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As women, we don’t need scientists to convince us of the desirability of flattening curves.  We’ve been engaging in that pursuit for decades.  It turns out that isolation can be a very good, or a really bad, way to do so.  We can either engage in daily walks to escape our incarceration, or we can sedentarily dip into our emergency rations of Hershey’s Minis, honey roasted almonds, or Sun Chips.   The curves flatten or they don’t.

On February 25th I scoffed at my husband for his online purchase of cases of Chef Boyardee ravioli, Easy Mac, tuna, fruit snacks, and ramen (chicken and beef).  Turns out he anticipated the curve and wanted to be ahead of it.  He requested that during my outings, I buy gallon bottles of water because, “you never know”.  Skeptical, but compliant, I did. And, serendipitously, I did a Costco and Trader Joe’s run on Tuesday, March 11.  

That’s the last time I was out shopping so, if you are unable to find toilet paper in the grocery store, it’s not my fault.   I didn’t buy toilet paper, as we had over 40 rolls at home.  (No, you cannot have my address.)  Who knew the very next day, toilet paper would be a hot commodity and the subject of every meme?!   BTW, does anyone make money on memes?  I’d like to buy stocks in that company; I’m sure they’re currently affordable.

Today is the 20th day of our self-isolation and, aside from my momentary Monday meltdown, we have been doing very well.  We’re doing our part to follow the task force’s guidelines, so it’s frustrating to see others cavalierly ignoring them.  Here’s my suggestion: anyone seen frolicking outside in complete disregard of their civic duty, should be sprayed with indelible ink.  A scarlet “M”, perhaps? For moron?

And so, we have settled into our routine. Luckily, we live in the country so have no problem with social distancing.  Our daily walks keep us somewhat sane, although I suppose that is a subjective assessment.  In the past, we rarely encountered anyone else on our path.  Now, being that walks are de riguer, we do come across some of our neighbors.  However, we smile at each other ruefully, all thinking the same thing: “Back off Boogaloo”.  We hold our breath as we walk through their invisible exhalations.  

Mealtimes are big events!  Always being averse to waste, I have now completely embraced my inner obsessive compulsive.  When my husband requested a fried egg with some chicken sausage for breakfast, I stingily cut the sausage in half.  We have just run out of salad and are on frozen veggie rations.  I am starting to channel Rosie the Riveter.  

I brush my teeth regularly, but showering is an ablution for every other day.  Why waste water when I go nowhere?  Make-up sits forlornly and neglected in my drawer.  My grey roots are reminiscent of Jack and the Beanstalk.  My uniform consists of leggings and a Tshirt.  When I am cold, I add leg warmers and a sweatshirt.  Except for the dental hygiene, I’m sure I could pass as a homeless person.  Ray says I am the best-looking girl in the gulag. 

A few years ago, I stopped playing Scrabble on my iPad as it was becoming addictive.  I now embrace the addiction.  I have assembled buildings for our model railroad layout, which is a miniature world sans virus.  We have more buildings on order and assembling them will be a welcome way to pass the hours.  Other products are on order like canned fruit, tea, cat food…our best friends are now the UPS and FedEx delivery guys.  We can’t be accused of not doing our part for the economy.

Three months or a lifetime ago, Ray, my son, and I traveled to Thailand and Cambodia.  We returned home on January 8 and are thankful for having dodged a bullet by returning at that time.  We are thankful for many things.

We are not in fear of losing our home and we don’t worry about feeding ourselves, but our lives, like the lives of all, have been drastically altered.  That is unsettling at best, and frightening at worst.  However, we have our therapy cats, several months’ worth of tuna, and each other.  In conjunction with our global family, we will ride the curve.  And we will survive.   

The Curve: Reflections On This Time In Self-Isolation was last modified: by

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