Pandemic Diary

Day 63 or 64 or whatever. Another collage and its companion. If the one above had a title, it might be, “the horror of graphs.”

This one might be called, “the desolation of streets.”

Waiting for Instacart in a comfy collapsible soccer/mom chair in the garage because — wait for it — it’s a little too hot in the sun.

Yesterday I planted amaranth and basil seeds in a little tray delivered by Home Depot. This morning I dropped sunflower seeds right into the ground near the foundation out front. I am edging and weeding and transplanting in a daily rhythm that feels effortless somehow, and satisfying. Not much else feels that way lately.

We are planning to have a circular patio with an 18′ diameter installed, as well as a 26′ path of stepping stones from the garage.

Needless to say, the contractor who repeatedly asked, of the circle’s dimension, “18 by what?” did not get the job.

Here’s a heads up to all those folks who think a mask detracts from their appearance or their liberties: Galvin-Instacart-delivery-man, with his shaved head, tight T-shirt, and yes, mask, was about as good looking as they come!

Just as I’m starting to get a routine, I’m also starting to get sick of the routine. I unload in the garage, wearing gloves and mask. Pantry items get parked and stay untouched for four days or longer. (You’ll also note the mail piles, representing a four day rotation).

I save all plastic bags, but they also go into a rotation such that none will be touched before a week or so has gone by.

Inside, I plop goods into a hot water and bleach solution and rinse in hot water. I used to do this in the garage. It is much easier at the sink.

Finn waits out these proceedings in his crate.

It’s all a little perfunctory at this point and honestly, grocery shopping is one of the lower risk outings one can make. Nevertheless, I’ll keep going this way for a while.

I’m happy to report that my brother finished his ten ER shifts at Stonybrook, Long Island and is heading back to LA tomorrow. We will all feel even more relief at about ten days out, symptom-free.

Meanwhile, younger EMT-certified son is considering throwing himself into the fray and I actually support the idea.

I’m not a terribly good follower these days. News takes up most of my media bandwidth. The fact that the magenta robe was an exercise in extreme frustration made me wonder about how I set priorities. Never mind why.

It’s time to piece the back for the sixth of six panels for C’s quilt and do a little research on the best way to assemble the panels. They will all have been hand quilted at that point.

And, it’s also time to pick up manuscript after a short hiatus. Lots of writing happening here these days, just not that. The author-consultant who was supposed to start reading in mid-April has been delayed until beginning of June. I have the last fifth of the book to edit before then.

June is around the corner. Can you believe it?

15 thoughts on “Pandemic Diary

  1. Joanne

    I don’t do any of those things. I am feeling like a Pandemic Failure right now. And I go out to the grocery every Wednesday and bring in the newspaper and mail. Sigh…………

    1. deemallon

      I commented this morning and it didn’t “take”. As usual I have no idea why. Grocery shopping is pretty low risk and I’ll probably get back to it again soon. And the mail? I don’t know. I open packages immediately now so does it make sense to sequester the New Yorker for four days? But I know people who are putting their mail in the dryer for god’s sake.

  2. Mo Crow

    Yay for the garden revamp! The news coming out of the US is frightening, I am so sad for my country of birth. It is so important for everyone to vote Trump out in November, that is how Pinochet was finally ousted after 17 years of dictatorship in Chile. Everyone voted, old people in nursing homes, women in hospital just about to have their babies, young people who had never voted before, everyone. It is possible, the country got behind Obama and he won by a landslide.

    1. deemallon

      We are about to witness show trials as the DOJ and the Senate go after people involved in the early days of the Russia investigation. This will serve two awful purposes: one, to discredit the finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election specifically to help trump and two, create a maelstrom of negative news about Dems generally and Biden specifically. The last hope honestly is the election and there are many reasons to wonder if it will happen legitimately. I just found out that with a British grandparent I might qualify for UK citizenship. Scotland? Northern Ireland? Interesting… if trump wins again (or steals again), many will leave.

    2. deemallon

      Right now it’s the election I’m most worried about. In between now and then? A vile stream of show trials coming this summer as the gop tries to undermine the findings of ALL the Russia investigations. Major league hype and vicious lies and all of it will gain traction because apparently our media learned nothing from 2016.

  3. Marti

    Pandemic equality: We both make up grocery lists and then check them together, R does the grocery shopping, I do the sorting and cleaning; both of us cook and garden.

    It has just been announced that the stay at home order due to expire today in New Mexico has been extended until May 31st although some restrictions are being lifted. Some retail and offices opening to 25% capacity, a little more capacity for churches, some state parks opening for day use.

    The lack of being able to go to retail stores or restaurants has not been a hardship for me. Dining out for us has always been for special occasions. I have never been a shopper and have all the clothes I could possibly need. In fact the only item t hat I was going to get this summer was a long skirt at my thrift store because a while ago I spoke of “swishing my skirt” when going to the polls to vote BUT I’m not doing that, did my primary voting via absentee ballot and I probably will do the same come November.

    What I have missed more than anything is the fact that I was going to spend a month with my grandchildren, next month in CA but that has been cancelled. I don’t see myself getting on a plane for a good long time…nor do we see ourselves taking a road trip to CA in the coming year.

    Still the pandemic has brought us some creative ways to be together with family if only through the internet, telephone and snail mail. The other day, our grandson Spencer invited us to a virtual picnic in his room. His guests were his twin sister. parents and us. Sent a handmade invite via email and then sent the menu, homemade tortilla chips, homemade salsa, hummus, veggies for using with the dip, veggie sausages and brownies (he and his sister Rowena, who will be 11 yrs old next Thursday, made almost everything themselves and said it was fine for us to have meat sausages as we are not vegetarians). We were supposed to duplicate the meal and we did and it was fun.

    I look for the small graces and quiet joys that come in life and even with this unbelievable, surreal and frightening place we find ourselves in right now, they can be found…

    1. deemallon

      I’m not a gym goer, hair cut getter, or enthusiastic shopper so I’m surprised to discover how much I miss hopping in the car and going to Home Goods or Marshall’s. I’m with you tho in the biggest privation. Like many others I do not know when I’ll see my kids again. I’m really getting sick of Zoom, I have to say — tho to imagine things without it is very dark.

      You’ll get your skirt.

  4. Tina

    Here in Wisconsin we have a real shit show going on .. I know we are not alone Michigan and other states are struggling. Hell this whole country is walking on eggshells. I try really hard not to think about the November election and yet everyday it’s all I can think about. I tell myself not to watch so much news and yet I’m continually watching the news.
    On a happier note the weather here is finally warming up so I too am spending time in the garden .. taking Sweetie for walks in the morning and long walks with Michael along the lake in the afternoon. Also spending lots of time sewing. This morning I received the most amazing combination of words from Marti complimenting the bags I’ve been posting pictures of .. her words still have me dancing on clouds.
    Some years ago I put together some blocks that I had all quilted using a quilt as you go method. It was way easier than I thought it would be. Have a great weekend.

    1. deemallon

      I’m with you on the news front. Am actually considering subscribing to a daily paper. We get the Globe Thursday through Sunday and the N.Y. Times on Sunday. I think the level of distress might be diminished by taking the info in from a page. I’m watching less news and listening to podcasts almost not at all but I still know who’s convening at Camp David this weekend, for instance, and that Burr managed to put out volume five of the intelligence report on Russia even though Barr is gunning for him with the entire apparatus of the DOJ (‘course if Martha Stewart went to jail for lying about insider trading probably burr ought to also go to jail for actually insider trading). You see what I mean?

      At least our governor is being sane and cautious. We are still on lock down in Massachusetts. You can feel people’s restlessness in the air this weekend. Maybe because the weather is finally getting nice.

      I think I’d be a nervous wreck without the garden.

  5. RainSluice

    Yes. Interesting thoughts about routine. I feel like I’m mentally pacing all the time, checking off lists, worrying about every thing unless I’m playing my banjo. Perhaps I’m becoming OCD, yet how is this possible when I’m so constantly distracted by at least one of the 9,001 projects I have going on? I wake up every morning with “COVID-19” in big bold red letters written on the inside of my forehead and I feel exhausted. We are thinking of getting a dog but also a little “on the fence”. It is a big responsibility compared with cats. I want a dog and a cat. We are looking and talking to folks who have dogs and know good fostering places near by, and in Texas. So I think we’ll do it in the next month or two. We were just lamenting today, too, when will we see our families again? Particularly on the west coast. And what the fuck is wrong with people in this country? Yes, viruses are contagious and yes this is a REALLY BAD one that can kill you, so use your God-Given Common Sense and follow the rules. And the politics! I’m not related to anyone in any other country and this has been making me sad for at least 4 years now. Why didn’t I marry that Canadian guy? god dammit.

    1. deemallon

      I didn’t know you played the banjo!! I know what you mean about the invisible weight of stress. It is never not there these days, whether we’re watching the news or not.

      Finn has been a grace and a godsend especially now. It is a very binding commitment though. Maybe travel is off the plate for long enough to not care? The ticks in the Catskills would be a constant problem. On the other hand, how great to have a dog there when D can’t join you. Not advocating one way or the other just thinking aloud.

      The way this disease has become so weirdly politicized is showing just how awful the divides in our society are. How deep. How fundamental. It’ll all be on display this summer, too, when they start chanting “lock him up” about Obama. I can hardly wait.

  6. Acey

    can co-sign a lot of what’s being said, here. Our decontamination process is quite similar. Two days ago I realized I hadn’t spoken to my closest local female friend since last month. We’ve scheduled phone time tomorrow and I’m happy about that as well as all the life showing itself in the gardens. Plus yesterday and today I didn’t have an anxiety attack. They’ve been regular daily features for me every since the astro-turfed “freedom rallies” first hit the news and gained so much scary traction all over the place.

    Really love what I envision of your patio. Also the lovely shade garden, violets, Japanese fern, wild ginger, epimedium and …lilies of the valley?

    1. deemallon

      Enjoy friend time! I’ve had two visits outside here. Would probably feel a bit better if I scheduled more frequently.

      The scary traction now applies to the investigations into supposed wrong doing by Russia team.

      And another IG bites the dust.
      At least Tara Reade business seems to be dying out.

      It’s just horrifying.
      Yes to all the plants.

  7. Liz A

    “the horror of graphs” … how Georgia took two weeks worth of daily Covid data and arranged it in descending order … “Look, our numbers are going down!” … until someone pointed out the fine print, dates along the x-axis rearranged to make the graph look better … at least they apologized and said they wouldn’t do it again … as in, next time they’ll deceive more deceptively

    I was wondering about your brother … glad to hear he made it through the most recent round …

    1. deemallon

      I saw that on Maddow last night. Just unbelievable. As are the states that are refusing to publish outbreak numbers or locations.


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