Seven months in the house

When we decided that I would isolate for Covid-19 because of immune system problems, I really didn’t think I’d be still doing this after 7 months.

I am not totally isolated. I have my house and garden. We visit my best friend and her family (co-bubbled). I sometimes go for car rides. I have been in one store once – the dispensary. I have my D&D group weekly over Zoom. And a few other Zoom things here and there.

Really, I thought the government would have this under control by now. But between governmental incompetence and a nasty virus, we don’t seem to be any closer to getting it under control than when we started. And I’m still in my house.

I’m not putting up the red, spiky Covid-19 ball that everyone uses. Here’s a green ball – I was very happy to have my partner bring home a watermelon.

I live in a box. It’s a nice box that holds all my favorite things. Fall is the best time to live in a box, assuming you have to live in a box. I can see the leaves changing colors and falling. I can see my garden still stretch and try to grow while other parts of it are dying. When winter comes, I fear the monotony which is mostly broken up by cardinals at the bird feeder.

Time has lost meaning. Day and night set my schedule during the summer. I was up with the sun and down with the sun. Now, night comes so early. And next week they shift around the hours again. But I have no place to be. We don’t even have TV on a schedule because we use streaming services. Sometimes, when the ticking annoys him, my husband turns off the clocks. And I just float in place. At least time passes quickly.

I try to structure my day. I get up and putter on the computer for a couple of hours. Then I switch over to writing for another couple of hours. I do the dishes and clean a little. And about then things fall apart. I become torn between what I need to do (write and clean) and what I want to do (crafts or television). Then I end up taking a nap and the afternoon is gone and I have to make dinner.

The evenings are generally gone because of the chronic pain. I wind down early and physically cannot do much. I’ve been like this since the pain moved in. So it’s TV, podcasts, or books after dinner. And then reading in bed until I fall asleep.

Little changes in this routine. Except when time fogs out, like the days I am dealing with email and then look up and it’s already 2 pm and I haven’t even eaten lunch. Or the days I am just counting down the minutes until I can take a nap. And the days when the cat yells at me all day wanting food even though I just fed him an hour ago. When his timer is off, mine follows.

Days are not really different. Except on weekends my partner is home all day and we will visit my best friend on some days. But some days we stay home and he goes for a walk and a nap and I feel like I’m back into the weekday pattern.

There goes one attempt to describe life in the time of coronavirus. Now I’m just tired and a bit foggy, so I’ll tune out now.


Pandemic hair

I’ve got a bad case of pandemic hair. Do you?

I had long, long hair for a few years. Just before the pandemic started, I got it cut off into a cute chin-length shag. And have been absolutely unable to keep it up because I cannot go to the salon.

Oh, yes. And I cut my own bangs. They are not straight. (But my hair is long enough to be held up by a single pencil.)

The salon is open. My favorite place re-opened on August 31. I’m sure they are taking all the precautions they can against the spread of the virus. But I’ve got an autoimmune disorder and just don’t trust that it will be good enough.

It’s not just them. Here’s a list of place I have been since March:

  • My house
  • My yard
  • My best friend’s house
  • To the doctor’s office
  • The cannabis dispensary (once – knowing they take top precautions)
  • In the car

Yep. That’s it. My world has gotten very small. And there are no hair stylists in it. My hair is long again. I know I’m in the same boat as many other people. This is our new normal and we have to adjust to it. But I never thought it would last this long. Today, it feels like I have been living this greatly reduced life for years.

My hair chokes me when I sleep. I have to tie it up in a tight knot on top of my head. Otherwise, it will wake me several times in the night twisting around my throat or stuffing into my mouth. The good news is that the knot on top keeps my CPAP straps in place.

I am trying to learn more up-dos and braids – but those are limited by the amount of time I can stand in front of a mirror with my arms up in the air. The pain that lives in my shoulders hates that position. I find myself taking a lot of breaks, and a lot more time to get anything done. The ugly ponytail becomes the style of choice on most days.