governor Cuomo announced there could be gatherings of 25 people.
That is all we needed.
That Sunday we all reunited again.
Mimi resumed her position in the kitchen, the parents in the living room and the cousins in the green room.
Everyone was impatient to have Sunday dinners back and finally there was a little sense of normalcy.