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Friday, April 3, 2020

My CovBlog: Days 4 - 8


To get rid of one of those pesky 24 hours, I've started a daily blog and using my journal, I'm playing catch up for a couple of days. The first post is here.
My Christmas tree! From mid-Jan. - mid-Nov., it makes a great nightlight

Day 4: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - Wow. No hangover after St. Paddy's Day last night, which is a very lovely and nice change. Ha. I'll try that again next year (the non-hangover part, not the self-isolation party!)

Making a big deal of something so normally mundane, I go through every shelf of the fridge, freezer and pantry like I'm doing a restaurant P&L weekly inventory. As I count, I write an actual list of things needed to make Operation Grocery Store a success.

In the old days (did I just write that!) I had (and will have again!!) a 40-minute walk home. With a handy grocery store at the beginning of the route, I'd become adept at filling my backpack to capacity. The middle-aged man in me was also happy to get in some upper body exercises without the need to reserve actual time to do so.

(Sadly, as I sip here with a second glass of wine and a heavy bowl of delicious stew, I can't figure out how my extending stomach can do a little more of its own withdrawing from society.) 

Day 5: Thursday, March 19 - Gazing from my 3rd floor balcony, the white delivery truck hasn't moved yet and I thank my lucky stars (again) that I'm able to work from home.

This afternoon, from my "office," (aka the other half of the dining room table,) I hear a small bunch of kids (and I guess) a dad hollering and having a laugh with a soccer ball. The sound--that simple sound of fun happening--makes me smile. While I can't see the family from my balcony, it makes me miss my boys even more.

They're safe in Virginia, at home where they live with their Mama, and while things are a lot better in the U.S., things aren't yet getting better here. Surely the same will happen Stateside? My big trip this year is to see them for a month, starting June 12. I can't wait!!

When we Skype later that evening, I'm relieved to hear the boys understand the basics of what's going on, the importance of social distancing and washing their hands so many more times than normal. I'm relieved, but know they are in the best possible (and well-washed) hands.

Day 6: Friday, March 20 - I shut down the computer, head out the door, my passport and original lease hidden in a folder deep under my shopping bags.

I don't think I'll need the docs, (but I am a Koopmans!) and have read rumors of police checkpoints and the Guardia Civil making sure no one is out there driving unnecessarily. 

Get to the store (think Wal-Mart sized) and there's like seven cars in the parking lot. No wait, one is driving away. I look at my watch. It's 5:30 on a Friday afternoon and the place is empty. Really strange feeling walking the couple of hundred yards of the interior. All the small businesses, a flower store, beauty parlor, cell phone depot and even the lottery kiosk... all closed.

Management have locked down all non-essential aisles and the only parts open are the usual grocery sections. I wander the aisles, instinctively giving the skeleton crew of stockers as much space as possible. They're all wearing blue gloves and face masks and I'm sure some of them must be freaking out--I would be. I'm super grateful that they are open and refilling shelves, so make an effort to at least nod my thanks and say hola whenever possible.

Fresh veggies are the only items in short supply, but I'm so not going to complain there are a few items on my trusty list left unscratched to oblivion. Deep sigh as I make it safely back to the apartment. That's it until next Friday. My passport stays in the shopping bags. Not needing it, apart from shopping, for a few more weeks yet.

Mirjam and I have a trip scheduled at the end of April to visit all the Normandy D-Day sites. It's a huge bucket list of mine to see Utah beach and that whole historical area... Thinking about it, I remove the passport and return it to where it normally lives.

Miss you.

Day 7: Saturday March 21 - About six weeks ago, I scheduled a Brunch for my teammates to celebrate St. Paddy's Day and a couple of birthdays (aka any excuse for a party.) I'd cancelled it well before the lockdown started last weekend, but today would have been the day.

Having spent the last few weeks squirrelling up on various cases of beer and wine, I scan the floor of the spare bedroom and shake my head. With all the uncertainty of these crazy times, I may one day starve from the lack of fresh veggies and store-made guac., but I'll never die of thirst, that's for bloody sure.

I've rescheduled the Brunch for April 18 when all this is behind us. The Spanish government said the emergency action/lockdown will end on the 29th of March, so tack on a couple of extra weeks. Surely, we'd all be back to some semblance of normality by then... Right? 

Day 8: Sunday, March 22 - One week done. One week to go.

I sit outside and plough through several chapters of three books I'm reading. Normally, that drives me nuts as I start getting plot lines mixed up (who knew Jack Reacher was once a young, rainmaking lawyer in Mississippi?)

In-between all this, I spend way too much time reading updates from NPR, BBC, CNN (and RTE for news about Ireland.) The U.S. is acting way, way too slow, in my humble opinion and that is making me nervous. I start mentioning this to any of my buddies who text. I know I'm being annoying, but don't know what else to do...


Elephant's Child said...

I hope your shutdown does end quickly. Travel? I have my doubts.
I usually (always) have multiple books on the go at once. It is a form of exercise I tell myself, and my brain needs it.
Stay well, stay safe.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Our stores were not empty at that time. They were filled with people scrambling for toilet paper. And of course, you know how bad it is here now. (Thankfully a lower death rate though.)

CWMartin said...

It is scary the difference in Wal-Mart here and there. I hope you get to make your trips, but doesn't seem likely. Be safe.

Jo said...

Well we are still on lockdown at the beginning of April. I don't see it ending any time soon. I hope you aren't using paper towel and flushing it, that will cause big problems.

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