From the trenches – Day 15

Since two Thursdays ago, I’ve been home. This doesn’t count the couple grocery trips but it’s basically the time we’ve been hunkering down. It’s something I am slowly coming to terms with. We may be here a while longer so I’ll need to be mentally prepared anyway. Admittedly, we went out Tuesday to responsibly social distance with our friends up the street. We made sure to be six feet apart and everything. Helps that they too have been isolating for the same amount of time. It was much needed socialization (though I do wish I hadn’t had that fourth beer; it put me over the top and I woke Wednesday feeling pretty sub-par.)

My attitude changes day to day; sometimes I wake up and the news is all doom and gloom articles: “We’re all going to get it and you might die!”, “This could last months!”, “The reinfection will be worse!” Then some days, you get articles like, “Projected numbers are much less than they’re saying.”, “This Malaria drug will work.”. So you just can’t really say how bad it is or not. Here in my city, we’ve been at 8 total cases for over a week and it would be good if that didn’t change much. Seems like a lot of folks here are taking care to isolate. I also think having most of the college kids leave town helps. I’m trying not to go to the store unless I really think we have to. The new idea is that you should be carefully wiping down all packaging so as far as I am concerned, I’d rather eat through all the stuff we have here and not bring anything else in. It won’t be easy because we’re used to on-demand food. Kids want so-and-so for dinner, I get it and boom – instant gratification.

Now, we must all learn to live like more old times. My grandfather has told them how, during the depression, an onion slice on a piece of bread was common. How, if you wanted meat and the chickens had all been eaten, you shot a squirrel. We have no idea what that’s like. We still have frozen pizza and mini tacos and plenty of snacks. I have lots of frozen beef and that can go a long way to making spaghetti.  I have a lifetime supply of peanut butter but we’ll run out of bread before that. We still have some fruit for now. I will probably go to the store once this weekend and plan ahead; know exactly what to get and be prepared to scrub it all down before it enters the house.

What I wish I knew – what we all wish we knew – was how soon this could end. But we don’t and we can’t and that’s just the truth of it. I keep thinking of the quote from Lord of the Rings, which is very pertinent to what we’re living through now.

“Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”


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