As a person of a certain age I thought it in my best interest to isolate myself from potential carriers of the new virus. Let me be clear, I have no symptoms nor have I been around anyone who has been exposed or who has traveled outside the country, that I know of. Maybe I will be OK, but as much of a risk taker that I am, this has me a bit spooked.
Today in Chicago is rainy and on the cold side, schools have been closed for 2 days as well as restaurants and bars. My thinking is only a few dog walkers and me will be outside. If you are forced to stay inside due to events beyond your control it is still possible to catch cabin fever very quickly. Currently I am the only person in the house other than the unseen upstairs neighbors. This is a good news/bad news situation, no one to bug you also no one to interact with. Loneliness can set in quickly or you become Tom Hanks on the island with only Wilson to talk to.
So, I went to the store and was only looking to purchase a few items to help keep me alive. Some chicken broth a can of beans to make some soup some fresh fruit, just because it is so much better. Shelves were bare especially in the aisle of canned goods, do adults still really eat those pasta meals in cans???? I don’t think of myself as a snob, I ate that when I was a kid and fed some of that stuff to my own kids, as an adult there is no way. I really can’t even handle canned or packaged soup anymore. Oh well, I guess if you have 4 minutes to prepare a meal and that is all that is in the house you eat it.
A few people were wearing face masks, but only a few, we are about 6 blocks away from a large hospital maybe they are staff on their lunch break. I was wearing regular winter gloves the entire time I was in the store, did not pick up anything without covered hands and they went directly in the washing machine once I got back. People were polite but focused. Knowing that this might be the last trip to the store for 2 or 3 weeks. There were much fewer people in the store having gone about the same time a few weeks ago and traffic on the street was much lighter than usual. Quite a few youngish children in the store with the parent who has this shift today or perhaps a grandparent called into service.
Since this is a big city with excellent public transportation many people do not even own cars, they walk or bus it anywhere. I wonder if the suburban or small town scene looked much like this.
I did make one “luxury” purchase. In my household some form of chocolate has always been a pantry staple. Even those shelves were pretty bare, this looked worse than any store after black Friday. It is a good thing we are resilient and creative as well as optimistic, somehow I am sure this will become an interesting passage in our history books. Now for a piece of chocolate.
Another big part of all of out new normal is wiping down every surface touched every day with wipes to prevent germs. Trying to become creative with whatever food we already have in the house or have spaghetti for breakfast and oatmeal or an omelette for dinner. How do I get my walking or running done at home without destroying every wall in the house.