Anoop Judge | Author · Writing Instructor · Former T.V. Host​

The Positive Place: Three weeks into Quarantine

Thirty-two days into the pandemic, and I’m homesick for my frothy macchiato coffee latte. For my favorite barista—a pierced, tattooed young man with a military haircut, and the build of a Navy seal. For movies at my preferred theater in Livermore and how I would slump down in my seat with my buttered popcorn and a glass of Riva Ranch. I flick channels on the T.V. remote to get a glimpse of other people’s worlds to soothe my own. The over walked dog twitches next to me on the well-worn burnt orange sofa.

Last week, the adrenalin kept me going but now the harsh reality sets in. The last package of ground chicken is defrosting on the kitchen counter downstairs. We will need haircuts. Netflix is not coming on. Oh God, I think. I’m trapped in this house without a means to watch the last episode of Tiger King. My frantic gaze falls on the 2020 wall calendar with the events of April still not crossed out—the violin recital for my nephew, the parent-teacher meeting at my daughter’s school, my cousin’s wedding in Cabo, Mexico.

Twas\’ the day after Thanksgiving: reflections on what it means to be an American . . .

A few days before Thanksgiving, I took a train from San Francisco to the suburb of Pleasanton.  It was one of those mornings that signal Thanksgiving is near—a cloudless sky, temperatures bracing enough to warrant diving into the coat closet to locate a scarf and gloves, and the sight of fallen leaves swirling in a neighborhood park as I walked to the Bart station.  A billboard loomed above me, advertising a turkey dinner for only $39.99 at Marie Callender\’s.

I love the week leading up to Thanksgiving because of the anticipation of my family coming together again.  I love the reminders on T.V., on radio, and on social media to be grateful for what you have and hold because it allows me a moment to close my eyes and thank the Universe that my house echoes with laughter and joy again.

However, this year as my family gathered around the Thanksgiving table our mood was somber. In what has become an eagerly awaited tradition, every sibling, every aunt, every uncle, every parent, every grandma, every kid articulates what “I’m thankful for this year.\” We sat down to dinner, the room full of the smell of curry and cinnamon pumpkin and around the big oak table we went, each taking turns to remember the year’s blessing.

“We are all blessed to have a home and a warm bed tonight, our families together, “ began my brother, clearing his throat. “Let us remember the people in Paradise, who lost their homes and their loved ones,” he continued gravely.

Anoop Judge is a blogger and an author, who’s lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area for the past 27 years. As an Indian-American writer, her goal is to discuss the diaspora of Indian people in the context of twenty-first century America.