Coronavirus Diaries: Week Eight

April 18

We were able to acquire a couple Covid antibody tests. I took one this morning. I had to use the supplied needle to poke my finger, slurp up some blood into a pipette, and then mix it with enclosed chemical. I couldn’t do all that by myself; Chris had to come slurp up my blood while I pushed on my severed finger. Then we took the solution and poured it into something that looked like a pregnancy test. Results would show in eight minutes, and waiting in that time felt like waiting for a pregnancy test. Whether you want a baby or not, it’s anxiety inducing to even be taking it.

We set a timer, and when it beep-beeped, we went back to look. There was a line at the “C,” which meant the test worked, but there was no line at the “T,” which meant that my body hadn’t yet made the antibodies for covid-19. In other words, now I know I haven’t had it, and I’m still at risk for catching it and bringing it home to my family.

If the test read positive for antibodies, I would have still stayed home just as much as I am now, and I would have still worn a mask when I absolutely had to go somewhere. The general public wouldn’t know I was immune, and I would want to encourage others to keep following the rules. But I would have felt a protective barrier around me, my family, our house. I would have known that we had had it and we survived.

April 19

We eat a lot more at the table during the weekends. When Chris is in his office doing work, I’ll often let Amelia eat breakfast and lunch in the living room, either wandering around or watching a video. A lot of times, she eats better than way.

But during the weekend, when we are all trying to spend valuable time together, every meal gets eaten at the table.

Since being locked up together for the past months, though, our table meals have gotten a lot quieter. I usually stare out the sliding glass door. Chris usually scrolls on his phone. Amelia, even, often looks up at the ceiling while she drops her food into her open mouth, trying to make the meal even the least bit interesting. Even she seems to realize that we all have nothing to say to each other anymore. It’s pretty profound for a three-and-a-half year old to run out of things to say.

April 20

I started making plans for a garden today.

Only, the catch is, I am terrible with plants. And usually I hate gardening, because there’s weeds and bugs and worms, and it all ends up being a lot more work than you realize.

So why am I excited to plant a garden? Why am I even considering planting a garden?

I guess to have another task on the to-do list, something I can do with Amelia that I know she’ll love, something to steal a tiny bit more time out of my day to keep it from lasting forever.

And for something to look forward to. I love the idea of a garden anyhow, the warm summer sun, temperatures above 50, playing in the dirt, picking tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans. It all sounds so nice.

April 21

The Stay-at-Home order may expire at the end of the month. And so the library is trying to organize if that happens. They want to know what my schedule could be if they open on May 4th. Amelia’s preschool is also planning on opening May 4th. We didn’t want to have Amelia’s grandma come up here to watch Amelia while I work if Amelia was going back to preschool, too. Too much exposure to people, and Grandma is of at-risk age. So it would have to be one or the other–Grandma or preschool. How to make the choice? Why do I even have to choose when we don’t yet know if the order will be extended?

Now it’s more stressful to think about life getting back to “normal” than it is to stay how we’ve become.

April 22

A quarantine mother’s haiku:

So many stuffed friends
Need check ups from doctor mom
Shoot me in the face

April 23

I was sitting on the living room floor after playing what felt like the twelfth game of Candyland that day. I picked up my phone to give myself a little parenting break, but before I knew it, my 3-year-old was climbing up my back. She found a comfortable spot sitting on my shoulders. She then proceeded to wiggle back and forth while humming a song, knocking out my ponytail of unwashed hair with her movements. You have got to be kidding me, I thought to myself.

But instead of pulling her off me, instead of scolding her for treating me like a jungle gym, instead of ruining her fun, I opened the camera app on my phone and videoed her ridiculousness. Then I posted it to Instagram.

That evening, after my daughter was in bed and my husband and I were sharing a beer, my brother texted me to say he couldn’t stop watching that video of my toddler scatting on my shoulders, conceding that at least she gave a “dope soundtrack” to her shenanigans, and reiterating that it makes him laugh every time. As his texts rolled in, I went back and watched the video once, twice, three times, too, laughing more and more with every viewing. And soon I was laughing uncontrollably, too. My brother and I, laughing like morons at the same time at the same thing, 300 miles apart.               

My husband patted my leg and told me to make sure I get out of the house tomorrow.

April 24

The Governor just extended the stay-at-home order two more weeks. Kind of relieved, to be honest.