Day Five: A State-Wide Shut Down Journal

I have not left my house in almost a week. I took a trip to the grocery store this past Monday, but other than that, I have been here. I’m lucky that I have so much space outside and that I’m so connected to nature. I am not stuck inside like many others because of their proximity to other people.

But, my days are blending together. I’m not sure what day it is unless I look at my calendar. I mark off the day before bed each night. I have the days circled leading to the end of this shut down.

I have not stayed inside this long since my last bout of depression. I won’t deny that I would always like to hide inside, but since I’ve been getting better, I’ve forced myself to go out. Sometimes it took no strength. Sometimes it took all the strength I had. This past week, it’s taken strength to leave the comfort of my living room and even go outside. I’m getting comfortable in my complete solitude, and it’s scaring me. I miss working. I miss people. I miss my mom.

I’m not even positive I’ll have a job to return to. I’m only part-time and it’s a small business. I’m not sure if they can afford to keep me after this. I’m not sure if they can afford to keep their doors open after this.

I’m tempted to let my friends with children know they can come to my yard to let their kids play in turns. I have some playground equipment that would be easy to sanitize between turns. But then, I think of the look on my son’s face when he sees children outside playing. He’d be looking out the window and asking me why he can’t go play with them. I feel selfish when I decide against the idea. I couldn’t bear to explain to him why he can’t go play with the kids on his playground.

I woke up on day five feeling better, at least in the aspect of my cough and itchy throat. I didn’t get much writing done, but I did exercise for twenty minutes. I cleaned my mess of a room and did some deep cleaning in my office (which wasn’t a mess, but I feel the need to consolidate. To get rid of things. To lighten my load. Anything that has me making decisions, has me moving forward, has me not in stasis).

I haven’t read since day 3, but I have been listening to an audible book. Patrica Briggs, the latest in her Mercy series. I have wanted to write my book so badly, but every time I get started, I feel lost at sea. It’s so messy and I can’t figure out which part to start with or what to do. I’ll work it out. I always do. COVID-19 won’t stop me from achieving my goal this year. This year I will get a book published.

My state has seen another death from COVID-19 on day five. The number of infected also shot up by 100. No doubt these numbers will rise.

I also looked at the stats for the number of cases and how quickly they are rising in the US. It honestly just looks like it’s getting worse here, but I was expecting it to. We all were. As testing increases, no doubt the numbers rise. With something that spreads so easily and the number of people we have in the country, it’s expected.

According to Our World Data, over 80 percent of people live in urban areas in the US. The following data is from 2018.

Meanwhile, health care workers are facing a shortage of masks. According to sources (including my mother) masks have to be attained with permission now. Supervisors are keeping them locked away because people are taking them. Below, my mother asked those who could sow to make masks to donate.

I went through all the breathable cotton material that I have and plan to try my hand at it. What else do I have to do? (Lots, but none compare to doing my part to keep our health care workers safe.) I even unpacked my sons baby clothes to use them. I’d been keeping them as keepsakes, but they can go to a better use. I kept one outfit and finally put together the shadow box I’ve been meaning to make.

Meanwhile, my dog is getting sick of us.

My son and I played with his firetruck tent on day five. Our dog was the monster who kept trying to attack us as we drove. She had us both laughing. I appreciate my dog, but she is probably getting sick of us. (Kidding, this is her dream.) Speaking of dreaming, last night she fell asleep with my son and barked and growled in her sleep. She was probably still attacking us in the firetruck.

Make the small moments count, my friends. Make memories with your kids and try to enjoy this time with them. Depending on their age, they will remember the time their parents stayed home with them for an extended period and had lots of fun with them.

Everything will be okay. Humans are resilient and we find the joy in the little things. Stay safe. Stay home. Stay positive.

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