Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Social Distancing, Day 2: O solitude! if I must with thee dwell...

Wanda firmly rejects Doodles with Mo Willems
In the immortal words of the Cure, "Whenever I'm alone with you/You make me feel like I am home again..."

And here we are, at home. We are alone together. Together alone. Together, so much together. So much not alone.


I am an introvert. Only other introverts believe me when I say this, so a minority of the population. But it is true. And I get peopled out and then I get crabby and kind of dysfunctional. Also, I'd be content to stay home forever.

The internet was made for people like me! I love interaction but it doesn't need to be face to face or in real time.

My son, too, could spend the rest of his life on the couch reading a book.

This is particularly hard on India and Nick. They, like other extroverts, need other people to recharge them.


Yesterday I felt very down on myself.

I'm in a WhatsApp group for second grate parents. And there are tons of amazing suggestions in that group. It's a terrific resource.

But what it mostly made me feel was that everyone else has an actual schedule that they're sticking to, and all these creative educational activities that they're actually making their kids do.

And then there's us.

We watched a lot of TV, to be honest. We took the dog out on some walks; this may be the most constructive thing we did. Oh, we also did Doodles with Mo Willems. But this was 30 minutes out of the whole day.

Me, I did some half-hearted laundry. I folded two sets of sheets, but since I now tend to just go straight to rolling the fitted sheets in a ball rather than actually trying to make them square, that hardly counts as much.

What I did most of was ratchet up my anxiety by obsessively reading the NYT and the Post.


Nick is going to the office, because there's almost nobody in the whole building.

While I'd rather have him safely at home and not worry that he won't wash his hands properly after entering the building, or maybe he'll forget and go ahead and lick the elevator buttons or something, it is better in so many ways that he's able to go to the office.

For one thing, he's so much more productive there. And he had to sign paychecks, which were there.

And also, when he is home for extended periods his stress washes into me and he tends to supervise me. Which causes me to feel all kinds of ill will towards him. Sometimes I walk around muttering under my breath and sometimes I have to just sit on my stabby hands.

I mean, we could all wind up being home together for weeks on end. And we are so lucky that we have a big house, and we are not packed in together.

Betty's floor is not self-contained, but she can be away from all of us.

Nick could shut himself into his office and be left in peace, assuming the kids would leave him be.

And I could be left to my unsupervised devices, watching Fuller House with the kids.


Actually, this afternoon the kids, Wanda, and I are going to go for a 30-minute run. We have bribed the children with cash money if they will go out for a run. I don't imagine them doing 30 minutes initially but we can jog for as long as they can, and walk the rest.

We all need the air.

I don't know how else to get them to exercise. They aren't interested in hikes in nature, and the last time we walked over to Rock Creek, one, the part we go to was full of other people, and two, India insisted on getting on the exercise equipment and frankly I will be apoplectic if that happens again.


My mom is the one I'm most anxious about. I mean, I have asthma, and that's not great in terms of this dread respiratory virus. But my mom is 82, with high blood pressure and COPD.

She's been sick for over two weeks, although she got an antibiotic last week and it's made a great difference. But when she gets sick she takes to bed and stays there.

This turns out to have been a blessing, because two weeks ago she canceled some non-urgent appointments. She hasn't been out and about in the world.

I'm very thankful for this. But I still fear that we will infect her.

At her age with two comorbidities (which autocorrect would really like to change to commodities), she is solidly in the group that does not tend to survive Covid19.

Autocorrect also likes to change any misspelling of "asshole" to "asshoke" on my phone and I am all, duck you very much. As it turns out, I write asshole on a regular basis. Who'd expect?

I had never given any thought to the word "comorbidity" before now. She has two comorbidities.

And on a side note, before the election of 2016, I had also never given any thought to the word indicted. Have I told you this before? I can't remember.

Nick asked me to google if someone had been indicted and I spelled it "endeighted" and said I couldn't find any information.

Now I know how to spell it.


Betty is a paper product enthusiast, so we are set for toilet paper and paper towels.

We have goods that will last, like beans. We always at least have lentils. We have rice because how do you live without rice? I just ordered some more peanut butter and a 10 pound bag of chocolate chips, because that seemed like it could come in handy.


Really, though, what I would like to know is how you are.

So, how are you? How is the situation in your neighborhood, state, country?

How are you feeling, physically and mentally? How is your anxiety level?

What are you doing with your time?

And perhaps most importantly, what are you doing that is good for you?

Stay safe, my friends.

Love and hugs,



  1. Living out in the country makes staying away from people a relatively easy thing to do so I am lucky. I grow most my own veg and have a beast in the freezer and chooks are laying eggs every day. I keep up with what’s happening and over here the supermarkets are starting to go a bit crazy. If it all turns to custard I shall saddle up my horse and grab my swag and go Bush. Stay safe and Wanda is awesome.

  2. That sounds ideal, honestly. You are in a perfect position. I'm not a country person and like my neighbors close...but that's not helpful in this situation. Stay safe, Jo! Big hugs!


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