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Sheltering in place

So … is everybody out there self-quarantined? Er, sheltered in place? And how are you doing so far? I thought a 14-day trial would be pretty easy. After all, I’m often home for 5 to 6 days at a time anyway without giving it a second thought. And when I do go out, it’s usually only for groceries or to pick up a prescription.

But now I’m home because a variety of health professionals and government officials have said it is the right thing to do, especially since my 77th birthday is rapidly approaching. Oddly, though, now that I’ve been warned not to go out, I’m feeling anxious and confined whereas two days ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

I rescheduled today’s haircut for a month from now. Why take the chance, I thought. And now I’m worried about my annual physical coming up in a couple of weeks. I really don’t want to go to a doctor’s office right now. Trump said something today about telemedicine appointments for people on Medicare, but I haven’t seen any details on that yet. I think I’d be fine if I postponed the whole thing for a couple of months since I’ve got no physical concerns at the moment, provided I can still get any needed prescription refills.

And I worry a lot about drug shortages. I’ve already encountered problems getting refills on two drugs in the last two weeks.

I didn’t rush out to indulge in panic buying, deciding I’d just wait till things calmed down. Besides, I didn’t want to be a part of those awful crowds. But over the weekend I began thinking I really needed to test my options, to confirm that either groceries are still readily available, and I could relax, or they aren’t. So I placed a grocery order to be delivered this evening (my first time to try the delivery option). Just the stuff I would normally buy for a week to 10 days. The only thing not available on the list was — you guessed it — toilet paper. Either my order this evening will arrive with most or all the items I ordered, or it will be woefully lacking and I’ll have an anxiety attack.

I’m on the fence about son and grandkids coming over. They are sequestered too — son told to work from home for three weeks and grandkids’ school closed for at least two weeks. However, my daughter-in-law is still working part-time, as an EMT. That exposure concerns me.

If I run out of something important and can’t get more, I’ll hope you weren’t one of the people who bought a cartful of it, especially if I end up getting the virus. I can sort of understand panic buying, but I still think it’s thoughtless and selfish. How can we all be good citizens and good neighbors if it’s suddenly every man for himself?

So there you are. If I can get groceries and other essentials delivered, I’ll be fine. If not … well, I’d rather not think about that.

I hope everyone out there is staying healthy and being responsible.

 

NOTE: My grocery delivery arrived. Very few of the frozen dinners were included. None of the fresh meat. Coffee beans instead of ground. No kitty litter. I did get the two pizzas and the three pints of ice cream. The delivery man, who was also the one who filled my order in the store, said police and fire were there because people were verging on fistfights over food. And he said the store where I usually shop, a bit farther away, was minus one entire shipment of meat when the incoming truck lost its refrigeration on the road. The whole load was a loss. All of this exacerbated by a winter storm watch for Thursday. Ugh. Apparently it’s even worse out there than I feared. Guess I’d better try ordering pet supplies online. Kitty litter is a necessity, and substitute pet foods probably won’t fly.

25 Comments »

  1. Please take care of yourself! I hope your delivery comes in fully stocked. I really don’t get the hoarding of toilet paper but I don’t expect it ti last long… I mean, how many rolls do we really need?? As hard as it may be, I’d hold off visits from others. It’s just not worth the risk. This too shall pass… best to lay low until it blows over. Good luck!

    • I added a note above about my delivery. Not a smashing success, so anxiety remains. People on NextDoor app were saying they needed toilet paper and others were chiming in here and there that they could donate a roll or two. Yep, doing my best to lay low for the duration.

  2. This is day two of working at home all day … most of my stuff is easily done here, but there are still things I will have to do without unless I decide to make a short trip to the office to pick them up (like snail mail letters). I would love for there to be an easier way to send page corrections to our designer, but we’d have to pay, and that ain’t happenin’. Friday will be the real test, since it’s the day we have at least six pages that we have to turn.

    In a way it’s a good thing I still haven’t gotten a new furbaby or two because I wouldn’t want them to be at risk. On the other hand, entertainment is lacking.

    When I went to the store Sunday, I was lucky to snag the last package of Northern (there was still a bit of Charmin and store brand left, but everything else was gone). There were wide swaths of aisles that had nothing but a few dented cans and boxes. You’re right; it’s thoughtless and selfish. It’s also rude. My mama’s ghost is probably cooking up ways to teach those idiots a lesson. 😉

    • Yes, hold off on the fur baby. My “kitten” will be a year old next week and now I’m worried about getting enough litter (see the note I added to my post). And my pupper is 11 and aging fast. Neither is going to tolerate substitutions very well. Meantime I can entertain myself by pulling the kitten off the curtains for the 100th time. At least I’m not locked in with a couple of kids! (Sympathy to all the parents out there.)

      So glad you can work mostly from home. So many people still have to go to work and others are just out of work, period.

      Stay safe!

      • The biggest risk would be not having enough pet supplies to make it through. However, the CDC recommends someone else caring for them if you get sick, as you should avoid contact with them. The disease is still new, so not enough is known about how covid-19 will affect pets. Furbabies don’t really understand the concept of social distancing, especially when their human is sick. When my boy was still around and I was ill, he was always right there to make sure I was OK.

        • I just commented on PT’s reply but will say the same here in case you weren’t notified…. On Saturday went to Walmart. Of course we all know what’s sold out. But when I got to the pet supply aisle, it was completely stocked. I guess most people are just not as concerned about their pets – or, more likely, just thinking about themselves. It’s a “me-me-me” society, after all.

      • That was my thought, too. That you’d want to make sure you could get all the supplies needed to keep a new pet well supplied with whatever they need. You just never know. Unless I get sick enough to be hospitalized, I can’t imagine not having my furbabies with me.

        • Funny you should mention that…. When I went to Walmart on Saturday, of course there were areas that were completely cleaned out. I’m sure you know which products. However, when I got to the pet supply aisles, they were all chock full. I guess people aren’t as concerned about their pets.

        • I could consider panic buying on kitty litter. Mine is a strictly indoor kitty and litter is an absolute necessity. Once upon a time I could have resorted to shredded newspaper, but haven’t had any of that for many years.

  3. Did grocery shopping today in North Seattle – I skipped the Costco I normally go to because the line to get into the store was about 300 yards long – only had a few items on the list for there – TP was one of the items last week being my normal get a pack – but my rough estimating I have 3 or 4 weeks supply so no great problem for now.

    The other stores had signs of panic buying in some items, the only thing was not able to get was powdered milk in case I get stuck inside so I got a few cans of condensed milk just in case. Some of what I wanted was a bit of variety of soup – I don’t normally do much soup but being stuck inside figured 3 or 4 cans of different flavors would be prudent and you can’t do that at Costco. I did get a bit carried away with my cold cereal and with what I bought over the last few weeks and today it looks like a 12 supply, oh well. I ask a couple of the employees in the stores and they said it had been extra busy or sort of crazy.

    As for staying in, I have several projects to keep me occupied so no chance of boredom.

    • I did buy a couple of extra cans of soup the last time I was at the store, but at that point wasn’t thinking seriously about being stuck at home for weeks. I’m not real tuned in to pantry items and rely mostly on frozen foods. I have a few cans of chili, hash, and some pasta. Almost out of tuna and mac and cheese.

  4. Strange to see empty shelves at our Wal-Mart for paper, cleaning, canned goods. I did snag a couple of lonely and pricy cans of “organic black bean soup.” I like black beans, but I had to wonder what inorganic beans would look like? Our city library just announced it is closing indefinitely, one more unexpected thing that makes sense when I think about it. They said not to return items until they reopen. The next thing, I’m thinking, will be the Y closing. We dined out with 6 elderly friends last Friday, sans hugs and kisses. Probably won’t do again for months I’m thinking.

    • Sounds like everything here has closed. Some restaurants doing carry out and delivery, but no seating. Gyms and rec centers closed, all public events canceled. Library closed, depriving some people of their only internet access. Some beauty salons closing. Airport virtually empty, though still functioning. I’m really concerned for the small businesses that operate on a razor’s edge anyway; this could easily ruin them. So many people being thrown out of work.

      Someday all this may make an interesting sociological study, but right now I can’t view it that objectively.

  5. I have to say, I was a bit taken aback by this post. This is the first time I have sensed a bit of fear in you. Although we’ve never met and only know each other via this blog (which I think is going on 9-10 years maybe?), you are one of the most level-headed, intelligent people I’ve met either live or virtually. One whose opinion I’ve held only with the utmost respect. And to see you squirreled away in your home almost afraid to venture out was something I didn’t expect. I completely understand that by being 77 now, you definitely have to be extra careful. But, please, don’t be afraid to take a walk. Visit a neighbor. Even just take a drive through RMNP to some of the viewpoints. Take some photos. Do a bit of bird-watching — they’re starting to return now. I can understand the concern about the EMT daughter-in-law so in that case, I do think it’s wise to postpone the visit.

    Just hang in there. You know what to do and what not to do. Wash hands thoroughly after going somewhere in public – make sure not to touch your face if you are out and about. Carry hand-sanitizer when running errands and use it – that is if you have some. lol… my housemate, Lyn, bought cheap vodka to have on hand in case we ran out of sanitizer (mix it in with Aloe??), which we have a HUGE bottle of (sanitizer). We both work from home, so I don’t foresee using it up, to be honest. Lyn’s a professional dog-groomer so her clients do bring their dog(s) here, but not that many people… maybe 4-6 different people per week. Plus they don’t hang out – just drop off and pick up their dog(s), rarely coming inside. And I am normally a bit reclusive, so I venture out usually twice a week just to get to the store for groceries. The double garage was converted into living quarters, which is where I pretty much stay nearly all day. Work, sleep and watch TV all in the same room. This “confinement” is how I normally live, so that’s not affecting me mentally.

    Thankfully I am a salaried contract-worker with the best boss/company I’ve ever had. Small company. I build registration websites for corporate gatherings – meetings, conventions, incentive trips, etc. So, needless to say, nearly all upcoming events I have built sites for have been canceled or postponed. I used to be contract hourly, but they brought me on as salary just over a year ago. Thank god they did. I wouldn’t be able to survive if I was still living off of hours worked/submitted. One of my contract side-jobs has put all contractors on hold for the moment, which does hurt me a bit. I got myself in pretty bad debt last year so picked up some extra contract jobs to help pay these bills off faster. But at least I can survive on my salary and still pay all my bills.

    So, I’ve rambled on now. Just hang in there. Even though I don’t know you on a more personal level, you are a very strong woman and I know with your smarts and common sense, you’ll cruise through this pandemic without a health glitch.

    • Like you, I’m a recluse normally, so this isn’t much different — provided I can keep getting the stuff I need. You know, food. Things like that. I will be walking the dog and I will be going for drives. But after the winter storm due to hit tomorrow night. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I’m enjoying the return of birdsong — so far I’ve identified dove, house sparrow, and robin. I’m not counting the geese that have flown over the house all winter, but I do love hearing them. Song of the wild in the middle of town. Pretty cool.

      I’m luckier than many in not having to worry about my income being threatened by all this. And I’m used to staying in for days at a time. In comparison, I really have nothing to worry about. I’m glad to hear you have something steady coming in. I’m sure this is all really scary for people who must face it and a sudden loss of employment.

  6. I haven’t run into any problems with anything. I bought one six-pack of TP from the convenience store in my building, and then I remembered I had a six-pack in the hall closet for emergencies. Jumbo rolls, so I am good for a month, maybe more. Vegetarians use less TP, heh. Fiber is your friend! 😉 Some prescriptions arrived by mail, picked up others earlier this week. Inigo’s vet appointment was last Saturday, so he’s good for a month. If I wanted hand sanitizer, I would be out of luck, but I had it already. Telecommuting for at least two weeks, and you know I am overjoyed about that. Really, the only things I will miss are pasta, bread, and frozen veggies. It may be easier for folks on the coasts. The trucks come up from Florida, and California is self-sustaining.

    • Good to know you can work from home! These days I worry about anyone who still has to be out and about doing anything near other people. And yet we need so many out there to help the rest of us. I appreciate every one of them.

      I never opted for mail prescriptions and may end up wishing I had. I just like more direct control and being able to talk to my pharmacist. I think I have TP for several more weeks. I don’t really know since I never gave a thought to how long a roll lasts. I am rarely out long enough to need hand sanitizer. I just keep my hands away from my face as much as I can (so much of that is unconscious, especially for those of us who wear glasses) and use lots of soap and water when I get home.

      Take care of yourself and enjoy your “vacation.” A good time to take some deep breaths and actually relax for a change.

  7. As a full-fledged curmudgeon, I argue that I am without heart, soul or brain, so none are at risk. Unfortunately, other organs, especially lungs, are at risk. We are located in a suburban/exurban area so we see the effects but not as much as those people in urban areas.

    I have never understood the hoarding of toilet paper in any crisis. The makers of Charmin’ must have subconsciously instilled the general population with a Pavlovian response whenever an emergency, crisis or disaster is declared imminent. Personally, I suggest hoarding liquor and cake. Liquor doesn’t go back and cake is never recalled by the FDA.

    • Love the idea of liquor and cake. Sadly, I have neither on hand.

      Yep, Charmin has really done a number on people. I guess they missed me. TP would not have been on my list of things to hoard. At least, no more than anything else.

      Stay well! Those lungs are rather essential.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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