Self-Isolation and Coronavirus (part 2)

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It worked beautifully. With pride and excitement, I texted my daughter in Vancouver to tell her what a great solution we’d devised. I got an unexpected and humiliating, shaming text in reply. I was stunned: I think she was too. She did not approve! Self isolation does not include going for a ride in your car, she argued. I explained how careful we’d been, that we’d had no contact with any other human being, no one else has been in our car, our car was an extension of our home, and that I couldn’t believe she was so offended. She mocked me. After several hours of arguing back and forth on line, I gave up. The next day, after I’d done several hours of research on the topic, I conceded to her, that our actions had been unwise. I have, since then, found friends and acquaintances willing to pick up, and deliver to our door, our on-line ordered groceries. As it happens, I am unable to make an on-line order today. The web site won’t load, and when I finally did get a glimpse of the Pick Up Express appointment times, the earliest available time was almost two weeks out.

Day 7: after the traumatic experience of being shamed by my daughter, we’ve done nothing but stay in our house and go outside once daily only, for a secluded walk. We’ve settled in to a kind of schedule that helps keep us sane. We sleep late, drink coffee and read on-line newspapers and reports from our news feeds for several hours. Once fully informed, overloaded even, we go out for walks individually, not together. Neither of us ventures beyond the confines of our park. After returning to the house, I shower and prepare our lunches. Bob seems much more bored than I am, but his interests are not as wide ranging as mine.

I schedule one hated job per day which usually pertains to housework. Once I get it done, I allow myself the rest of the day to do things I like to do. Bob usually reads while I write, read, and play my ukulele. I spend hours communicating on-line with friends, and spend some time learning new methods of organizing my ukulele music on an on-line music storage app I bought shortly before leaving Texas.

We both stop what we’re doing around 4 pm and spend some time together, sharing an adult beverage. Before we know it, the dinner hour arrives and we spend the evening together watching Netflix. It’s not so bad really, but we’re definitely counting the days til our self isolation is over.

What will that future be like, we wonder? We don’t think free movement in society is part of that picture. That thinking makes us both sad but there’s so little known about the future state of normal, we choose not to think about it just yet.


Stay Home letters on wood

Barbara Tiessen is a retired RN who lives with her husband in southwestern Ontario but winters in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She researched her genealogy, wrote and self published The Schoenfeld Russlaender: A Mennonite Family's History in 2015. More recently her interest have focused on writing short stories.
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