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» Saturday, April 11, 2020"My Quarantine Diary"
There are Facebook posts everywhere about how one should keep a quarantine diary, to remember this time—especially kids, as a memory for their future, and even an exercise for homeschooling. I daresay anyone would be bored reading mine, since I'm not doing anything much different than I did just being retired. The biggest difference is on James' non-work days, since we really can't do anything except duck into a grocery store, which I hated originally and hate even more now, because it involves masking and prep and dragging along the power chair, since I don't want James riding on the supermarket carts. It's gotten so bad that when we were flabbergasted that James' podiatry appointment on the 17th hadn't been cancelled, and the nurse was very disapproving when we said it could be cancelled, so we just caved, I shrugged and said, "Well, at least it will get us out of the house."
Sunday is as always my chore day. James is working, so I might as well, too. I charge the electrical things in the bathroom (water flosser, James' razor trimmer, the auto light over the toilet), clean the master and hall baths (including disinfecting the toilets and washing the floor), mop the kitchen floor, wash towels, sort all our medications for the week, and usually end up cooking midday dinner and unloading/loading the dishwasher to boot.
Monday and Tuesday is odds and ends. I usually make a grocery store run either day. This week it was on Tuesday and I ran into the nice lady at Kroger noted in a previous entry. Tuesday I also mailed a birthday gift to Emma. Everyone in the post office is behind hanging clear plastic walls. Sometimes I go to Lidl for bread and veg and chocolate.
This week was James' first week on reduced hours—they cut him down from forty hours to thirty last week, which means he only works Sunday through Tuesday. So Wednesday we went to Publix; our jaws nearly dropped when we saw they had toilet paper! Just bought BOGOs and yogurt and left. Wednesday is my laundry day anyway.
Thursday we did senior hours at Costco and lucked out: found ScotTissue! Yay! Were almost on the verge of running out of it; with my wonky digestive troubles I always want a few extra rolls of toilet tissue in the house. The Costco people had the entrance set up like Disney World using barriers of pallets; you had to wind through a sinuous line to get inside and they handed you a sanitizing wipe at the door. Bought enough stuff that we won't have to come back for a month. Alas, they had no American cheese.
After Costco we had to stop by Kaiser to pick up the Lyrica they didn't have next week. James had a very sobering call at the beginning of the week from his rheumatologist because the drug he is taking for his arthritis, hydroxychloroquine, is in short supply because it looks like it might be a treatment for some COVID-19 patients. The doctor is strongly suggesting to Kaiser that James must be kept on it because of his kidney and heart problems, but he asked if James would cut down his dosage to one pill a day to see if it was still controlling the pain and mobility. This way the medication could be saved for the lupus patients, who will die without their dosage, and hopefully production will pick up on the hydroxychloroquine and it won't be in short supply too long. If there continues to be a shortage, it's possible they will put James on a low daily dosage of steroids, which isn't the best option, but might work without too many side effects.
While James was there he did some labs. He has some minor signs he might have a urinary tract infection.
On the way home we came by a different Publix to get the Sweet'n'Low James had forgotten on Wednesday, and, finding Dragon 168 was closed "for the duration," went by the BBQ Place for lunch. They were twenty minutes from opening, so we sat in the truck outside while I phoned in our order—the weather was glorious on Thursday, breezy and cool.
Friday and Saturday we did something fun! I walked outside on Friday morning to take Tucker on his walk and it was so sunny and gorgeous and breezy that I turned tail and stuck my head in the front door and yelled up the stairs "Put on something warm! I'll back out the truck and you can come with us in the power chair! It's too nice out to stay stuck inside all day!" And that's what we did, both days: Tucker and I walked in front absorbing all that nice fresh air and James trundled behind, just enjoying the sun and the wind, and saying hi to joggers and bikers.
Friday was Good Friday, so I did my usual "Quiet Hours" between noon and three when Jesus was on the cross and the Bible states that "a great darkness came over the land." My mom always used to do this as much as she could, and would say a Rosary then. I listen to the accumulated Lent Talks that the BBC does every year. Every year there is a theme; this year's was "Identity." "Trans-Identity" and "Identity and Grief" made me cry, and "Identity and Aging" was food for thought, why we demonize aging so much. "Race," "Parenthood," and "Community" were the other three. I also listened to "Good Friday Meditation," where the reverend linked the loneliness of Christ on the cross to social distancing (this interspersed with lovely choir performances) and a five-part series called "The Passion of Plants," about British plants associated with Lent and Eastertide. One of them was the speedwell, which I wrote about seeing in Helen.
On Saturday I discovered that the Tin Drum closest to us was temporarily closed, and, in order to use my "extra protein" reward, drove all the way over to Perimeter Mall to get lunch for James and myself as a treat. James then went downstairs to work on a model for the model club challenge, and I got to vacuum the living area.
We also picked up the "freebie" month-long preview of CBS All Access to watch Picard. I am enjoying it, and like all the characters (I simply love Riker and Troi's daughter! I think she's my favorite kid character since Addie Mills!), but I find the whole a bit depressing. (I am not the only one; have run into multiple reviews of the series that say the same thing.) Star Trek used to be about exploration and wonder, and now it's the same old stuff as the drama films and thrillers: conspiracy theories, hidden agendas, X-Files "trust no one" philosophy, reflecting our modern society. Gene Roddenberry saw the future as better, new Star Trek just paints the future the same as the past: disappointing.
I am still reading the books The Journals of Beatrix Potter and The Moor, and also a bound volume of "St. Nicholas" (November 1929-May 1930) (because when things are really depressing there is nothing like reading an old "St. Nicholas" and traveling into the past). As an introvert, this whole social distancing thing isn't a burden on me as much as it would be on an extrovert who is used to going to work and socializing with co-workers, or someone who likes going clubbing or to big gatherings. But I do miss Friday lunch with Alice and everyone. And going to Barnes & Noble...and that we've had to put off our trip to McKay's in Chattanooga and going down to Warner Robins to see James' sister who has been sick and taking down hers and Mom's Christmas gifts.
And meanwhile life goes on. Prayers for all those who are sick, and so grateful to all the "essential workers," whether you are medical, in the trucking industry, or working at the grocery store. You guys don't get paid anywhere near enough. God bless! Stay well!