August 11, 2020 Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


Writing anything has been a challenge for me lately, as have many things. I lack motivation. But I keep trying to set daily goals of some sort and push through.

When it comes to writing for this blog, I don’t know what I have that my readers would find interesting or helpful as they too take this journey. It’s been suggested that travel writing should be focused on local things of interest now, to entice visitors, but during this time, we’d rather not have too many visitors here in our small, virus-free community. Most of us feel a little panicky when we see out-of-towners congregating on our small beaches, or lined up at our ice-cream shop, without masks. There isn’t really much room for more than half a dozen people to observe social distancing.

So, what else can I do? This week, after a week of bouts of unspecific sadness, I’m determined to jump back into a few projects that I’ve been neglecting, two of them involving walking down memory lane.

I spent several hours over the weekend updating my Family Tree on Ancestery.ca and I found some interesting information that I knew nothing about before. I plan to post an article or two about that to my other blog site, Unfolding Our Past, one I started a few years ago, but then walked away from.

Another is work on my Memoirs, which I’ve been working on off and on for many years. If I’m ever going to get it done, now is the time. The years are slipping away too quickly.

Yesterday I decided to merge the several versions I have and try to get it together. When I found the very first draft, that I’d revised a little, I was encouraged by the  positive feedback I’d received when I’d submitted it to an online writing community that I had joined probably fifteen years ago. I’m trying to remember the name of it. I wonder if it still exists? I wonder why I dropped out? No, I know why. I went back to work, and began to travel more, and my writing focus changed, to travel blogging!

Now that we aren’t traveling, and have no idea if/when we will again, it’s time to get back to it. It’s interesting that when I was reading through what I’ve written so far, I felt a bit of an epiphany, like I was looking at my story through different eyes. The stress, that I usually feel when remembering the pain, frustration and resulting depression during the bad times, lifted. I’m not sure where this will take me, but I’m hoping to completion, whether published or not.

There are a few chapters (or beginnings) included under the Memoirs/My Memoirs Tab on this website, if you’re interested. Feedback is always welcome!

And on days that I feel I have to get out of my head for a while, I still have that quilt that I’ve not yet finished!

July 17th – Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


In the mornings of the two days that we went to see the eye doctor, I’d wakened up with a bit of a scratchy, sore throat and I was tired, so I wondered if I needed to postpone the appointments, but I was pretty sure that it was due to my allergies and extreme heat. By the time we had to leave for Peterborough, I was feeling just fine so I answered the questions at the doctor’s office honestly. But, by Thursday evening my throat was really sore and my ears were blocked. Again, under normal circumstances, I would have gone with the allergies diagnosis, but I began to worry about the slight chance that it could be COVID and I felt very concerned about having been to the Optometrist office the day before.

On Friday morning, after breakfast and allergy pills and using the netti pot, my throat was back to normal. In fact, I felt better than I had for weeks! Still I felt that I should go to the local clinic for a COVID test just to be sure. It was in the next town over from us. The info we found online wasn’t up-to-date so it took a couple of tries to find it, only to discover that it wasn’t open on Fridays! I’d have to wait until Monday, or drive further to find another clinic. It would have been nice to not worry over the weekend, but I knew I wouldn’t get the results before the next week anyway. So we kept pretty much to ourselves all weekend, going out only for an evening walk around our rural block. We don’t usually meet up with anyone we know to stop and chat. When we did see friends who were standing in line at the ice-cream shop, I kept my distance while they chatted. I’d forgotten to take a mask with me. That night my throat got really sore again. I was so disappointed.

The weather cooled down some. I slept better and regained my energy. I had no more sore throat after that. I kept doing the Self-Assessment on the phone App. I never did have any fever. By Monday I was confident that it wasn’t COVID, but I made appointments for both Jim and me to get tested anyway, to relieve everyone’s mind. We had to wait until Tuesday.

The Clinic visit was a horrible experience. I was called in first. Jim filled out the questionnaire while he waited in the car. I was expected to fill it out while also answering the verbal questions that were being fired at me from the technician! I have no idea if I filled in the written pages with all the correct answers! He finished his questions and then waited impatiently, holding a very long stick in his hand, for me to finish my form.

“Take off your mask. I’m going to put this way up your nose. Don’t cough and don’t pull away,” he said. And there it was, pushing further and further through my right nostril until tears rolled down my cheeks. I resisted the urge to pull back by holding my breath. Even after it was removed, the pain lingered. Outside, the slight breeze entering my nose increased the discomfort. I wish I had a picture of that!

“We’ll send you the results in two to three days, or you can go online to get them,” the other, female, worker said to me as she handed me a page of information. She was very pleasant.

Jim had his turn. He didn’t have to fill our questions at the same time as answering verbal questions, but he did have to endure the same pain. He was unable to resist pulling back and the fellow held his head!

I can’t imagine President Trump and his staff going through that every single day!

On Wednesday we drove to Cobourg to look at storage sheds for our new bikes, which should arrive within a month. On Thursday we went back to order one and all the materials needed to build the floor. I stayed in the car and Jim, of course, wore a mask and used hand sanitizer. We had no way of bringing it all home, but one of our neighbours offered to pick them up with a trailer when they will be going that way on Monday. We know what we’ll be doing next week to fill in some time! Assembling.

This morning, we went online to get our test results – NEGATIVE!

July 10, 2020 – Mind Travelling during COVID-19


Last week I started a post this way:

Some days I feel like we’re just treading water, living on hold. I’d really like to get back to doing some sort of travelling. It’s still not safe to venture too far away from home, but there are things we could enjoy within our own province. Maybe we could possibly fly to BC to visit my family. But now that the airlines have decided to fill their planes again, I’m not comfortable with that.

Then my muse disappeared. With no travel, I had nothing more to write.

This week we had a few things on our calendar. Monday we were again hosting our weekly Ukulele Jam on our lawn. Well, we thought we were.  We got all set up under the trees and waited. No one showed up! We did a bit of practicing ourselves and some of our neighbours came out to chat.

On Wednesday, we thought, Jim was to have a care conference by phone with his brother’s support nurse (Andrew) at the Long term Care Facility where he lives. It was supposed to be at 10:00 a.m. At 11:00, when Jim hadn’t heard from him yet, he called the home. They had to track Andrew down and would have him call back. We left here at 12:00 p.m. headed for our appointments with our Eye Doctor in Peterborough. We got about half way there when Jim’s phone rang. It was a call from the Nursing Home. The appointment with Andrew was scheduled for Thursday, not Wednesday!

We carried on to Peterborough. Because there were all new rules of conduct, due to COVID-19, timing was crucial, so we’d left home early enough to allow for the  possibilities of road construction delays, as is the norm every summer. We arrived at the Clinic parking lot a half hour before my appointment, so we waited in the car, with the windows down, capturing any little breeze that drifted in. We were on a week of extremely hot and dry weather.

Five minutes before my appointed time, as instructed, I put on my facemask and entered the building. I rang the bell on the office door and waited for someone to come out. When she did, she looked at her clipboard and said, “Iris?”

“No, I’m Judy,” I replied.

She looked through her papers and said she’d be right back. When she came out again she told me that the mask I was wearing (which has a filtered vent on it) wasn’t allowed because it “let’s air out.” She said she’d have to check with the doctor, but she had been told no vents. I explained that there was  a filter. She said she had one she could give me if they didn’t allow mine.

Vented Mask

I shrugged and said, “Okay.” She couldn’t see my smile behind my mask.

Another woman came along while I waited and she was asked questions and then ushered into the office. I wondered why, since I was there at exactly my time slot. I texted Jim to tell him that I’d be longer, and that he wouldn’t be able to use his vented mask either.

My turn came to answer all of the questions. I put on the mask that I was given and tucked my own into my pocket. After using hand sanitizer on the way through the door that was being held open for me (we were told not to touch anything, including the door knobs) I was instructed to sit in the rolling chair located near the station where eye glasses are checked. I’d just sat down when someone else rang the door buzzer. The young woman went to answer it and then came back saying, “I must have the wrong Judy.” She got the file and said to me, “You’re Judy Green, right?”

“No,” I said, “I’m Judy Lawless.” She looked perplexed. Apparently the woman at the door was also a Judy.

The technician heard the conversation and looked at the daily list of patients. “We don’t have a Judy Lawless on today’s list,” she said.

“What?” I asked. “I talked to someone on Monday, confirming my appointment, and she sent me the emails. Do you have Jim Victor on there?”

“No.” She checked the next day’s schedule. “Your appointments are for tomorrow. Dr. Shields isn’t even in today!”

I was stunned. “Okay,” I sighed and got up and headed toward the door. She ran past me and said, “Wait, I’ll open the door for you.” I waited, then dropped the mask into the waste basket that I noticed by the door as I headed out to tell Jim my saga. He checked his phone calendar and sure enough there sat the two appointments for the day, but they were both for Thursday! I don’t know why I had it in my head that they all were to be on Wednesday.

We were to meet a friend at Costco parking lot to pick up something from him. I texted and he asked if the original time would still work. I said sure. Jim had just asked if I thought we should buy the e-bikes that we’d looked at a couple of weeks ago. I’d given up on them because he didn’t seem that interested, so I was happy that he’d changed his mind. We stopped at the store and ordered them. They don’t come cheap, but I think when they arrive in August the weather will have cooled down enough for us to get out on our local trails at least.

When all was done and we were driving home, I replayed the appointment mix ups in my head, and realized that we both should have thought to check the eye appointments when we learned the conference call was not that day. And, I think I was a little rude with the women in the office. And I could have saved the mask for later use. I blame it on the lack of sleep and the high heat. My brain felt frazzled. I hope that’s all it was!

Fortunately, I was able to return the next day and apologize, and I was relieved to learn that my eye issues haven’t gotten any worse, and neither have Jim’s.

June 16th – Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


I’ve been trying to write this post for two weeks now. Although we are still in the midst of the Pandemic, it pales in comparison to the new events in today’s world.

I didn’t know when I wrote my last post, about keeping my own morale up with painting, and trying sourdough baking, and playing ukulele, that the next day I’d be watching the horrific video of  George Lloyd being held to the ground by a knee to his neck while he pleaded for his life and struggled to breathe.

The lingering sadness that I’d been feeling during the COVID-19 crisis suddenly meant nothing. My heart broke.

Now, several weeks later, I struggle with many emotions. At times tears still stop my voice from talking about it, and blur my eyes when I try to keep up with the news, trying to understand, looking for hope for a new world.

There just are no words. My mind races from one thing to another. I think of friends and relatives that I haven’t been in touch with for too long and friends that I lost touch with years ago. I think of my deceased parents and am thankful that they are not alive to see all that has changed the world so much in the last six months. Much of it they wouldn’t understand. It was not the way they were raised.

It’s strange how, no matter what I’m doing, little snippets of memories from my past, from my childhood to senior years, drift through my mind. Sometimes I wish there was more that I could remember, to connect the dots, to improve my understanding.

I sign petitions. I don’t know what else to do.

One ray of sunshine during the past few weeks was watching the little blue robin eggs hatch into little babies, and eventually seeing them leave the nest. All but one made it.

BabyRobins

I miss looking out the window to see how they are doing.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten about the pandemic completely. Some days I’m comfortable going out to do the shopping and having some social distancing interaction with friends; other days I’m quite content to stay indoors baking or reading, with no desire to go even to a store to buy more groceries. Today has been one of those days. Tomorrow I’ll have to push myself out the door.

May 24th – Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


Another month is quickly slipping by. It’s been a better month for sure. Mothers’ day brought great comfort, with phone calls or chats with all of my children, and gifts from my step-children left at the door, with a distancing visit.

The box of paints, brushes and a canvas were meant to prompt me to try something new. I took that challenge and found an online Paint Workshop that was suggested. I didn’t join it live because the time wasn’t convenient, but I did it on my own time the next day. It turned out that was good, because I struggled at first with mixing enough paint to do big sections, in different shades of blue, but I persevered. Unlike using watercolours (which I’d tried many years ago) my mistakes could be painted over and corrected. Well, most of them, until I ran out of the very important white paint required for mixing. Then I had to improvise. The two-hour class took me most of the day to finish this one painting. But, in the end I felt  good to have completed it, and it didn’t look too bad for an amateur. I enjoyed the challenge and hope to get some more canvas to try another one, sometime.

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Another gift was a jar of sourdough starter. It brought back memories of the delicious and light sourdough muffins that I used to make. The recipe made big batches and, because the starter had to be divided up with some to feed a new starter and the rest to be used in baking, once a week (actually it seems to me it was more often) my freezer was full of frozen muffins of a variety of flavours. My son told me years later how he used to often sneak down to the freezer to grab one or two and eat them frozen. I didn’t even notice the missing ones. I had to wait a week until it was time to feed the starter before I could use some of it, but I kept those muffins in mind.

I had several days when baking was my outlet, creating another (better) lemon meringue pie and chocolate/peanut butter squares one day.

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Another day I recruited Jim to help me make a big batch of perogies, one of my favourite quick from the freezer meals, but that I’d never made myself before. They were a lot of work, and took a long time, but we worked well together.

 

When the day came to feed the sourdough I was having a major pain day, which usually causes some brain fade. That day was no exception. For one thing, the new way of measuring ingredients is by weight instead of volume. Fortunately we have a scale that we used for weighing packages when doing product shipping for our online businesses, but I had to learn the trick for adding multiply ingredients. Then I put the water in before the flour, which made mixing more difficult. I doubted that it was going to work, but the next day I saw that it had.

I made a batch of muffins, not the recipe I used to use. Seems I didn’t keep it, never expecting to be doing volume or sourdough baking again. They might have turned out good if I hadn’t been trying to do something else in the kitchen while they were baking. I somehow tuned out the sound of the timer and they got way over baked. Not burned, but rather dry. Disappointing.

Oh well, the sun came out the next day and the temperature climbed.

We had a few ukulele players over to our lawn to play some tunes one day, keeping our distance and staying no more than an hour. We limited the invitation to only five of us in total. It was a welcome change.

One Friday evening we ordered take out Fish and Chips from one of our local restaurants, a restaurant that had been closed completely for two months and just recently started doing order-ahead take outs. We invited another couple who lives in the building to join us at the twelve-foot table in the Common Room, each of us with our own orders, using our own plates and utensils, sitting at opposite ends of the table. It was nice to chat and get caught up, something we hadn’t been able to do since we’d been gone for six months.

I bought vegetable seeds and planted one of the three planter boxes that our Condo Board acquired so we could have a little community garden.

I’ve gotten used to grocery shopping. It seems to be the new normal for me now. More people are wearing masks, and so far there has been no news of CORONA-19 outbreaks in our small tri-town community. I have to admit that that might not necessarily be a good thing, only because it becomes too easy to forget that we still have to be diligent with our social distancing and mask wearing. I was shocked when, one day after I was introduced to the woman who agreed to rent us parking space for the motorhome, without thinking I reached out to shake her hand — and she reciprocated! That weighed on my mind for a long time. I sanitized my hands as soon as I got back into the car; I hoped that she did too. I didn’t sleep well that night, after that incident and after hearing the latest COVID case statistics. The curve was rising, or at least no longer falling in many places in Canada and around the world. I had another major pain day.

We sat in our car by a nearby beach and watched and listened to the peacefulness.

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This morning I woke up feeling optimistic and planning things I wanted to accomplish. It was to be another sunny day. But the first thing I saw when I opened my iPad was a message from someone who cares, warning me that “take out” food is dangerous unless we’d cooked it again at home for ten minutes at at  least 80 degrees. He’d seen Jim’s Facebook post about our sharing with neighbours. Then I opened a news app and saw huge crowds of people on beaches enjoying Memorial Day  in the US, and I thought “they are never going to get out of this virus if they continue like this.” When I opened an app with Canadian news I saw the same thing happening in a park in Toronto! There goes my optimism and respect for my fellow human beings.

At least the sun is still shining, today.

And the flowers are blooming in the beds.

And a mother robin has decided to build her nest in a corner of the building, on the ledge of our bedroom window! How beautiful is that?

PLEASE STAY SAFE! AND KEEP YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE TOO!

May 9th – Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


The weather has been crazy; spring can’t decide if it’s going to stay or not. It’s as confused as we are.

Snow on the deck, May 8, 2020

Snow on the deck, May 8, 2020

 

I’ve been having trouble working through this lately. Maybe because I haven’t set any goals to complete projects, but that’s because the projects I have now are my own and they don’t have any urgency. There is always tomorrow, right? The calendar is blank. I’ve heard others make the same observation.

Calendar

 

Each day I wake up feeling a lingering sadness, even if I have something in mind that I might do that day. Today, I realized that, after nearly three months of avoiding close contact with people, then avoiding them altogether during self-quarantining on our way home from Arizona, and then continuing upon our return, and then becoming so conscious of the danger of not constantly washing my hands, or sanitizing them when out (wearing my mask) to do grocery shopping, this has become the new normal. As much as I long to sit down at a table with friends and family, to return to playing pickleball and ukulele in a group, I have trouble imagining being able to do those things again, without fear.

I’m one of the fortunate ones. I get to stay home where it’s safe. I don’t need to worry about losing my job or not being able to pay my bills if I don’t want to go to work in one of the dangerous environment out there, without adequate protection. I don’t need to feel obligated to risk my life to help save the lives of those who have been hit with the virus, although I shed many tears for those who are brave enough to do it.

And I do feel guilty about being so privileged. This is my new normal. Who knows if it will ever change?

Thank goodness for all the beautiful, and funny, video clips that are shared through the internet! They help to lift my spirits.

I’d love to hear from people around the world. How are you working through COVID-19?

Journaling Through COVID-19 – May 1st


Wow, I can’t believe it’s May 1st. I thought that I’d be writing and posting more frequently as I intended to Journal Through COVID-19, but although I’ve done nearly daily entries in my personal, hand-written journal, I’ve managed to find several projects to keep me busy with self-imposed deadlines, so my blogging got pushed to the back burner.

What have I been doing? Well, I first decided to try making a couple of face masks for Jim and me to use when we began venturing out to the grocery store and post office.

Jim's mask with ukulele chords on it!

Jim, of course, wanted one with ukulele chords on it!

Then I heard about a number of people making cotton face masks as requested by the local hospitals to be used for non-medical staff and patients being discharged. In exchange for some elastic that I had on hand and was no longer available in any stores that were open, a friend left me some of her extra fabric so I could make some too. I made twelve of them.

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But I was a little slow to the dance. By the time I had them finished, the hospitals declared they had received enough of them. They were now requiring some made with their own specific pattern, and special fabric that they would supply.

One hospital, however, wanted cotton surgical caps and clothing bags made, as well as crochet “mask buddies” – five inch pieces with buttons on each end that the elastic of the masks could be fastened to, relieving the pressure on the tops of the ears after a long day of wear. I had no fabric left, but I had plenty of yarn.  I started making the mask buddies. I was short of buttons, but a shout out to people in my community produced an abundance. I delivered the first batch of twenty-one within a few days. Yesterday, I dropped off another batch of 30.

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I gave a few of the masks to friends before a notice on one of my Facebook pages brought interest from a friend who works at the local prison. She was happy to receive the eight that I had left, and I felt good that I could help her out.

In the meantime my Book Club has had a couple of online meetings, and I joined a meeting of a Writing Club, also online for now. It was great to make some connections with people, and get some feedback on some of my writing.

A week ago we ventured to Peterborough to stock up on supplies from Costco, so that I wouldn’t need to go into the small grocery stores so often. I know, it’s better to support local businesses, especially during these hard times, but I was finding it just too stressful to safely navigate the narrow aisles while following the direction arrows and waiting my turn to enter. I always forgot or couldn’t find something I needed and was too anxious to have to go back through the maze again.

I was nervous about going to Costco too. I’d seen stories on the internet about the  long lines of people, many of whom gave no respect to social distancing, so I had no idea just what to expect.  We were fortunate to arrive at a time when there wasn’t much of a line. The carts were outside, and a fellow was spraying them all down, presumably with disinfectant, as they were returned, so we knew that the one we took was safe. Both of us were permitted to go in together. We put on our masks and were able to navigate the wide aisles quickly, giving anyone we encountered plenty of room. We were able to backtrack to find some things that were no longer where they were when we left in the fall.

The downside was the price of things, but I just got what I needed and left behind those items that I thought I could manage without for now, and ignored the cost. What else can you do when you don’t have much choice? The bill was far higher than I’d ever spent on food in one trip. But then, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had to make three meals a day, every day, for forty plus days in a row and counting! The extra help added to our Canada Pension cheque will make up the difference.

And the cost of gas is lower than it’s been in years too!

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We didn’t need to worry about bags, because Costco never has supplied them. We put everything back into the cart and transferred them to our own bags when we got to the car.

On the way home, we stopped at a local chicken farm that has a small store, where we bought chicken and fresh frozen vegetables. Except for some fresh produce that we’ll have to replenish soon, we are good for a few weeks.

I’ve not only been doing more cooking than I’ve done in years; I’ve also been baking more. I dug out an old cookbook that used to be my stand-by many years ago and I started creating some of my old favourites, and some new.

Lemon Pie

Made with a graham cracker crust because I didn’t have ingredients to make a crust! Used a lemon brought from Arizona tree.

Banana Bread made in Coffee mugs

Banana Bread made in coffee mugs, in fifteen minutes from start to eating! I added chocolate!

I thought we’d be putting on weight, but to our surprise, we’ve both lost those extra pounds we’d put on while eating too large portions in restaurants or at pot luck parties, or the chips that come with every sandwich in the restaurants, while in Arizona!

Last weekend Jim’s daughter asked if I could make a few surgical caps for her daughter’s nursing team at the hospital. She brought me some fabric and I found a bit more. I completed and delivered four to her yesterday. I still have two more cut and ready to put together.

Now I’m anxious to get back to writing, reading and perhaps add some more photographs to my stock portfolio.

It’s amazing how much you can find to do, if you just turn off the depressing news and get creative.

Hope you are all staying well and finding positive ways to get through this crisis.

April 6, 2020 – Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic 


I began a much longer post yesterday, a walk down memory lane, my trip to Europe in 1972. But it was a much bigger project than I’d realized, because I had nothing of the trip computerized. I needed to scan photos and post cards and read through the Itinerary to jog my memory. I’m still working on it, but for now I thought I’d share my experiences and emotions from this morning.

I woke up with a feeling of dread. When I looked at my iPad to get a synopsis of what the latest news was, I couldn’t contain my tears. It all was awful. What broke me most were the articles about how manufacturers of the medical equipment that all countries need so desperately, are inflating the prices to 700, or 800 or 900 percent above the normal price, making it so difficult for hospitals and the smaller health care centres such as Long Term Care Homes, to get them, And then there are the stories of people praying on the elderly by offering to buy groceries and then absconding with the money; or offering to clean their homes with them out of them, and stealing from them. What has happened to humanity?

I dried my tears and went to the kitchen to make some breakfast. Although I wasn’t really hungry, I knew I had to eat. The fridge was nearly empty. I made toast from the last two pieces of bread, and made coffee. One thing we do still have is plenty of grapefruit, so I cut up one of those. I knew I had to go shopping.

Jim thought I should just order it again, but I wanted to be brave and not let the paranoia I was feeling control my life. I also didn’t feel it was fair to put extra burden on the stores and volunteers that are generously delivering for free. Despite my age, I’m healthy. I have a good immune system. And I wanted to keep it that way with some fresh air and exercise. So I made my list and gathered my little wagon and reusable shopping bags. I had a mask I’d made from a kerchief, and disposable gloves and hand sanitizer in my pockets. I didn’t take my phone to avoid it being exposed to anything. I took only the one card that I needed to pay for my purchases. I didn’t expect Jim to go into the store with me. He wore his gloves and went into the Post Office to pick up our mail and then waited outside for me.

When I got to the store, the parking lot was full and I almost turned back. Then I realized that many of the cars parked there were probably the ones that had usually been parked beside the old Community Centre next door. Whether they belonged to tenants somewhere, or the owners of the few businesses that were open, I don’t know, but the Community Centre had recently been torn down and Contractors were working within high fencing, cleaning up the remnants.

I took my mask and gloves out of my pockets and put them on before walking up the ramp to the store entrance. A staff member came to the door and told me that I couldn’t take my wagon or bags in with me.

wagon

I hesitated, disappointed. I felt that there was far less chance of there being any virus on my own cart and bags that had been with us in our own space for three weeks, than there was with the store carts and bags. But I couldn’t argue, under the circumstances. I took the cart and made sure she’d wiped the handle.

By now I could feel myself quivering. There weren’t very many people in the store. Some shoppers wore masks and most of them were very conscious about keeping a distance. Perhaps they were more concerned about me because of the heavy mask and gloves I was wearing. I got very warm and for a moment I thought I might faint, but removing my jacket helped. As I made my way around the store looking for the things on my list I was having trouble seeing clearly. I thought maybe my glasses were fogging up from my breathing through the mask. My quivering continued and I cursed in my head, thinking how terrible it is to be so fearful of doing grocery shopping.

At last I was finished, and through the checkout.

“Isn’t this fun?” I said to the cashier, who was one more time sanitizing the gloves she wore, behind a sheet of Plexiglas.

“I’ve had about enough of it,” she said and I agreed. “Thank you,”  we both replied.

I took off my disposable gloves and handed them to the girl at the door, who said she’d dispose of them. She was wearing gloves too. I was glad to see that the wagon was still where I left it. I breathed a sigh of relief. When I walked out into the sunshine, I reached for my sunglasses and realized I’d had them on all the time! No wonder I was having trouble seeing!

I found Jim next door watching the construction crew, of course. We walked home enjoying the sunshine.

At home I put my mask into the bathroom sink to wash. I carefully handled the groceries and bags,  putting them all away, always aware of what I was touching and wondering who else had touched them. I washed my hands many times.Oh crap! Did I remember to disinfect the counter where they sat? Nothing I used to make lunch touched that side. Is it too late?

Now we have enough food to last us for another couple of weeks. Who knows what things will be like when we need more?

I have no idea how the people who have been dealing with this daily as they do their jobs to provide health care and other essential services, have not lost their sanity. I weep some more for them.