My daughter has a migraine. She has had them for most of her nineteen years, but a couple of months ago was the first time we’ve taken her to the ER for one. She was glad she went.
But this time I found myself saying that we shouldn’t go to the ER if it got bad. Always a germaphobe, I’ve never relished going, but now everyone is thinking like me. Pop some Advil and hunker down. It’s going to be a long few weeks, friends.
Yesterday was the first day I’ve felt like it was risky to be at the grocery store. I’ve gone from a twice-a-day shopper to an every other day shopper. Most of my friends aren’t even going that often. Yesterday I felt smart bringing a bag to shop with so that I wouldn’t have to touch a basket, but then I had to open the freezer doors. I didn’t touch my cell phone again until I got home and washed my hands. I knocked on the front door so that my husband would let me in and I wouldn’t touch the doorknob. I should wipe down my steering wheel. Not that I have anything strong to wipe it with. Stores are out of disinfectant along with the bread and toilet paper. Next time I bring a rubber glove or something else with which to touch the freezer doors.
The grocery store only lets 75 people in at a time now. Outside, there are lines taped on the ground six feet apart from each other where you queue up. When someone goes out, an employee lets someone in. The guy in front of me kept creeping forward off his tape. He looked like the kind of person who was very put out that he couldn’t get away with “accidentally” rubbing against girls as he shopped.
So there’s one silver lining I guess.
They also have sneeze guards in front of the cashiers.
School is out for at least four more weeks. Most people, including the governor of California, expect it won’t be back at all this school year. Of course the music store is closed. My trombone lessons have thankfully continued via FaceTime. I was so glad to see my students. You can’t play duets, but it’s still pretty good, and a reason to put on clothes.
The parks are closed now. I was already skipping my trips to Bodega Head and Armstrong Woods because I figured everyone would be there, but I sure miss them. I’m learning the names of coastal plants online instead. My first one was Coyote Bush. Darn, already forgot the scientific name. Oh well, I have plenty of time to Google it again.
Even walking around the neighborhood feels risky. I had never noticed how many spots were difficult to pass someone giving them six feet. And then there’s always the thought that our germs hang in the air, so I might be six feet away from them, but I’m exactly where they are exhaled a minute ago.
I took my parents some milk the other day. Mom came out and handed me a twenty dollar bill with a clothespin and said she hadn’t touched the money. As if I were the one at risk. Such a mom thing. Their dog wagged her tail in the living room window. I felt mean for not going in to pet her.
I miss gigs. I miss playing in bands. But I’m introverted enough that I’m not going crazy. Well, not too crazy. My teen kid is pretty sad about not being able to hang out with her friends. We play a lot of Uno and Mad Libs and watch a lot of TV. The other day we watched Tangled, because we feel like we’re locked in a tower.
Oh, and salons are closed. I had already started cutting my hair last summer to save money. Now everyone will look as bad as me! I met my writing group on Zoom today. That was fun.
I am lucky that my husband still has his paycheck and that I have a roof over my head and food and good family and neighbors and that I don’t know anyone who is super sick. Yet. My young nurse friend is scared for her safety. Today we are lucky. But it’s very, very weird.