So far, I’ve:
- Organized my spices. Not in alphabetical order as normal people do. First, I threw away anything that expired before 2000. I sorted the remaining jars and tins into three small baskets: Often Used; Sometimes Used; and What-the-hell-is-this-I probably-bought-it-for-a-special-recipe-and-only-used-it-once.
- Cleaned my house. I slogged through this chore, one room at a time, one day at a time, because well, time is plentiful. There’s no hurry. It took 10 days and now it’s time to do it again, for Pete’s sake. Something is wrong with this picture.
- Tried to get the neighbors on my block interested in a Coronavirus Quarantine newsletter, which I volunteered to write. Enthusiasm rivaled the sound of one hand clapping.
- Ordered groceries three times, with excellent results. The best place was a local independent store -- the Village Market. My Instacart representative was Ashley. I called her “my pusher” because she pushed a shopping cart in my place. She texted me as she navigated each aisle with my list in hand. Ashley reported items that were unavailable and sent pictures of possible substitutions. I could either say OK, or “Forget it. I can do without that.” I love this service. Hooray for Instacart and Village Market and Ashley. I am never going to the grocery store again.
- Walked around my neighborhood nearly every day and because time was plentiful, I kept a log of how far I went, how long I walked, whether or not I warmed up with some stretching exercises first; whether or not I took two 8-hour extra strength arthritis formula Tylenols beforehand; and which body parts hurt the most afterward. As Gilda pointed out, it was always something – right hip, left hip, lower back, feet, whatever. I’m beginning to see a pattern. I need to have the other hip replaced. Will elective surgeries be allowed again before I turn 90?
- Counted my stash of toilet paper, which was purchased before this quarantine began. Lucky me again. Next I should probably calculate how many rolls I use per week. Then, uh, divide that number into my total rolls. Um. I think. Or is it the other way around? Divide the total rolls into the number I use each week. I never was good at math. Why is toilet paper such a scarce item anyway? When a national emergency comes along, I would think people should stock up on staples – meat, vegetables, canned goods, fruit, milk, sugar, flour, even alcohol. What kinds of people immediately dash to the store for cases of toilet paper?
- Stuck to my resolution of no alcoholic beverages during Lent. I had my last glass of pinot grigio on Tuesday, Feb. 25, and did not fall off the wagon. Didn’t miss it much. Thought I’d lose weight because of this deprivation. But no. I gained two pounds and they have settled, as usual, in the most unattractive areas.
- Learned to socialize on my desktop computer and phone using Facebook, FaceTime, texts and emails. I have kept in touch with most of my family and friends. I miss my women friends’ Friday morning get-togethers at a local coffee shop. I miss movie nights and card games and my low-key exercise class. I miss a twice weekly mah jongg game I can just drop in on if I feel like it. I miss the library. And I miss attending meetings with a couple of groups I belong to. I’ll appreciate these social events so much more when they resume.
- Sang or hummed “Happy Birthday to You” (or most of it) nearly 500 times. Hands are dry and rough and wrinkly. Lotion doesn’t help much.
- Procrastinated. I should clean a closet/take a shower/do laundry/pay bills/write a novel/find a cure for cancer. But – what’s the hurry? My desk calendar is blank tomorrow, just as it was today and will be on the next day and the day after that.
This quarantine seems to have been successful – so far -- in flattening the curve. We have to keep doing it. The unflappable Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is my hero.