Mar 20, 2020

The New Normal - Quarantine Week 1

3/20/2020 — cori
And by "Week 1" I mean the last 5 days. Life has been forever altered from this covid-19 virus. It's surreal. We will always look back at this defining moment in history. This will change the way life, government, money, healthcare, school, work is done.

The kids' school has been postponed until April 20. All restaurants, hair salons, gyms, theaters, etc...are all closed. Overnight it seemed, everyone started taking the deadliness of this virus and how rapidly it spreads seriously. We are happy to do our part. We have voluntarily self quarantined, meaning purposefully stayed in our house and not visited friends in person, since Monday. This has admittedly been much harder on Chloe and Bennett. At this age, friends are THE MOST important thing. Social distancing is the LAST thing they want to do. Thank God for social media and smart phones.

So I've decided to chronicle each week (since the monotony of each day would bore you to sleep). I know we'll make it through this and most likely forget all the crazy things we did to stay sane and have fun and still enjoy life and not get overwhelmed with being together 24/7. So, here's how this week has gone:

Thank God Chuck already works remotely. This is a huge thankful. He also recently (like 3 weeks ago) started a new job. The down side of that is, we have no health insurance during the month of March. 

As usual, we have our weekly meal plan. This really hasn't changed except for we sometimes go out once a week. Now we don't. The hard part is coming up with new meals for the indefinite future and having enough ingredients in stock. Grocery shopping has taken on a whole new meaning.

If you had told me that one day in the future that I would be standing in line outside Walmart (a store I typically boycott) at 5:45am in order to procure toilet paper and food to last us through the week, I would have laughed out loud. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

But it was worth it. There were exactly 20 packages of toilet paper on the near empty shelves. I was one of the lucky ones. I was also able to find some of the last butter, cheese, black beans, and sugar. Oh the things we used to take for granted! 

The whole experience would be a little easier to bear if this wasn't the weather we were quarantined in. I wish we were quarantined in San Diego. With winds gusting up to 40 miles an hour, snow, frozen mix, and below freezing temperatures in CO, I'm beginning to feel a wee bit discouraged. I want Spring weather. I want sun. I want to be able to go outside and hike or hit the tennis ball or just sit on the driveway. PLEASE COLORADO - have mercy on us!! Show us the sun. Cancel the snow.

One of the things saving my sanity right now is my online Pilates class I've been doing for the past year. It helps to keep me calm and I feel strong and healthy once I'm done. Plus, I love to pretend that I too am on the beach doing pilates in the sun. This is my fantasy right now.

Everyday for 15 minutes I catch Trevor Noah on IGTV  and can laugh off much of this insanity. This is social media at its best. We're in this together.

Tea and cookies can get me through anything. Especially homemade chocolate chip cookies. If I have to have snow and wind and freezing weather and be stuck inside, then I am having 4 cookies to make up for it. Every day if necessary. So be it.

I started and finished this book this week. Incredible! It's about a family who faces tragedy in Mexico and is forced to migrate to the U.S to flee horrific violence and save their lives. The prose is beautiful, the characters are deep, the reality she creates is alarming. 

And this is what I see every time I look up from my book. Ninja has me in her sights 100% of the day. Even while I'm exercising. We are apparently joined at the hip now.

This is a little difficult to read because it's written on a piece of glass. But Chloe wrote this out of her own volition. I was super impressed. I don't even have a daily plan in place...yet. This is how she is coping. I like it. And it inspires me to do the same.

Chloe and I made the cookies I can't live without together this week. But I must confess, I did a horrible thing. I rinsed out the bowl of batter before she had a chance to eat the leftovers. *wince*  Mom fail. I even remember thinking that she might want to eat the leftover cookie dough, but then my uber-efficient 'clean-as-you-go' cooking methods must have overridden my better judgement. This literally about ruined her day and I'm not over exaggerating. She had to go spend some time by herself to breathe and help her get over the massive disappointment I just caused. 

Obviously, we are playing lots of games. This particular one is Rummikub. Chloe and Bennett set me up for failure. Apparently I was out of the room when they were setting up the game. We each usually draw 14 tiles to start with. They so lovingly picked the worst possible combination of tiles to start me off with. So that was fun. However, I did have one whole day where all I did was win. That is rare in my life, so I'd like to share it and in doing so, document the event. In one day, I beat Bennett in 2 games of darts, 1 round of nertz, and a new board game we played that night after dinner. It feels so good to win. This is usually Bennett's territory, so it's new and uncharted for me. I hope to explore this feeling a lot more these coming weeks.

And lastly, let's talk about the hair, makeup, and the clothes situation. I'm finding it VERY HARD to care. This is my uniform most days (the only things you can't see are my leggings and slippers). It's an effort to actually do my hair, to want to put on makeup, to wear anything nice because WE'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Which is interesting. I didn't know that I was doing these things just to be seen by others. I'm going to have to meditate on this for a while. Anyways, I purposefully put on makeup two days this week and didn't put it in a messy bun for 2 days. We'll see how this progresses or digresses over time. Another digression I must mention...I was supposed to get my hair colored in 2 weeks. Now I must wait indefinitely. This scares me. We're about to get very real here people. 

Chloe and Bennett are doing good as siblings can do. They are antagonizing each other, taking pictures together for Insta, playing games with one another, and finding common things to do together such as re-watch the first two seasons of Stranger Things. So, that's good. 

They both also have their disappointments and fears over this whole situation. Chloe was scheduled to have 2 more "Behind The Wheel" driving lessons before she tested for her driver's license on April 6. Then the DMV shut down until April 18. Devastated is a good word to use here. You know the independence and excitement this right of passage bestows on every 16 year old. And now it's postponed indefinitely. It just plain sucks. She said her birthday (on Apr 5) was cancelled.

Bennett is one of the managers on the girls tennis team during their Spring season. He was quite popular with the ladies and loving it. He even clicked with one special girl and they got to enjoy a few short-lived outings together before coronavirus put an abrupt end to their fun. Thankfully, they are still chatting online and he even asked her out to Prom. We still have to plan and hope. But it's scary. Will there even be a prom? Will he still have a formal graduation? A party? Who knows at this point. And we will drive ourselves mad worrying about something we have zero control over.

Gavin is still tucked away in his little safe alcove of North Dakota, where the virus seems to be having minimal impact. So far. He's still able to work his on-campus job even though all of his classes have moved to on-line only. We had a little scare early last week when he was down with a bad cold for a whole day. Any fever, achy, coughing symptoms make all of us twitch with fear now-a-days. Thankfully, it really was just a cold and he was able to pick right up where he left off after another day or two. Whew! Disaster averted. Right now, he's choosing to ride this out with his friends. We'll see what the coming weeks hold for all us.

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