Social Distancing, Day 29

April 9, 2020 @ 5:48 pm | Filed under:

I just counted and this is day 29 of isolation for us. I mean, if you can call it “isolation” when there are eight people in the house. But yeah, March 12 was my last foray into the world, except for a doctor visit when I injured my hand two weeks ago.

I’m no longer taking walks in the neighborhood because my seasonal asthma cough has kicked in & the cool air we’ve had (until today) exacerbates it. And anyway, even with a mask I’d worry my non-covid cough would make others uncomfortable. So I moved the garage clutter off the treadmill and have been using that. And gardening as much as my bad hand can handle. (It’s lots better now but not 100%.)

WB’s school is officially canceled for the rest of the year, and Jane’s job is remote. Beanie’s college classes are online this quarter. Rose graduated from PCC in March (without fanfare—finished last week of classes + finals online, will get her diploma in the mail) and is enrolled at PSU for the fall…whatever that may look like.

For Huck & Rilla, it’s absolutely a low-tide homeschooling time, but we’re keeping up with a few daily things. I’m feeling pretty slammed with work. The usual stuff plus as much extra as I can scrape together. And am feeling uneasy about how back-burnered my own writing is, not to mention outreach to help give Nerviest Girl a good start when she launches in August. There’s not enough time in the day—not when keeping focused moment to moment requires such Herculean effort. It’s exhausting, working through this thing. And yet I’m so grateful to HAVE the work. I just wish my brain weren’t so tuckered out all the time! It’s been…quite a year. Skin cancer surgery, the damaged tendon, my stupid cough which is so worrisome under the circumstances.

Scott’s the only one going to the grocery store, and he takes major precautions. Still nervewracking, though.

My parents’ neighbor’s grandson died of COVID-19 yesterday—the youngest person to die of it in Colorado so far. My sister also had warm ties to the family. It’s so awful. And I’ve had my heart in my throat for friends in NY and elsewhere for weeks. (Keep us updated, y’all. We worry about you.)

Reading is another tricky pursuit right now…I’m darting from book to book like a butterfly. Stitching + listening to stuff works a lot better—embroidery occupies enough of my mind that I don’t start absently opening tabs. Mostly I read coronavirus news.

When Jane was going through chemo as a toddler, we often shared a hospital room with post-op surgery patients. Sometimes we would hear distraught parents weeping on the other side of the curtain while awaiting their child’s return. Then, inevitably, the parents would find out Jane was in for leukemia and they would begin making profuse apologies for crying about elbow surgery or a broken leg. And I’d be like: no, no, you get to feel how you feel about this! You’re going through something hard and real and frightening. You don’t have to grade it on a curve or downplay your feelings just because the kid in the next bed has something more dire. I think about that a lot right now as I see people being honest about what they miss or are struggling with and then immediately apologizing because so many others are dealing with worse. It’s okay to say what you miss & articulate what’s hard. It’s okay to feel upended and anxious even when your day-to-day isn’t bad.

I miss working in coffee shops. I really miss Chorale. But for the most part I’m not finding it hard to be cloistered here at home. My life was already pretty home-based. (Although what’s happening now looks very little like our real homeschooling lives. Homeschooling doesn’t mean you stay home all the time.) I look forward to my early-morning writing sessions, watching the sun rise and listening for the train whistle, the Northern flicker, the first sparrow’s call. I wish I could spend these strange days just hanging out with my kids and making art. I wish I were doing a better job of documenting it all. I wish the federal government would do its job. I wish for people back who are gone.

I wish you all well and appreciate your posts!

    Related Posts


5 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Melanie says:

    We’ve been mostly quarantined since, I guess, March 16 when we took a very socially distanced hike with Anthony’s cub scout den. Hard to believe, looking back at my blog archives that on March 9 my biggest concern was getting to Mass after the time change. How everything has changed.

    I’m still going out for groceries once a week and Dom and I have been taking turns making runs for milk and eggs etc. But otherwise we’re home. Except for a couple of nature walks in reservation lands where there aren’t many other people.

    Life mostly feels like life as usual. Minus scouts and various appointments. And of course my original plan for the spring had more museums and a walking tour of Boston’s Freedom Trail…. We’re mostly sticking to our usual lax homeschool routine. Bella’s taking two online classes with Homeschool Connections and we just started reading Lord of the Rings.

    My ability to write seems to wax and wane. Mostly waning the last week. I guess that’s probably stress and anxiety. Mostly I don’t feel it except once a day or so it hits my like a punch. I let myself look at news once a day and then put all that back in its box. Mostly. I have the occasional bout where I feel suddenly sad with no discernible trigger. And like I can’t do anything. I just check out and want to sit and cry. That happened to me when I was making dinner the other day and I had to just get Dom to finish doing what I was doing. It feels like everyone I know has an acquaintance, a friend, or a family member who has been sick. Who has died. I just found out one of my philosophy professors is in the hospital, one of our jolly Cictercian monks. And they’d been quarantined for a month. I worry about all the older monks now. And all the people mourning and unable to have funerals to properly bury their dead. Unable to give and receive comfort. It scares me, too.

    It’s always good to see your posts here. Thank you for writing.

  2. Penny says:

    (((Lissa and Family)))

    You said it all with your honest words and your wishes. Bigtime. The whole world is gobsmacked.


  3. Jamie says:

    I’ve been re-reading Blackout/All Clear (which I first heard about through you) and finding them exactly right for this season. Awful things happen, they remind me, and and we cannot see what lies ahead. But if we each do our bit, things will come right in the end. At least, I told my children, we’re not spending these chilly nights in a damp Anderson shelter buried in the backyard!

  4. Rohan says:

    ” It’s okay to feel upended and anxious even when your day-to-day isn’t bad.” This is a generous thing to say. I think it’s something a lot of us are struggling with. I’m so, so grateful that (for now) my job is safe and we can work from home, and that so far we are healthy. It is hard to square that with how distraught I sometimes feel. But if we do grade on that curve, it adds guilt to the other emotions we inevitably feel, so acknowledging them seems important to our wellbeing.

    I’m something of a home body too, but isn’t it interesting how different it is *having* to stay home, rather than choosing to!

  5. Susanne Barrett says:

    This is Day 29 for us, too. my husband does grocery shopping every ten days or so, more frequently earlier, trying to stretch to two weeks if we can. There are five of us at home, and the three of us who work do so remotely. My husband does handyman work to supplement our income, so he is only taking outdoor work, of which there hasn’t been much.

    Our second adult kid is immunocompromised, so we have been super careful.
    I am wiping down shared surfaces twice daily, diffusing essential oils that both support immunity and kill MERSA, and just not going anywhere. Occasionally, weather-permitting, we have a neighbor over to chat; she sits on one side and we sit on the other side of our front porch, about 15 feet apart. We’ve moved our weekly D&D sessions with the same neighbor and her husband to Discord and then Zoom our battles.

    We do church on Zoom and YouTube; Holy Week with the Anglican Church has been interesting with the Triduum services: Maundy Thursday last night, Stations of the Cross today at noon; Good Friday service tonight (parts of the service date from the 5th century) and Holy Saturday Great Vigil tomorrow night (parts dating from the 4th century), then Easter services Sunday morning–all on Zoom. Our town’s community church, which I also attend, is posting services and worship singing sessions on YouTube, and the pastor of the community church e-mailed the entire church the Anglican church’s service schedule for those who are interested. I love having church crossover during Holy Week–high church Anglicans with down-home evangelicals (one pastor wears cowboy boots and the other flipflops, no matter the weather, snow included)!! 😀

    Wishing you and yours well, and hoping you have time for a couple of D&D sessions, Ms. DM!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂