I put quarantine in quotes, because technically, we’re not truly quarantined. No one in my family has Covid 19, but like the rest of the state of California (and hopefully the rest of the country), we’re staying at home to flatten the curve. It’s been 17 days since my last day of school with students, and 14 days since my last day with staff, all keeping 6 feet apart as we learn how to “teach remotely.”
I started knitting again.
We’ve tried to keep ourselves busy with different activities, which includes watching loads of Jim and Pam, Michael and Dwight. Lots of podcast listening, and lots of baking.
My husband has sort of unofficially designated himself to be the one who goes to the store, or to pickup any food-to-go from restaurants. He wears a mask and we always put the food onto clean plates ASAP and then scrub our hands to make sure we stay healthy. Sometimes it takes us 5 – 10 handwashings when dealing with outside food. Trust me, I’ve never been a germaphobe, but this pandemic has changed me… has changed us all.
Yesterday, I volunteered as tribute. I went to go pick up Chinese food at one of our favorite restaurants. My husband was tinkering with something, so I just left. He called while I was still in the car, waiting for it to warm up (it had been over a week since I’d driven it anywhere) and insisted I come back for a mask.
When I got to the restaurant, it wasn’t too bad. Only 2 other groups were there – a couple sitting and waiting for their order, and a single person waiting about 10 feet away. I kept my distance from both of them. I paid, and then had to wait for them to bring one item. After the gloved employee handed me the bag, I went to the car, put the food in the back seat, and proceeded to wipe my hands and keys with clorox wipes. Just as I was starting the car, another employee came out with another part of the order. I got the bag out and we went over everything together, and discovered we had one wrong item in the bag. I gave it to her and she repacked everything, on the pavement of the parking lot. We were not social distancing at that point, but she did have a mask and gloves on. (I’d taken my mask off in the car, because it was fogging up my glasses.)
I thanked her and she ran off. I put the bag back in the back seat and wiped off the side of the bag, as one of the items leaked when she put it back in. I shakily sat in the driver’s seat and touched my nose, by accident, and promptly had a freak-out. I wiped my face with a clorox wipe, then wiped my hands, keys, steering wheel, and door handle. If you’ve never done this, I can tell you clorox wipes BURN your face.
I was really trying hard not to cry all the way home. I’ve never felt so vulnerable as a person just being out in the universe.
I came home, we transferred all the food, wiped every sauce container, and had a nice meal. I had just made some dough for cinnamon rolls I’d been wanting to make, when I got a call from my dad.
“I just dropped your mom off at the hospital.” he said.
I felt like the floor dropped under my feet. I know my mom had been feeling bad. A few years ago she had surgery for an intestinal issue. She felt similar pains lately, but was doing her best to stay away from doctors and hospitals, to stay away from any Covid threat. She called the doctor and he sent her to the hospital for a CT scan. The hospital staff wouldn’t allow my father to accompany her, and he hated leaving her there.
I have to say, I’ve been very good at keeping calm and not freaking out, (okay, aside from my freak-out after the Chinese restaurant) but this undid me. I just cried. I was so scared for my mom, I felt the helplessness of my dad, and I had absolutely no control of any part of the situation. I’m 90 minutes away from my parents, and this was terrifying. My 14 year old was telling me things would be okay and that Grammy was going to be fine. She was right. Thankfully my mom’s ct scan came back negative and she was sent home.
Then, on top of everything, while we were waiting to hear from my dad, we got a message from my school district that someone who’d been working in the kitchens where daily meals are given out to the students has “possibly” been diagnosed with Covid 19. So, who knows how many families, co-workers, and volunteers have maybe been exposed…
It’s all getting too close to home. I’m so fortunate that no one I know directly has contracted it or died. I know many, many families around the world have been affected and thousands have died. And thousands more will die before it gets better. I’m sure this won’t be my only day where I lose it multiple times. I just hope I can keep it together and find new ways to keep myself and my family safe and sane.
For everyone who might be reading this, are you freaking out? Are you eerily calm? How are you coping with our “new normal” which isn’t normal at all? I would love to hear from you!
Much love to you.