SCHOOLS LIKELY CLOSED FOR REST OF YEAR, trumpeted the headline on our local paper this morning, right under OFFICIALS SAY WORST IS YET TO COME.

Well. At least it isn’t March anymore, so we’ve all got that going for us.

Here in Oregon we have an executive order to stay home whenever possible (“Stay Home, Save Lives”) along with some specific restrictions which have increased as the days go by: first it was gatherings of no more than 250, then 25 or more, etc. Now it’s all gatherings of any kind unless a six-foot distance between people can be maintained. Restaurants and bars were limited to takeout and delivery right away, then all “non-essential” businesses were closed (amusingly, cannabis stores are apparently considered essential). Playgrounds were open for a while, but are now closed and/or covered in warning tape. Campgrounds are closed as well as state parks, along with a ton of hiking trails and day use areas.

The only place I’ve been recently is the grocery store, which has become both an exotic destination (“Ooh, something to look at other than my living room!”) and a big fat bummer. Tape on the floor to keep carts apart, masks everywhere, people giving each other suspicious looks and crossing aisles to increase distance. A forever-empty shelf where toilet paper and paper towels once were.

It’s all a blur at this point but I think the day our family officially began some form of quarantine was March 15. That was back in the disbelief stage, when I couldn’t get my head around the fact that four days beforehand my friend and I had still been dithering about whether to cancel our weekend trip to San Francisco and sending each other menus from restaurants we wanted to try. We were so close to not canceling, which of course seems crazy in retrospect but it just felt like such an unlikely risk at the time — which was right before things started to change so insanely quickly on what seemed like an hour-by-hour basis.

So I guess we’ve been in lockdown for about two and a half weeks now, which is at least marginally helpful for me to focus on: sure, it feels like it’s been ten thousand years, but it hasn’t. This all sucks a whole lot, but it’s neither negotiable or impossible. We’ve been doing it, we’ll keep doing it, and it won’t always be like this.


9 Responses to “It won’t always be like this”

  1. Kim on April 1st, 2020 11:54 am

    Here in South Carolina, things are pretty disorganized, as our governor has yet to issue the official Stay in Your Damn House order, but did close non-essential businesses for (at least) 15 days. The capital city of Columbia, however, issued its own Sorry We’re Closed order, despite the state attorney general announcing that legally, it doesn’t work that way.
    I suppose I’m still grateful to live in BFE though, as the majority of my family is either in NY or Florida, both of which are batshit crazy in their own ways.
    I’m using your last sentence as my new mantra.

  2. Maggie on April 1st, 2020 12:40 pm

    You have described exactly what’s going on up here near Seattle. I’m a teacher. And my school has been providing distance learning this whole time (I am finishing up with spring break now). Going back to the distance learning thing on Monday. I’m so fearful school will be canceled. I have so much anxiety about it. Distance learning is horrible for the little kids, I teach Kindergarten and miss my little ones. I could go on….but we must remain hopeful. This, too, shall pass. Thanks for posting more. You my dear, offer comforting words!!

  3. sooboo on April 1st, 2020 2:12 pm

    If only we had more advance notice so that we all could have stocked up on supplies in an orderly fashion and worked out our working from home/ child care situations this would have been so much less stressful. Imagine if the grocery stores had planned out all the social distancing and safety training rules before they had to.There could have been a situation where there wasn’t chaos adding to the stress. Being at home isn’t the hardest part for me. It was the uncertainty on how to get supplies safely, where we can go and how to get work done. You are so right that it isn’t forever and we all need to focus on that.

  4. BadgerDave on April 1st, 2020 3:30 pm

    In 1930 my great-grandmother was quarantined in her Green Bay, WI house with 4 kids under 9, the oldest being my grandfather. One of the kids came down with scarlet fever and the order was that no one leaves until all 4 kids have had it and have gone 10 days without any symptoms. That took roughly 6 weeks. No tv, or internet of course;they were so poor I’m not sure they had a radio. Dad would stop by once a week with groceries; he got to live elsewhere so he could keep working. I’m not about to tell anyone what we are going through is easy, because it’s not. But we are far from the first generation to be impacted by a pandemic. And how blessed we will all be if the greatest impact from this pandemic on our lives is to be severely inconvenienced to have to shelter at home. Linda, your increased writing pace is much-appreciated.

  5. Donna on April 1st, 2020 8:28 pm

    I had a kind of panic attack today, thinking about all my friends who are working on the ambulance and in hospitals and clinics and thinking that I should make myself available (I’m still licensed) if they need help but I just can’t. I’m 62. No co morbidities but still. I have guilt for not being there. And I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose any of them.
    And it’s spring. I need to be out at the lake. Or mountains.
    And dear god how much I’m eating.
    And my boyfriend is home and we’re learning waaaay too much about each other. Sigh.

  6. Kyla on April 1st, 2020 8:43 pm

    That headline ruined my day. I knew it was coming, I knew it was inevitable but every time something is canceled/deleted/closed it puts me back to Day One (even when it’s Day 21). Sigh.

  7. Bernice on April 2nd, 2020 5:00 am

    In South Africa we’ve been in official lockdown since 27th March, and my 11 year old has been home for longer since schools were forced to close on 18th March. All business except essential services are closed. My husband is deemed an essential worker and rotates between working from home and going to the office, the days he’s in the office are the anxiety ridden ones. So far our infection rates in South Africa are low at 1 380 cases, with 5 deaths – BUT there’s a delay of 4-8 days in test results,so we are expected to see a huge jump in the numbers over the next two weeks. Sending the world much love!

  8. Bernice on April 2nd, 2020 5:02 am

    Just to add, I’m so grateful for your writing – it adds a little sunshine to my day :)

  9. MEP on April 2nd, 2020 10:21 am

    We were supposed to leave for Hawaii on March 19. We didn’t even decide we shouldn’t go until March 16, and now look at us. You are not lying about things changing hourly in those early days. At least the bad news doesn’t come hourly, or even daily, anymore.

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