Only 14 days to go. This shouldn’t be difficult. I don’t expect quarantine will be much different from daily life in these COVID-restricted times.
I live alone. COVID rules won’t let me invite people in for dinner or coffee. The only germs I have to deal with are my own. So keeping the house spotless doesn’t have to be a high priority.
I have a freezer full of frozen food. I’ve got more books than I can possibly read. The cable is working and Google awaits.
This could be almost like a mini-vacation.
I can see the routines shaping up:
* Make myself some breakfast. Check my email for spiritual insights from Frederick Beuchner, Richard Rohr and Mother Teresa.
Sip a cup of coffee.
Read the morning newspaper. Skip most of the news stories. I already know all I want to know about COVID-19 sadistics. Umm, statistics.
The comics strips at least offer a chuckle. I do the daily puzzles, to keep my mind sharp.
I go look for my coffee cup. I know I had it earlier.
Household tasks call. I load the dishwasher with last night’s plates and cutlery. Toss the laundry basket’s contents into the washing machine.
I know I put my coffee cup down somewhere.
Heat up some canned soup for lunch. Put it into the microwave. Oh, that’s where I left my coffee cup.
Marilynne Robinson’s books beckon. I wonder what will happen to the old preacher. If anything will. I read until I drift off. A nap won’t hurt me.
I know I left a coffee cup somewhere.
I go to unload the dishwasher, to get a fresh cup. Oh. I forgot to turn it on this morning. I’ll just rinse out a used cup.
Why is the coffee pot empty?
And where did I put my book?
The phone rings. A friend, checking on how I’m doing. No symptoms, I say. Yet. Half an hour later, the Fraud Squad from an unnamed Credit Card Company calls about unauthorized purchases. I’m almost grateful for a pre-recorded voice to snarl at.
My coffee cup has vanished again.
I discover I didn’t start the washing machine. Oh well, I can wait until tomorrow for clean underwear.
I boil a kettle of water It’s about tea time. There are no cookies in the cupboard. I think about driving to the store. Then I remember; I can’t.
I find perogies in the freezer. I boil six in a pot on the stove. I slice an onion, chop some bacon, fry them both. Dinner smells delicious. I say grace, thanking God for life’s little blessings.
I go to the refrigerator for the sour cream. There isn’t any. I retract grace.
I read two back issues of National Geographic.
I turn on the TV to watch Jeopardy. Pre-empted by a basketball game. Switch to PBS for British murder mysteries. Nope. Instead, I have a choice between an exciting episode of Antiques Roadshow or live coverage of a Republican filibuster in Congress. With colour commentary. Watch it anyway. *
Quarantine feels like instructions for a knitting pattern: repeat from “*” to “*” until you run out of quarantine.
If only I could find that coffee cup…
Jim Taylor lives in Lake Country.