What kind of joke does the CDC recommend?
We all got out of the house today, then out of the neighborhood, then down the road, then up to the grocery pickup. I used my cellular telephone device to contact the waiting store associates.
“Please open your hatch to maintain social distance as part of our COVID-19 measures,” the man on the other end of the phone said.
He and I did a little back-and-forth of which items were out of stock and whether I could get something else for them. They had no chicken breasts, egg roll wrappers, mushrooms, or ground beef. Guess we’re not having egg rolls or hamburgers. Wait -he thought the butcher had brought out some more meat since they pulled my order and would check on the beef…
A nice woman worker dumped everything in the back of my minivan, said a cheerful, “Hi,” to my children in the backseat who were about one foot away, and pushed the button to close the hatch. Maybe she planned to wash her hands once she got back inside, much like the Harmon’s cashier last week who used a mini washing station after the guy in front of me paid in cash.
Once we returned home to unload, we discovered a ratio of one grocery sack per item. We also discovered there was no whole ham. They had the flimsy-sliced sandwich variety, so maybe we’ll try to bake that for Easter Sunday.
The most annoying aspect of this whole ‘shopping trip’ apart from the week-ahead wait, the inability to specify how ripe I like my bananas, and whether two one-pound packages of ground beef could count as one two-pound package; was the quality of the graying steak. Yes, it’s grocery store steak. But, today is the last birthday of our Birthday Season and we wanted our $30 of meat to be edible for birthday dinner…
I swiped this from BoredPanda.
Because home life isn’t really so bad. We’re not the sort to socialize often. We plan one family trip a year, usually involving a visit to a relative or destination that’s about a day’s drive away. Being raised LDS, Kev and I have a lot of children and a month’s supply of food storage* to feed them. I know how to cook and bake. The boys all like board games, computer games, reading, and impromptu wrestling.
The annoyance is the sudden reminders that something is different.
It’s driving down the street and stopping to talk to my overly-generous neighbor who can sew, then having her offer two homemade masks with instructions on how to remove one after going out in public.
It’s kids on bicycles tailed by anxious parents, all veering out of the way of oncoming pedestrian traffic.
It’s all the signs at the stores about staying away from each other and new hours of operation.
It’s doing a Google search for the boys’ doctor’s office and having Google advise me regarding COVID symptoms.
It’s planning birthdays with just us, and with a week-ahead grocery order.
It’s that niggling feeling that I need to remember a forgotten thing, like closing the garage or turning the stove off or setting the garbage out on Wednesdays.
Since I’ve determined to control what I can control, I need to pull that niggling part to the fore when I leave the house. I need to only wave at the neighbor kids. I ought to wipe down our incoming packages. I shouldn’t drop in on my friends or relatives.
But I also do not need to get up and drive the children to school, back from school, back from school again, and back from school again. Karate class is online, so no more driving to and from that studio. No more incessant Costco trips, and fewer post office runs…
Speaking of, I offered outgoing dice order packages to our local, white-haired, blue-eyed postman. He handed me a new bin for tomorrow’s orders, then said, “Wait. I need to decontaminate it.” Pulling it back, he made a grand gesture of brushing something unseen from the side before offering it again.
“You’re sure casual about it, considering you go to everyone’s houses,” I noted.
He shrugged and said, “It’s only a matter of time…”
I hope not. He’s a really nice guy. When we’re not social-distancing, I’ll make him a plate of cookies.
What goes great with a Corona virus?
©2020 Chelsea Owens
*It’ll be dry black beans and five-year-old Limas, but they’ll survive.