The United Crazed Voices of Quarantine
I haven’t said much about anything, let alone written a word during the current nationwide quarantine. Sure, I have some letters behind my name and I am a “professional” encourager. But honestly, I haven’t known what to say or why I would say it.
And frankly, it has all been said. There are the deep thinkers and spiritual wizards and they are giving everyone permission to feel the feels, get mad at God, and let it all out. These folks inspired me to go to my senior, Class of 2020, daughter, Sophie and say, “I am so deeply sorry that your prom, university visit, drama directing debut and graduation were canceled. If you need to talk, I am here for you.”
She looked at me, through glazed eyes, and said, “Are you drunk?”
I wasn’t. No, really? So I said, “No, but I saw on social media that you might be feeling some things and I wanted to acknowledge them and let you know it is okay to grieve and feel angry.”
She blinked, long blinks as if we might have a moment and then she said, “I saw that meme, I am over it. Find something else to fill your day, try showering.”
Darn it if I didn’t think that might kill an hour.
And it was too late in the day to shower, I think. Because for me, like most humans, time loss will be the thing that I believe will be my most recognized memory of the COVID Pandemic of 2020. I never have any idea what time it is or what day it is. And I didn’t want to write about that because…
In quarantine, it has all been said.
And the aforementioned interaction with my teen sounds like we have a strained relationship. There are plenty of posts and memes about embracing this time with our children or healing brokenness, yadda, yadda. Sophie and I are actually very close. She has talked to me like that since she was two, she talks to everyone like that. So, actually, I found comfort in the normalcy of what I have decided to call a tender moment during quarantine.
Which brings me to the quarantine jokesters. They are the ones that call out the obvious and make us all feel completely sane during this season. Their social media and blog posts are like a Seinfeld comic routine, “so what’s the deal with the stockpiling of toilet paper? Is this how we will be remembered? ‘The world is ending! To heck with green beans! I have 400 rolls of two-ply!”
I guess I could have written a word or two about that. But toilet paper hoarding is all fun and games and free blog content until you have a text stream with your siblings that reads, “I have 22 rolls left if you have chicken nuggets I will trade you?” And, “Wait, I need a roll or two and I have the circle nuggets, not the dino nuggets, can I swap dinos for circles and three rolls?”
Frankly having typed any of that for a second time is probably why I haven’t said anything about anything.
Obviously, quarantine has highlighted the crazy, and I believe we all know that everyone is losing it, present company included.
Then, of course, we have the conspiracy theorist and political ranters. And I could go on for days about this, but then it might appear I have an opinion, which I don’t because I have no idea what to think. Also, my husband, in a moment of boredom or complete lapse in sanity, tried to converse with me about one of these theories.
This afforded me an entire day of hysterical crying, which was kind of a blessing because at least I had something to do. At one point, I did this hysterical madness in the bathtub, fully clothed talking out loud to Jesus. I most shallowly wailed about how I just wanted to get my hair highlighted, to be a New York Times Bestselling Author and go to Target. Also, there was no water in the bathtub. I could have had this episode anywhere in my home, but I liked the security of being in the tub and I thought Jesus would see the brokenness of a grown woman crying in an empty bathtub as relevant.
So see? What thing would I write about that would not just be your average Americanized quarantine, apocalyptic drivel?
Of course, there are the “To hell with this nonsense” folks. And then there are the responders who rant and rave about the rant and ravers who are throwing caution to the wind or blaming Jesus and still having church and going about their business. Then there are the responders to that do have something poignant to say. And I could have written about that because I do think we should work together to stop spreading the contagion. But then, that has all been said too. In the words of the cartoon character Hank Hill of King of the Hill, “I am trying to prevent an outbreak, and you’re driving the monkey to the airport.”
Such poignancy cannot be beaten, so why bother?
There have been plenty of words written about the divorces and babies that will be bred during the quarantine. My husband, Justin and I already worked from home together, so things haven’t been that much different marriage wise. And I am 48-years-old, had a hysterectomy 17-years-ago, and live with too many children in the house. If I end up pregnant, then maybe I will write a blog post about that.
I guess I appreciate the banter about spending this time in solitude to grow in my marriage, but meh, we are good. Although the other night at a very noisy dinner, with children who haven’t been anywhere in a month of Sundays, I thought, “I regret every decision about my life up to this point.” And Justin said, “Wow. That is something a husband hates to hear.”
Apparently, for me, a symptom of quarantine is the inability to recognize when I am thinking something versus saying it out loud with no regard for the repercussions.
But there isn’t enough research to back up a whole post about that.
Having written that, I do now realize, that was all that was said about the interaction. This might be bothersome and warrant some discussion or marriage counseling, but at this point, unless I get bored later, I am letting that one go.
Of course, I could have written about Justin’s and my adventure out of the house. Which would probably envoke comments about how we shouldn’t be going anywhere. And we really hadn’t, but I have been without a car for three months. Prices are low, and you can only go by appointment, and I don’t have anywhere to go, so why not buy a car? But that adventure was pretty normal. We took the necessary precautions and left at 7:00 am together, alone, to drive two hours and pick up a new to me convertible.
Halfway there I changed my mind.
And Justin and I sat in a convenience store parking lot in his truck and had a loud conversation about me losing it versus him losing it. The conversation ended with us in the Walmart parking lot making a list of must-haves for our one and only adventure out of the house to not buy a car.
That is when I thought I spied some material to write about. I wish I had taken a picture, but honestly, I spent the five minutes or two hours of the incident too confused to take action. Justin saw it, first. A small woman in an inflated Hazmat suit and astronaut helmet with a tank on her back came out of the store pushing a basket completely full of canned goods.
Justin saw her first and laughed, “Look at this lady! Classic!” I guess we both thought it was a joke, but then the woman’s companion jumped from the vehicle and dosed the woman and her groceries in Lysol before unloading the cart.
So, I could make the observation that I wondered where one would acquire a space helmet and hazmat suit for an apocalyptic-pandemic-quarantine-trip to Walmart, but I am going to assume there is someone who knows and has already posted about it. I imagine there are already affiliate links.
Of course, I guess I could have written a post about homeschooling. I have years of experience. But now everyone everywhere is doing it and you can just read old posts about my Pollyanna attempts at preparing my children for the “real world.” This would only be white noise at this point. I know for a fact I never taught my children about the impending toilet paper madness or what to do when Amazon has a 45-day delay in delivery for mascara.
Which of course means, I have failed them just as I am failing my “home enrolled” scholars for whatever grocery shopping mania they will face in their future. I fell asleep the other night thinking or maybe saying out loud, “I was right, none of us were going to need Algebra.”
And like you, I felt justified in this.
I think we can all agree to disagree and agree to agree this is unprecedented. A couple days or weeks ago, my 8-year-old came into my office with a question about his math worksheet. When I looked up I was only mildly surprised that he was completely naked. I inquired, “Son, why are you completely naked?” And he said, “I don’t know?”
Since neither of us did know, and neither of us knows whether it matters or not, there was nothing else to write about this incident.
But I guess I thought I should say or write something like a record of this time in quarantine.
This is the only thing I could come up with. As I suspected, it is nothing new, outside of the basic camaraderie. We have officially seen and heard it all. All I really have to offer you is this… reading this killed 77 seconds.
Stay healthy, stay home… and Jesus be all over you. Love, Jami