Random Notes About Living During a National Emergency, Part Two: Happy(?) Anniversary to Me

This is how I dress to go out to dinner on Friday nights now. Even though Bill goes into the restaurant to get our food and I never get out of the car, I figure one can’t be too careful.

Today is Easter Sunday. April 12th also marks a fairly grim milestone: It’s now officially been an entire month since I started sheltering in place. I’ve only been in the car on Fridays when Bill and I go to pick up Thai takeout from our favorite place. 

My company had my department work from home on March 12th as part of a process to test everyone’s telecommuting capabilities. At that point, I was already scared shitless of being on the bus and the subway every day and decided I was no longer willing to risk my health for a job that wasn’t even going to be around much longer, so I worked from home that Friday too. 

And on that Friday afternoon, we got the word that the company was requiring everyone to work from home for at least the next week. (At least! I love the optimism!) And the rest is history—some fairly unpleasant, scary history. 

Some things I’ve noticed in this month of near-exile:

Vanity is history. For me, at least. I’ve seen some people get all dolled up just for something to do, but I can’t be bothered. I go out for walks most mornings and I’m lucky if I remember to brush my hair first. 

However, my gray roots were still bothering me, so I started playing with the Manic Panic bleach kit I’ve had for months but have been too chicken to use.  The thought of bleaching my hair myself has always made me nervous, but no longer. Nobody but Bill would even see if I fucked my hair up, I figured, and he’s seen me with bad dye jobs before. 

The results? My hair color is a mess right now, with bleach blonde roots and the rest a paler red, the remnants of an old dye job that did not completely lift out.

Even so, I kinda like it. I’d probably die a thousand deaths if I had to go into the office like this tomorrow, but now? Meh. It looks kind of punk rock. I might dump some Vampire Red over it all tomorrow, but I also might not. 

Stockpile Mentality: As I mentioned in a previous entry, Bill and I made a point of picking up extra cans of beans and dry goods and TP well before most people started panic buying. The number of COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County has been climbing at a scary rate this past week, so we elected to skip our biweekly grocery store trip. 

Over this month, I’ve found myself in a mindset that I probably should have adopted a long time ago: Be mindful of how much you’re using. You don’t know if we’ll be able to get any more when that runs out. For example: Although I want to be drinking more coffee, I’ve been drinking less because boy, do I not want to be coffee-less at any point.

If we all get through this, I’d like to hang on to that mentality. Every time I do things like open up another can of tomatoes or use another paper towel, I get a little tense. We’ve been stretching meals for a much longer time than we used to. Even so, my state is probably in for at least another month of lockdown, and canned tomatoes, which are a staple of most of my dishes, are apparently a very hard thing to come by right now. 

But even when this is over, I hope I’ll remember to be mindful of what I’m using and not take things for granted the way I once did. 

It’s A Day That Ends in a Y: When you’re at home day after day after day, it gets damn hard to remember what day of the week it is. I fell asleep on the sofa on Friday night and when I woke up at 3:45 am on Saturday, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what day it was, or if I’d have to get ready to go to work in a couple of hours… it was a really weird, disorienting feeling. The last time I lost track of the days like that was when I was hospitalized for almost a week with a ruptured appendix. The days all look and feel exactly the same when you’re confined to a hospital floor.

The only day that still feels exactly the way it did before this all happened is Saturday. We sleep in, we eat leftovers from Friday night’s restaurant meal, and I cook a big pasta dinner that we wash down with a pint of dark beer. Now more than ever, Saturday is my favorite day of the week. 

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