For a month or two every time I got into my car and listened to the news it seemed they were talking about the coronavirus. That’s when it was in China. There, everyone was wearing masks because that was the polite thing to do, and one man said he had watched an awful lot of Netflix.

I was intrigued, but at the time it truly never crossed my mind that things would be so bad here. I had no idea that my plans for being out and about in April with my new baby and my boy would be cancelled by something called COVID-19.  We stayed in almost all winter to protect little sister from the flu and just when we could see the light at the end of the tunnel a big old boulder settled right in and trapped us again.

I’m really not one to take things for granted. But now it feels like I did. What I wouldn’t give to go to the Kimball Goodwill with Mama and follow it up with lunch at the Cracker Barrel. One of their biscuits with some strawberry jelly would go a long way in comforting me right now.

I’m not mad about it, though like anyone else I am grieving my old way of life. I’m full of questions, because the future is so uncertain. What will next week bring? Next month?

Will life always be this way? Will we get to go to the pumpkin patch this year?

I used to be afraid of crowded places because of angry people with guns. I’d search out my nearest exits just in case. Now there is something else to be afraid of.

I used to think people washed their hands too much and I thought that hand sanitizer made people’s immune systems bad because all the germaphobes I knew always seemed to have a runny nose. Now I’m wiping all of my groceries with bleach wipes and if I have to go in the grocery store I come straight home and shower.

Will life always be this way? Or will this be one of the memories that time makes better.

With the sunshine and spring, I fear, comes my bargaining with my grief. If I just go into the garden center somewhere and grab a few periwinkles I’ll be safe right? If I just go home to Limrock and sit on the porch we will be fine, right?

I don’t know the answers, so I talk myself out of bargaining with grief and go back and forth between depression and acceptance.

This is the longest I’ve ever been away from home in Limrock in my life.

I tell myself that at least we have toilet paper.

But you know what? I don’t know why people care so much about toilet paper. I’ve been gathering up a bunch of old clothes and junk to cut up, you know, just in case we run out. It’s better for the environment and the chemicals on toilet paper really isn’t good for you anyway. What’s more concerning to me is that when I ordered my weekly essentials, the store was down to nothing but one brand of white bread. We eat honey wheat. We’ve been living pretty high on the hog lately with lots of comfort food … things we don’t usually buy like potato chips and Dr. Pepper and T-bone steaks. But it looks like I’ll have to get a little more creative than a peanut butter sandwich for lunches this week.

Part of me thinks that its good for me that we should run out of such things. Maybe I won’t be so wasteful in my garden this year and rip down all of my tomato plants just to spite the hornworms. Maybe I’ll learn to make bread myself. 

I gave up checking to see how many people are infected each day. I know it’s a lot and I know there’s not a thing I can do to help except sit right here at home and wait for the storm to blow over. We will wait it out, and hope that soon there’ll be a rainbow to comfort us.

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