Random Observations From Quarantine

Over the past several weeks of “safer at home” lockdown, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the world and think great thoughts.  Well, maybe not great thoughts, but thoughts, nonetheless. Here are a few of the notions that are percolating in what is left of my mind:

  • At some point, my hair’s ability to grow wider, wavier, and wilder exceeds my ability to wield a flat iron. I reached that point a couple of weeks ago.  Now, not only do I have a gray streak running down the center of my head at the roots, I am also sporting a hair style reminiscent of a terrifying Bozo The Clown.
  • It’s okay that I can’t flatten my hair because the flatter my hair is, the more obvious the gray stripe running down my roots is.
  • I don’t recommend watching a Zombieland flick when you are sheltering-in-place to avoid contagion. We just watched Zombieland Double Tap the other night.  A movie about the brain-eating “survivors” in a world decimated by a mutant virus probably wasn’t the best choice.  Maybe a little too close to home right now.  What’s worse is that I found it laugh-out-loud funny at some points.  I felt really crummy about that.  My soul is dark and evil. 
  • Going to the grocery store is now like foraging.  I play hunter and gatherer for myself and several immune-compromised friends. It is interesting that it is difficult to buy milk, eggs, meat, peanut butter, canned soups, and other protein sources, but there is no shortage of potato chips, ice cream, candy, and cookies on the supermarket shelves.  I should be fine. 
  • If my work colleagues who tried so hard to shove me into the 21st century of technology and distance learning could see me now, they would be laughing hysterically.  I was using paper and pen long after every rational person opted for word processing programs.  Now, I’m experimenting with conference calls and zoom.com like I invented the whole idea. 
  • It is helpful to keep a handwritten food diary when in isolation.  You’ll probably stop eating when the writer’s cramp gets bad enough.  No guarantees, though.  For people who are hoarding food as if we were awaiting the zombie apocalypse (ooops… there’s that zombie thing again), we certainly are consuming it like there is no tomorrow.
  • My bedroom floor will never be uncluttered again.  I often have bags and boxes of things I need for my various organizations arranged carefully on the bedroom floor.  Typically, by May, all my pending projects for these organizations are completed and I regain the real estate in my boudoir.  This year, however, all bets are off.  I prepared for several large interactive presentations for my church groups before we went under house arrest, including buying supplies and equipment. I thought that stuff would be off the floor of my bedroom by now.  These presentations don’t lend themselves to the virtual environment. I have an interesting collection of paper goods, decorations, pamphlets, outlines, art supplies, and bed sheets stacked against the wall of my room.  Looks like those things, like me, are not going anywhere for a while. 
  • I wonder if my fingers will ever recover from the pruney wrinkles caused by excessive handwashing. It may require plastic surgery. When I was a little girl, I remember my frustrated mother’s response to misbehavior.  She’d say, “go take a bath and don’t come out until you are pruney.”  I wonder what I did bad this time. 
  • It’s okay to be sad about “selfish” stuff.  Over the past few weeks, many people have had to cancel huge, once-in-a-lifetime celebrations.  Graduations, weddings, funeral services, high school reunions, and many other similar events have been postponed or cancelled. People feel bad about feeling bad because they know that, compared to worldwide death and disease, their events are not that big a deal.  It is a big deal, though, and I feel for those people. I encourage them to mourn those disappointments.  I, fortunately, have not had to deal with anything like that.  There have been several “next tier” kind of cancellations that have hit me, though.  My planned vacation to New York City to see both Hamilton and Come From Away on Broadway is not happening. I miss my weekly trips to Disney and other fun places.  I think I am saddest about missing my annual retreat to Discovery Cove.  I’m sure I’ll reschedule, but, with the wackadoodle Florida weather, the ideal window of opportunity for this excursion is limited.  I think it is okay to mourn these things, as long as I keep everything in perspective.
  • I think I may have discovered the antidote for quarantined-induced frumpiness.  Two words.  Video conference.

What have you observed during this challenging time?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.   In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com.

Have a healthy day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

6 thoughts on “Random Observations From Quarantine”

  1. I love your perspective and your observations! I think we’re all learning a lot these days about ourselves and about what’s really important in life. We are also missing our ability to go away for a few days, or just to the parks for the day. In an effort to satisfy this yearning, Emily and I “camped out” on our lanai last night to watch the meteor shower! It was actually quite fun and brought back memories of sleeping out on my patio with my friends as a child. We’re now looking forward to doing it again next week!

  2. Thank you for this bright spot in my day! My hair is also getting to the point of no return! I wonder if I will be motivated to go back to my pre-quarantine schedule. It is nice not to have to rush to get somewhere!

    1. I’m trying not to have any expectations about what I’ll do after quarantine because “after quarantine” is starting to feel so distant.

  3. I’m fortunate to live in a rural area. Overall, disease incidence is low. Social distancing? It’s called calving season around here. The view outside my windows hasn’t changed in this pandemic. Spring has finally arrived with the snow cover melted and the first bluebird sighting in the books. Farmers are anticipating spring planting on the heels of a poor harvest when conditions prevented them from getting crops off the fields. The oil industry was in a downturn and now they’re giving oil away. Businesses in this rural area were already hard hit and now this. I’m seeing a financial fallout that may equal the health ramifications. Hair style and lack of toilet paper are the least of my worries. Terri, I appreciate your humor. I especially liked the writer’s cramp while keeping a food diary. In spite of the negative tone of my reply, I do try to keep my chin up. I concentrate on the seasonal tasks at hand, journaling, managing my home, getting outside and moving my body, connecting with family and friends, meditation, music. And still there’s a list of things left undone.

    1. I absolutely agree, Mona. I am very worried about the financial fallout. I think it may take years for the economic recovery. I’m fortunate to be retired and have a defined benefit pension. I’ve been trying to give generously to charitable organizations and tip insanely well when I do interact with someone, like the plumber who came yesterday. I’ve been buying Starbucks cards and giving them to people at the grocery store. I wish there was more I could do.

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