Coronavirus Diaries: Week Ten

May 3

My house is a mess.

I know a lot of people are using this time to clean their houses from top to bottom, organize, declutter. I did some of that in February, and I was amazed at how fast my house became a mess again. It all seems a little futile to put so much effort into cleaning when I know it will be awful again a day later. Hashtag life with a toddler.

That’s not to say we’re living in filth or anything. But all my cleaning has been piecemeal. Today while Amelia was playing in the yard, I got out the vacuum, and as I swept, I kicked things out of the way. I put a good amount of effort into making sure all surfaces were swept, but I put away no toys nor books nor myriads of misplaced things. I just kicked them or tossed them into new locations away from where I was working.

Part of me wants to scream when I look around and I can’t see the surface of the dining room table or the living room carpet. But mostly, I figure it’s just as anxiety-inducing to worry about cleaning it than leaving it be.

May 5

The days are getting rather repetitive, and we’re running out of original ideas. When this first started, I was taking a lot of pictures of all our new adventures, of all the playing Amelia was doing and all the crafts we attempted. Now I’m not finding much new to take pictures of, and so my camera roll is a bit sparse.

I’ve been talking to a good friend of mine about how people tend to not have the impulse to photograph sad or hard times. This stay-at-home order has been fun in many ways–the proof is in my pictures–but it’s been just as tough, too, and I don’t have any pictures of that. What will I remember when I think back on this time? Will I only remember the happy times, because that’s what shows in the pictures? What about the struggles? Will I even want to remember them?

May 6

The weather was beautiful today, so even though I had just mowed the lawn on Saturday, I decided to do it again, and when that was done, I went for a walk. I haven’t been wearing a mask when I go for walks or runs. I know some people do, and I know some people get upset to see people on the trails without masks. I don’t quite understand the science of wearing a mask while you exercise. It seems like all the nitrogen getting trapped in my mask would suffocate me. Besides, I’m outside. We’re not enclosed, our germs bouncing off walls and back to each other’s faces. Masks outside is where I seem to draw the line.

And yet I acknowledge that the paths are narrow, and sometimes a 6-foot distance can be hard to achieve. Today while I walked, there were a couple of times the path just wasn’t wide enough, and as I neared a stranger, I veered off into the grass to give us more separation. Only I couldn’t help feeling a bit rude about it. Any other time, moving into the grass when someone approaches would indicate they are gross or smelly or undesirable in some other way. I hoped they didn’t take it personally when I veered away.

May 7

When this all started, I thought for sure I’d be able to convince myself to get up early every day so I could get more done. That was a pipe dream, I realize now. I am not a morning person, not even on my best days. And trauma makes you more tired. And even though I might not realize this quarantine is traumatic now because I’m too busy operating in survival mode, I know deep down that it is traumatic and stressful and that my body needs extra recovery time in the form of sleep and that’s okay.

So imagine my frustration when I hear jackhammers outside my window at 6:30 this morning.

Our storm sewer has a sinkhole behind it that we’ve been bugging the city to fix. Of course they decided 6:30 on a Thursday morning was the perfect time to fix it.

Oh, but it’s not even fixed. They just made the hole bigger. And they were done by 7am. *Facepalm*

May 8

Yesterday was a rough day, so when Chris was done with work, I went to Horrocks to escape the house and do some retail therapy in the form of buying plants. With mother’s day coming up this weekend, I knew their supply would be overrun, so I figured the earlier the better. And I was able to come back with tomato plants and pepper plants and herb plants and seeds for cucumbers, lettuce, and green beans.

Only the weather is turning for the worst this weekend. Chance of snow (!) and definitely nights below freezing. But I just couldn’t let myself wait any longer. So I’ll bring the plants in during the night and put them back out when it warms during the day. And if they all die, which wouldn’t be the least surprising, then at least I’m starting early enough that maybe I’ll have a chance to get more plants before they are all sold out.