Day 8 (I think):
My husband said to me last night with a long, deep sigh: Can you believe it’s only Tuesday? Well, now it’s Wednesday and I’m not sure I’m feeling the progress. By progress, I mean the forward movement of time.
Weekends in quarantine blend into the weekdays. On Saturday, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher three times. My daughter found a recipe for DIY self tanner — which I told her was the worst idea ever, second only to cutting your own bangs — and my 7 year old started referring to his belly button as a “torso cavity.” This is either the funniest thing I’ve heard in awhile or hysteria is setting in.
Hindsight is 20/20 and 2020 was a terrible time to decide to buy natural cleaning products. I want all the nostril-burning bleach now, and I want to use it on every surface of my house. Which I do regularly.
I’ve deemed the dishwasher, washer and dryer “safe zones,” as no one but me seems to know where they are. And certainly no one but me is touching them. The house phones fall into the same category and go largely ignored by family members; I’ve discovered the kids don’t know what that ringing means.
One upside: I worry less about run-of-the-mill germs, like salmonella and trichinosis. Also, I was totally able to ignore the feathers I found on the whole chicken I roasted. Three weeks ago, that would have caused me to renounce meat.
Similarly, compared with my generalized anxiety, driving with the 16 year old is almost relaxing.
Questions I’ve asked more than once in the last week: Do I have OCD now? Why did I stockpile so many chickpeas? Can you please put pants on?
Even my youngest has taken to Zoom to meet with his second grade class. Seeing twenty-one little squirming faces on the computer screen, separated from their teacher and each other just about broke my heart. I know this virus is responsible for deep and tragic losses. But there are tons of little losses we feel each day, those are worth acknowledging too.
Separation is hard on all of us. The kids want to be together. Close together. I’ve had this song on repeat this week, which has really helped my family socially distance from me. Dancing makes stress-cleaning more fun. Might just be the secret to survivin’.