Starting Week 4

HAPPY MONDAY, my friends! Today marks the start of our 4th week of self-quarantine. As of this morning, there are about 338,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US, over 9,600 deaths, of which more than 3,000 (!!) are attributed to New York City alone.

Maryland/DC/VA remains under stay-at-home orders, though one may move about to procure certain things, including food, either grocery or restaurant take-out. As much as I love the idea of supporting local restaurants, I can’t help but feel that even the most careful food preparation (by potentially infected humans) and packaging for carry-out provides many opportunities to inadvertently spread this virus than does the purchase of sealed, wrapped food. So, other than an “emergency” burger and fries week from Five Guys before last, we’ve not felt comfortable doing carryout.

They are predicting that the next two weeks will be the worst yet, with an increasing frequency of deaths. If that’s not sufficient motivation to make you stay home, I don’t know what is.

I felt very… heavy on Friday night. And not just because I’ve been eating more and moving less and gaining weight. I mean emotionally heavy. The lack of control of our lives is draining, man. I finally hit a wall of sorts and retreated to my bed before 9pm. I slept well, and felt better Saturday, but Steve had “caught” my malaise.

So, we hopped in the car and drove down into DC and across the Mall. And yes, we are well aware of the stay-at-home orders, but we’ve also been told that unless you are stopped by police for some other reason, they’re not going to stop cars for the sole purpose of asking your destination. We stayed in our car the entire time. There was very little traffic, but many police cars blocking roads and police tape everywhere, preventing access to most of the monuments. It was surreal, on a Saturday in what is normally the height of tourist season in DC, in the most touristy area of town, to be able to drive freely in this area that’s normally better avoided on such a day and time because tourists. We locals had it all to ourselves. There were MANY bicyclists out and about, including some families who seemed, well, new at the family bike outing. (That little cart for Junior that you pull behind the bike, is heavy, Mom – pedal harder, try to keep up!)

The drive helped us both. Then Steve got out on his motorcycle for a little while. We watched “Inception” with Eli on Saturday night, and while that’s a pretty intense flick, it helped us all forget about reality for a little while.

Sunday, I deep-cleaned the kitchen. Then, I finished sewing the cloth masks I started making on Saturday. I did 12 of them – enough for all of us and all of our kids. I felt equal parts happy that I had the skills and equipment to make them, and dismayed that I *had* to use them. The CDC is urging people to wear cloth masks in public, not to protect us, but to keep those of us who are asymptomatic carriers from spreading it. That’s what’s crazy about this virus: you may feel completely healthy and be 100% symptom-free, but you still could be a carrier. And while that’s also true of other viruses, this one is particularly contagious, and we do NOT want it spreading because hospitals are maxed out, and the prediction is for many more cases in the coming two weeks.

We’re starting week 4 of telework, and that’s going quite fine, all things considered. We realize we are extremely fortunate that our jobs are well-suited to remote work and our employers keep on paying us. Others are not so fortunate.

Lent is over and Holy Week is here. Perhaps in denying ourselves the ability to freely go places and be with people and shop for things, we are forced to remember that there are much bigger issues here. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that it’s not just about *us.* We must instead focus on the greater good. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Just wanted to write this down for posterity. I hope one day we’ll look back and think wow, man, that was weird.

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