Peter and I are sitting on the couch, the boys are in bed, and we’re watching Outbreak on Netflix. Apparently it’s not enough to be constantly stressed out by the news, we also choose to watch movies about horrifying pandemics! I’m a little distracted a lot of the time (who isn’t?) so I’m also scrolling through Twitter while we watch when I come across this tweet:
I agree that it’s a pretty good idea. Keeping a record during times like these is important for those who come after us, so they see not only the official reports but also the everyday life reports of the people living through it.
I suppose that’s the entire point of having a blog, so I may as well dive back into this thing and write down what we’re living through.
Today is March 23, 2020. It’s currently 10:35 pm here in Jacksonville, Florida, and it’s a pleasant 71 degrees outside. Peter, Ben, Eliot, and I have been holed up at home since Friday, March 13.
2020/03/13 Confirmed cases in the U.S.: 1,264; 36 fatalities
Confirmed cases in Florida: 77, 0 fatalities
Peter had decided to work from home that day, and around lunchtime, I was browsing Facebook. I started seeing multiple posts in the local mom group about grocery stores getting busy and stocks of toilet paper being depleted. I took a quick inventory of the fridge, freezer, and pantry, and told Peter I wanted to make a quick trip up to BJ’s on the corner. I grabbed a little bottle of hand sanitizer from the diaper bag and attached it to my keyring, just to be safe.
I got to BJ’s around 1:55 pm, and the parking lot was packed. I grabbed a cart from the parking lot as I made my way in because I knew there weren’t likely to be any available at the door. At the entry, I ran into our friend Kendra, who told me it was crazy in there and that someone had tried to steal her cart, though I don’t know if it was for her purse or her toilet paper. I practically sprinted through the store, grabbing the dry goods, produce, and frozen stuff we needed.
After about a half hour of weaving through shoppers with carts stacked to the gills with water bottles and toilet paper, I got in line to checkout…behind approximately 30 other people. And that was just the line for self-checkout. I chatted with the older lady behind me about the merits of cauliflower rice and tried very hard to keep my hands off of my face. I texted Peter a picture of my cart and scrolled through Twitter. I stared at the cookies on the table in the bakery, but I was already in line and we really didn’t need cookies. I may have let out a wistful sigh.
I looked around and saw I was one of the only people without bottled water and toilet paper in my buggy. I almost touched my face but stopped myself! I saw a lady with about a dozen bottles of wine in her cart and thought to myself “Now there is a woman who knows how to prep for a quarantine.” I tried to keep my hands off my face. I checked Instagram and giggled at a friend’s story. I tried very, very hard not to touch my face. Do you have any idea how hard it is?! You have to be hyper-aware of your hands at all times. They’re sneaky buggers, always trying to brush a hair back or scratch your nose. Constantly thinking about them is hard.
I kinda felt like Ricky Bobby.
Eventually, I made it through checkout and got everything loaded in the car. I doused my hands with sanitizer and went home, then spent the next 20 minutes organizing the deep freezer.
I had a glass of wine. I vented to my mom about Ben being stubborn about potty training. I tried not to panic too much.