Monday, May 18, 2020

Quarantined

I know it’s not a complete lockdown, but I'm treating it as such--sort of.  I still need to get groceries, water, and visit my doctors for routine maintenance, but for the most part, I’m staying home.  It’s not a lot of fun.  But I’m trying to do my part in stopping this virus.

Many adjustments have been made to accomplish this minimalization of lifestyle, and I know I’m not alone.  I was talking with my neighbors (over the phone) a few days ago, and the discussion of toilet paper came up.  Oh, boy!  Neither of us knows of anyone who has even seen a roll of the stuff in a month.  Well, sort of.  Almost everyone has seen it in abundance in someone else’s shopping cart.  Earlier this week I was at a Costco and saw a person with eleven shopping carts lined up each with a bundle of toilet paper in it, along with paper towels and hand sanitizer in most of them.  I watched as this person (along with her shopping cart guard) took one of the carts through checkout, then handed it off to a waiting friend to remove from the store.  This person then took another cart through checkout and did the same thing again.  It took a team of four or five people to work this out, but it was all purchased by one person.  And I didn’t get any.  The store was out.

The phone discussion with my neighbor turned into a “what did people do before toilet paper” discussion.  Well I was raised on a farm with an outhouse, and I know what to do, but I’m not real excited about doing it.  I remember when Papa brought home a wagon load of dried corncobs, and piled them by the outhouse.  Just grab a few on the way in and scrape away.  Fortunately dried corncobs are scarcer than toilet paper today.  Of course, corncobs were a last resort.  The usual choice was a few pages from a catalog, such as Sears or Montgomery Ward, that is until they started printing in color on the slick glossy paper.  Then it was back to corncobs or even a handful of hay from a bale lying next to the pile of corncobs.

This morning I called to make an appointment to see my doctor about some problems stemming from an accident some time in my past.  What a circus!  The doctors at the clinic I go to are now on a rotating schedule with no one working more than two random days per week.  To get an appointment one must be in an emergency situation and call on the day their doctor is available.  If the doctor is not available, one must wait until the following day to try again.  When I asked what days my doctor will be in, I was told the schedule is known only to the doctors, so I must try every day until I get it right.  What is this? 

I went to a local grocery a few days ago only to discover a line wrapping around the building.  The estimate was a seven to eight hour wait to enter the store.  The next morning I returned at five a.m. only to discover the line was already wrapped around the building.  I asked some people near the front of the line what time they arrived, and I was shocked to discover they were in line when the store closed at nine p.m the night before. 

On the plus side, I needed gasoline (for the first time in many weeks), and there was no one in line at Costco.  I drove straight to the pump and filled my gas tank.  Unbelievable.  It’s usually a twenty to thirty minute wait, and sometimes much longer. 

A sign on the front of a hardware store said “Face Masks Required.”  Underneath it was a sticker on the glass reading “Facial Coverings Not Allowed.” 

It’s a crazy world we are now living in, but the key word here is "living."  I'm seeing on the television reports of protesting crowds and crowded beaches.  I don’t understand why these people have such a death wish.  This pandemic will only grow longer if people don’t isolate.  More time inside will help to end this tragedy sooner.  To me that is obvious, but apparently not everyone agrees.  Oh, well.  I'll just stay as isolated as possible until this is over.  Hopefully you will also.

Stay safe everyone.

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