This is my fifth day of (partial) self-quarantine. While not (yet) required, my husband and I have remained in our home most of the time for the past five days. I have mainly only gone out to the grocery stores. I have also supported the drive-through at Starbucks and made one trip to TJ Maxx. Mike has ventured out to his office a couple of days, being only one of two (physically distanced) people there. I think for both of us our outings have been more for diversion than anything else. The rest of the time we have hunkered down at home, doing what we do during normal times; Mike on his computer, and me in the kitchen. So far, it has not been too difficult. That will certainly change if this current reality becomes our new normal.
I am a thinker, and I have even more time to think than usual. A lot of my thinking now relates to our new and current reality. I am confused as to some of the rules regarding the partial shutdown. In most states, and in ours, NC, all bars and restaurants are closed except for take-out. Yet other businesses, like discount stores, consignment stores, and antique stores remain open. Other than for groceries, do we really need to be shopping during this crisis? I recognize that there are probably not as many people in those stores as there would be in restaurants if they were to remain open, but that could be controlled by instituting the required physical distancing and limiting the number of people being served.
It seems to me that restaurants and bars have been unfairly singled out in having to shut down. Many of these eating and socializing establishments will go out of business, not able to withstand the loss of business. While I realize that it Is crucial to limit the spread of this virus, how the decisions are being made regarding such seems unfairly divided. Many people who have been employed in food establishment businesses will find themselves on unemployment. Those of us who are now cooking and eating at home may need to continue that after this crisis is over, as some or even many of our favorite establishments may be financially unable to re-open.
As of this writing, 46 US states have closed all schools, and the others have closed some. There is currently no known timeline for when schools and businesses will be able to reopen. Although many people appear to be hoarding toilet paper, there is no indication of a food or grocery shortage. There is a shortage of medical supplies, especially masks and respirators. This shortage is very troublesome given the increasing number of new Coronavirus cases and deaths in the US and worldwide from the condition.
How are everyday Americans handling this new normal? The response to this epidemic is varied. While many are self-quarantining, some are going about their usual activities, seemingly unconcerned about the problem including how their actions can make things worse. The best example of this is the Spring Breakers refusing to use physical distancing to curb this tide.
How about the Americans who are self-quarantining? How are they spending their days? The first couple of days I was in a funk, unable or unwilling to be productive. I sat around, watching too much news about the virus, immobilized by what was and even more so by what might be. Although there is plenty that could be done, including cleaning out closets, organizing stuff, and various other tasks there is usually not enough time to do, I had no energy to do anything.
After those first two days, I kicked myself into gear and decided to be productive. I began my overdue exercise routine, walking two miles a day to hopefully alleviate my new Osteoporosis and high cholesterol diagnoses. I also did what I usually do when I am upset. I cooked. And that junk drawer in my kitchen has never been more organized! My closet will be next. And I am writing, not wanting to lose the opportunity to record the lessons of this time.
How about you? How are you spending these days? When you look back at this time, how will you evaluate your actions? How will you measure how you played your part in this crisis?