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Day 4 – or is it 5?

The first day or two of quarantine while waiting to get results of the corona virus test had been kind of interesting, ignoring the part about being sick with what felt like an cold virus with an extremely leaky water hose. Maybe that’s all it was. I still don’t know. I’m somewhat symptomatic, but am on the mend.

But the initial intrigue is fading fast. I’d been as optimistic as a school girl heading out with her Scout troop for a weekend camp-out. Ready to take up the challenge. I’d wondered what it might be like to be in relatively comfortable isolation for a few days. I’d focus on small house projects. Let my hair and makeup go, and maybe even have that often-sought-after me time.

Last evening, at the close of Day 3, that changed. More than I could admit to myself, I was missing human contact, very, very much. I was losing optimism, hearing the realities of the viral spread. It was like a curiously appetizing hunk of cheddar you discover at the back of your refrigerator. There might be mold molecules present, but you don’t understand the impact until you turn the cheese over and see that big, gross, fuzzy, blue patch.

My laundry pile is growing, and I have no accessible machines while confined. I have some food, but I’m starting to lose interest. Cheese, bread, and butter. Bread with butter, cheese on the side. Coffee. Heated bread, butter melted. I have other food, but it all seems to taste like, uh, bread, butter, and cheese. Even the soup tastes like that. And it’s not.

My fears and panic which led me to a crying meltdown last night around 7pm immediately following a news segment have been replaced by a kind of existential wandering. Should I write? Why bother. Home exercise? Eh. I sit. Look at the TV. Get up and pee. Cough. Write for a few minutes. Pick up paperwork I need to read and work on. Sit. Cough. Drink water. More water. Sit. TV. Pee. Cough.

The projects lined up on the table are now begging to stay napping.

My initial experiment to refrain from plucking facial hair to see what would happen over time gave way to a few swift moments with my frightened tweezers, the innocent victim of my humor gone missing.

It’s raining out, and the gray background doesn’t help.

But over the course of the past eight hours today, there was occasionally – just barely – a tiny peek through the clouds. Not exactly sun. No. I wouldn’t call it sun. More like a teeny piece of paper someone drops in front of you at a store checkout line. You notice it, fleetingly, and mindlessly turn back toward your own business at hand. But then you see it again. And you end up saying “Excuse me, I think you dropped something” and they say thanks and pick it up, because even though it’s barely bigger than a postage stamp, it holds something important, something that person needs, something that is, in some tiny way, significant enough to their day that without it, their path will not allow them to move forward.

I don’t know if I can even identify what the scrap of paper was for me today. But somewhere between waking up this morning hung over from a feeling of doom to now, something within interrupted the breadline-to-bathroom path long enough to make a grocery list and call for help. Something nagged, ever so quietly. Something or someone in the chaos of electronic contact and input, something moved some of my cells over just enough to feel a tap on my shoulder, a message saying “Excuse me…”

Tomorrow, I’ll have to start all over again to figure out how to keep some segment of solitary life moving.

It will start with the tiniest whisper.



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