Tuesday, March 31, 2020

IWSG: The Quirks of Quarantine

                                                     


It's time for another edition of the  Insecure Writer's Support GroupBe sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh  and the rest of the talented bloggers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

                                            
                              The Quirks of Quarantine

Being under self-quarantine certainly gives a person plenty of time to think, especially during TV commercials. Unfortunately, many of my insights are soon forgotten in the time it takes  to find a pen, wipe it down, and sterilize my desk, counter-top, wall, or husband's back all before realizing I ran out of paper. Of course, my laptop is more efficient, but where's the fun in that?

Sadly, I've gotten used to being in isolation. I wouldn't necessarily call it my new normal, because it's more like my old abnormal. But while others are having trouble abiding with all of the necessary safety precautions, my husband has been enjoying social distancing from me a little too much. 

Though we share a small apartment, Hubby recently sent me an e-card for my birthday. Not only did it save him a trip to the store, it saved him the trouble of being in the same room with me.

Whether walking around the apartment building or venturing outside, I feel like I'm trapped in a Spaghetti Western. If I do happen upon another lone drifter in our deserted hallways, or ghost town sidewalks, it's as if we're about to face-off in a duel or gunfight. We each step back about six feet waiting for one to pass the other. Fortunately, no guns have been drawn, but I've taken to carrying toilet paper rolls as a peace offering.

Though my neighbors used to greet me with a kind word and a smile, everyone is so terrified of catching COVID-19, that they've even begun to avoid eye contact at all costs. Thus far, I haven't heard any evidence of contracting the virus through eye rolls, side-eye, or uncontrollable blinking, but this works to my advantage.

I no longer have to wear make-up, suck in my stomach, or wash my hair on a regular basis. I've considered brushing my teeth as an optional activity, but even that gets old after a few days.

The quarantine has forced me to get reacquainted with my kitchen, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm cooking more and eating more, which makes me a prime candidate for gaining the "quarantine 15." 

So I try to walk laps around our tiny apartment in between meals, snacks, desserts and thoughts about any of the above. I'm sure our neighbor below us is thrilled when I'm gracefully trotting around before midnight in a last minute attempt to reach my daily step goal. 

Sadly, I'll probably have to attend PTQD (Post Traumatic Quarantine Disorder) meetings when the stay-at-home order is lifted.

Though I miss my boys terribly, I'm proud of how seriously they're taking COVID-19, and how hard they've been working to help others. Our older son learned to create face masks on his 3-D printer, and offered to give them to us, and his doctor friends since hospitals are in such short supply. Unfortunately, the face masks are not considered hospital grade at this time, but may be helpful to others at risk.

Our younger son has also been providing a useful service by Skyping with clients of all ages to lift their spirits, as well as their gluteus maximus through strength training.

I also miss my brother who in addition to picking up prescriptions and groceries for his neighbors, is frequently offering to run errands for us. But my husband has taken to avoiding crowds by shopping during the early senior hours. Though I tease Hubby a lot, there's no one else I'd rather be quarantined with, and I'm truly grateful for him.

Yesterday, was a good day, as my husband finally tracked down some much needed sanitizing wipes and paper towels. The paper towels might also come in handy to keep the peace in our hallways.

Stay safe and healthy, my friends.

34 comments:

  1. Glad to hear your family is doing well. Awesome how your kids are helping. It's hard working out the social distancing with spouses and boyfriends. My boyfriend and I don't live together but we are still seeing each other, but the virus is a big concern for him too.

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  2. If there's a gunfight, let me know.
    The quarantine 15 - didn't think about that.
    Thanks for the chuckle, Julie!

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  3. Love your Spaghetti Western analogy!

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  4. Yep, I may be in for the added 15. I haven't been eating too much, but I haven't been eating well, and that with the lack of exercise...hopefully the weather will improve and I can get walking.

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  5. Your sense of humour is perfect. Thanks for the giggles. I'm glad you're. Your hubby may be related to mine. I was just thinking to myself yesterday, he's lousy company! Hmm. LOL

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  6. My "beauty" routine has changed a lot. I do wear hats more and say to heck with all that primping. I save a great deal of time.

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  7. Natalie - Glad you're still able to see your boyfriend, but I'm sure it's been very stressful for both of you. Hope your daughter and mom are also doing well. Thanks Natalie, and take care of each other.

    Alex - I will definitely need our fearless Ninja Captain in the event of a hallway gunfight, especially if I'm running low on peace offerings! Thanks for hosting another wonderful IWSG, Alex. Hope you and your wife are doing well.

    Debra - I must have had spaghetti on my mind, cause we're having another healthy dinner tonight. Only 12 pounds to go! Thanks Debra and take care.

    Julie

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  8. Liza - Yes, taking a walk in the sunshine will certainly brighten everyone's day! Just be careful out there. Thanks Liza!

    Joylene - Thanks for the kind words, but I'm far from "perfect" in anything. I'm sure your husband is not "lousy" company. It's hard being around anyone 24/7, so maybe you need to take some short breaks from each other. Taking time to watch a good movie or catching up with a girlfriend on the phone can make a world of difference. We're always so rushed that it's usually easier to text, but now we have more time to catch up with close friends on the phone in our pajamas. Just don't call me on Face Time. Take care of each other, Joylene.

    Lee - It's a great feeling not to waste time primping and plucking! I also need to invest in a good hat, but for now I might just throw on one of my husband's. On second thought, I think I'd look much better in a niqab. Thanks Lee and take care.

    Julie

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  9. Hi Julie - great post written with your usual sense of humour - so glad all is well ... you really don't want to get too close to your hubby - you never know what you might catch ... even 'love' perhaps! Yes I have that fear of being called on FaceTime .. oh well old age happens to all ... and now here people want to get on zoom ... me has horreurs!! All the best - and take care - Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary - I’d prefer to be seen through a special lens like the one used on Elizabeth Taylor in the old White Diamonds perfume commercials. It made her look at least 20 years younger. I do run into Hubby a lot in the kitchen and we’re going for a walk today, so all is good! Thank you, Hilary and stay healthy!

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  10. Glad to see you're doing well and your sense of humor is still intact. Except for when he's taking a nap, my hubby and I are reeeeeally crappy at maintaining a safe distance between us. (And I wouldn't have it any other way!) Take care, kiddo, and stay well.

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    1. Susan - It’s great that you and Smarticus are joined at the hip, cause you make the perfect team! Of course, it also helps that you’re an awfully cute supercouple. Hope his treatments are behind you, so you can concentrate on comfortably taking care of each other at home. Thank you, my friend!

      Julie

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    2. Nope, the treatments aren't all behind us yet. He recently finished the brain radiation, but his once-a-week prophylactic treatments to deter the bladder cancer from coming back again have been postponed. He was supposed to begin last Tuesday and have them every week for six weeks, but when we got there, they sent us home. Said to call in a month, and hopefully, he can start the treatments in twelve weeks or so. He wasn't exactly looking forward to them, so it like a blessed reprieve for now. Still, I sure would've liked him to get those treatments sooner rather than later. Oh well. This, too, shall pass. Take care of yourself.

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    3. Susan - I’m so sorry. I can’t believe they couldn’t call you to save you the trip. It must be terrible waiting on pins and needles for the bladder cancer treatments. You are both troopers and I know you’ll get through this. I’m just so sorry that you’ve both been going through so much on top of COVID.

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  11. Great post! Humor is so important right now. :) Here in our world, we're already isolated so it's not a stretch for us to just hang out at the house and play in our gardens. The one concern we do have to face on a regular basis is that my hubby is an EMT and in first year Paramedic school, so he has clinicals at our local hospital. Even though our "count" is low, it's disconcerting on some levels. But I knew marrying a guy upteen years ago who would then spend 30 years in the military I was in for a roller coaster life. This is just one more dip in the ride.

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    1. Dixie - Your hubby is a true hero and I admire his courage in expanding his knowledge to continue selflessly helping others. I also admire your strength and support which couldn’t possibly have been easy. I wish you both good health and please stay safe. Thank you for all you do.

      Julie

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  12. I'm so glad you & your family are okay. We're all taking this quarantine so seriously that it's great you injected some humor. We need a little levity now and then. Your son sounds a lot like our neighbor. Despite our having both our adult children close by, he still contacts us to see if we're okay and if we need anything. I hope you stay safe.

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    1. Diane - Thanks for your kind words. Yes, it’s difficult to think about anything but the pandemic right now. Sometimes it helps to turn off the news, and get a little fresh air, or phone a friend. It”s great that your kids live close by, and you have such a considerate neighbor. Please take care of each other and things will get better.

      Julie

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  13. GEM JULIE ~

    >>... Being under self-quarantine certainly gives a person plenty of time to think, especially during TV commercials.

    Ha! Now we have a good excuse to sit around the house and watch soap operas and The Kardashians.

    >>... the "quarantine 15."

    :^D Hadn't heard of that. But last Wednesday, I went on a 3-hour hike. Hopefully that'll stall the "quarantine 15" for maybe a week.

    >>... when the stay-at-home order is lifted

    Hmmm.... You're more optimistic than I am, Julie. The Wizards Behind The Curtain love this situation, and I think it'll take a lot of kicking and screaming from stir-crazy commoners before the order is lifted.

    Keep practicing your quick-draw, my friend.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

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  14. LOL - We are all in full lockdown as well. The entire country of NZ. Our house is our "bubble" and I am glad that both my girls are in our bubble. We are all doing fine, so far. Stay safe. Kia kaha is what they say in NZ meaning stay strong.

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  15. You are so right about the 'western' analogy. Who's going to blink first or move to the other side of the street to let the other buy. I think we all must be cooking/eating more. :)

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    1. Helen - We walked outside today and people were friendly and courteous. If they saw us walking on the sidewalk, they’d move to the street and vice-versa. Everyone seemed less stressed in the sunshine and we even smiled and said “hello” from a distance. It was a far cry from our narrow hallways! Yes, today we cleared the junk food out of the freezer to make room for chicken and frozen veggies. But of course, we couldn’t let any of the ice-cream and brownies go to waste! Thanks Helen and take care.

      Julie

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  16. Stephen - I was never really a fan of “The Kardashians,” but I have watched a few daytime and nighttime soaps over the years. Is watching “General Hospital” for over 30 years a bad thing? I’m impressed that you went on a 3-hour hike! Stephen, you’re a wonderful person, but we’ll have to agree to disagree about your “ Wizards Behind The Curtain” theory. People of all ages with autoimmune conditions from asthma and diabetes to transplant patients, all have to be particularly careful. And perfectly healthy people have also contracted COVID-19. Regardless of your beliefs, please don’t take any unnecessary risks with your health, my friend. I’d miss you terribly if you couldn’t blog in a strait jacket! Haha! Please don’t hate me, cause you told me to “practice my quick-draw!” Thanks for always being supportive, as well as a good sport!

    Rhonda - I’m so glad the girls are safe with you! It’s so hard not seeing our boys. We’ll have to wave to them in the lobby next week when they drop off masks, and pick up food for Passover. This is the first year since college that we haven’t celebrated the holiday together. I hope you and your family Kia kaha and safe. It has a nice ring to it. Thank you, Rhonda!

    Julie

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  17. Thanks for the giggles, Julie!

    Everything is in limbo… neither here nor there… the global tailspin is crazy. Actually, it’s surreal. One of the bloggers used the word “discombobulated” and I had a good laugh. But she’s right. Just under a million virus infections within a month? Yes, discombobulated IS the word!
    Stay safe in your corner of the globe.

    P.S. Your blog posts are always so entertaining. You should convert them into an e-book, or better still, get started on your memoir.

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    1. Hi Michelle - Yes, these are crazy times and things are incredibly “discombobulated.” But it helps to stay positive and you’re one of the most optimistic people I know. Case in point - your kind words really raised my spirits! Keep living by the Ubuntu philosophy, and continue taking good care of yourself! We will get through this. Thank you so much, Michelle!

      Julie

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  18. Dear Julie, it is always fun to read your blog as you have always made me smile with your wit. Similar to the e-card your husband sent you, I have to admit that when dinner is ready, I text My Retired Man in the next room that it is time to come to eat. After years of calling him and he not hearing/ignoring me, I started using the phone to get his attention. His is ALWAYS in his hand. Right now all communication is good.

    You have a wonderful, kind family, Julie. You are very blessed. You and your mom did a great job.

    Take care dear lady. We will get thru this 15 lbs. fatter and 100% grayer, but that’s OK.

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    1. Hi Arleen, You’ve devised a brilliant communication system with your husband that is not only good for your health, it’s good for your voice, as well as your sanity! I really appreciate your kind words about my family, and the special nod to my mom. You’ve also raised a fine family with caring and devoted children and granddaughters. Let’s meet somewhere in the middle on the Q-15! I’d like to be able to fit into the new jeans I bought online. But the going gray works for me. Once our hair’s completely covering our eyes, we won’t be able to see what we look like anyway! Stay safe and healthy, and thanks for the giggles!

      Julie

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  19. Thank you for the smiles. I'm glad you and your family are staying safe. These are times like we've never seen before, and they call for extraordinary measures.

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    1. Connie - Though I tried to add a little levity, I agree that we all need to take COVID-19 very seriously. Hope you and your family are also doing well. It must be hard not being able to spend time with your adorable grandchild. Thanks Connie and stay safe!

      Julie

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  20. How you keep your spunk and creative wit going so strong, stronger than ever, amazes me Julie. I was laughing at the suggestion of sanitizing your husband's back, while it sounds as though that might be an essential task on your part.
    Much love, strength, safety and the knowledge that you're wonderful.

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    1. Robyn - YOU are the witty one! I'm still laughing from your poem! Oh Robyn, I admire you so much for all the work you've been doing to help others during COVID-19, and the laughter you provide through your writing is essential in lifting everyone's spirits. Thanks for all you do and stay safe!

      Julie

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