Monday, March 23, 2020

surviving COVID-19 #2

Well, that was a good plan but obviously not something that will be achieved daily. I have no discipline, I guess. Sigh.

Part of the problem is that I feel so differently every day. Things are not linear or even sloped in one direction or another, moving toward or away from despair. It's more like this:

I was on my way home from the grocery store this morning, having gone during designated senior citizen hours. Gah to that, but I appreciate their caution. Anyway, I had a thought but this first.

The store was quite civilized. I saw no pushing or grabbing or impolite behavior. Everyone gave each other wide berth....waiting until you exited an aisle before entering. Many wore masks. I wore gloves. Purple nitrile gloves. For posterity, here they are.

We didn't hoard them but bought them for our tax preparers. Now that we're done with that gig for a while, they are coming in handy. I put them on when I exited the car and took them off after the groceries were loaded back into the car. Then I sanitized my hands. I usually like to have breakfast or coffee as a reward after shopping but these are not usual times so I drove through the line at Caribou and drank my iced Americano in the parking lot. I gave the young woman a hefty tip, because I know what it's like to be a working college kid.

My thought as I was driving home was this. I remember clearly after the tornado, walking around the block (weather similar to this...cold and gray) and sobbing because it felt like a war zone. Piles of branches at every corner. No street lights. The sounds of helicopters and generators. It was terrifying.

This is like that, but after the tornado, we could drive to LeSueur or Mankato and things were normal. We could buy batteries and candles and have dinner like we usually did. You could order off the menu and you didn't have to get in line at the Salvation Army van in the street. (We were very grateful for Easter ham and scalloped potatoes in styrofoam containers that year!) When you drove ten miles for dinner, people had taken showers and dressed up. Two things difficult to do when we had no hot water, no lights, and so much to worry about besides whether our clothes matched...or not.

By the time I got home, though, my mood had lightened. I unpacked the car and left a few things for my trip to Canby and Sioux Falls to take Mom to surgery. There's a dearth of "supplies" out that way even in normal times so I had some dread about not finding coffee or food. Solved that by buying supplies to keep in the car. I've decided that cold brew coffee in bottles might have to do for a while.

I'm also packing a bag of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, spray disinfectant, and tissues. I'm taking extra clothes, not knowing how long I will be there or what the circumstances will be like when I do come home.

If this seems like over-preparation, remember what Dr. Fauci said: If in the end it seems like you did too much, then you did the right things. Or something like that.

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