It’s been one week since I’ve been practicing social distancing. Mostly I’ve mostly stayed home, which is what I usually do anyway, since I’m a writer that works from home. So in some ways my usual routine is intact. In other ways, not.
Both college-age offspring are living again home. I’m pleased. Spouse now working from home. We’re a family that’s together. But now we’re four adults and that makes a house of modest size feel smaller, more crowded, and messier. Space shrinks. Tensions tighten. But at least we all love each other, and are trying to give each other space and also be together.
I’ve seen one friend for a bike ride early in the week and probably got too close physically. I’ve had a long distance conversation with a neighbor from the safety of my driveway. I’ve driven my car once. Cooked a lot. Washed a lot of dishes. And my hands. Lots of hand washing.
Plus chores. I’ve cleaned out three cars. I’ve organized papers and cleaned out the garage. I’ve raked the yard, turned the compost pile, washed mildew off the back of the house. Too early. The forecast calls for snow on Monday.
I’m also re-reading from a backlist of some of my favorite books. Right now it’s Ron Hansen’s MARIETTE IN ECSTASY, about a 17-year-old postulant who enters a nunnery and experiences the stigmata, which mimics Christ’s bleeding on the cross, and causes both distress and delight among her sisters. The haunting, melodic voice perfectly dovetails with the story. For this reason alone it has made my list.
I’m also staring at the box of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. I expect I’ll be starting it today. I also have a new door to make for my Little Free Library. I can always stay busy, although I wished I were deep and consumed in writing a novel right now, but I’ve just finished one (THE SUITOR) and am in that flailing, spastic, self-defeating stage during which I don’t think I’ll ever have another idea.
But I have this idea, really it’s a progression of ideas: At first, I believed I could protect myself from contracting the virus. Now I think I’m likely to get it. I’m healthy and have a strong immune system, so I should be able to fight it off. Or maybe not.
I could be dead in two weeks. I’d sign up for that fate, if it meant the rest of my family could be safe. But no one if offering that guarantee. That’s my real source of anxiety.