Coronavirus Blues

Tuesday March 17, 2020

There’s got to be a better way!

 It’s one thing to be retired, without any real, daily obligations. In this chosen situation, I’ve made obligations for myself: writing, community work, visiting friends & family, doing nothing if I want to, etc. But this self-isolation is something else again. I’ve already been at it for several weeks; before the coronavirus crisis reached its current proportions, I was sick with a cold, from February 27 until this week. I’m just beginning to feel normal, physically.

 Mentally, not only am I finding it harder to create, but I’m also finding it harder to think logically and analytically enough to find solutions to everyday problems. Talk about a brain drain. It’s one thing to chat on social media or even on the phone. Quite another to connect with others in this sort of vacuum.

 My phone conversations are mainly check-ins, which are helpful. But, at the moment, not being able to make plans or spend time with others, working toward common goals or on projects, is a little frightening.

 On the positive side, I do keep to a daily routine—getting up at the same time each day, planning meals, doing chores, etc. 

 At this moment, though, life feels surreal.

 Anyone else feeling this way? If so, what are you doing about it?

After posting this missive on Facebook, many of my friends commented that they feel the same way. But only one friend suggested a way to counter it: Write what you know, he said; from the heart. Suddenly, my fear and malaise ended, and I resolved to create this new section for the blog: My Coronavirus Diaries.


A Trip to the Grocery Store, After the TP Panic of Last Weekend


Thursday, March 19, 2020

So, today I took my aunt grocery shopping. We both needed food and we needed to get out of the house. We both live alone, on opposite sides of town. I had to drive from my house, in Northeast Baltimore, to my aunt’s, in West Baltimore.

Traffic was heavier than I expected, but not as bad as it normally is. One dumb kid popped wheelies and zipped in & out of lanes on a motor bike, going down Hillen Rd. Later, in Remington, a cyclist gave himself too much extra space in traffic and then made a right on red without stopping. So much for bicycle safety. There were only a few pedestrians—most  of them dog walkers.

When my aunt got into the car, I suggested that we might have to switch to having groceries delivered if Baltimore goes into full lockdown mode. She rolled her eyes the same way I did, when a friend made the same suggestion to me yesterday. But we just don’t know what will happen in the coming weeks. As it is, the only stores open are grocery stores, gas stations/auto repairs, and curbside-pickup or drive-through eateries. The governor did back down on alcohol, allowing liquor to be delivered to homes, now that bars are closed as well. Not that I drink much alcohol; it’s the principle that counts!

At the store, I spent twice as much money as I’d planned to, but I thought I was doing a good thing. Until I unpacked my bags at home and realized I hadn’t bought so much after all.

But I bought a nice piece of salmon and several steaks, which will provide me a few meals to eat with sides I already have on hand. The trick will be to portion out the meats. I will have clean teeth (toothpaste and floss) and dry hands (paper towels). I will have green salads, fresh vegetables and fruit, and plenty to drink (non-alcoholic). I even treated myself to a pint of Häagen Dazs ice cream and a box of cinnamon graham crackers. No gorging on self-isolation snacks allowed. I’m short on cash, and this food’s got to last awhile.

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