We are stocked up and stressed out

We are stocked up and stressed out

Self-Quarantine has never been more exhausting. It sounded sort of fun at first. Drop everything and stay home. It was sure to be relaxing even though there is no shortage of tasks that need done at my house and I was sure to get them checked off the list.

Then I made a shocking discovery. How did I let my must-have pantry supplies get so low? As a result, I have been inside a grocery store more times in the past two weeks than in the past two months. But now we have all the essentials – cat food, cat treats, and cat litter.

I do not want to try to explain the self-quarantine thing to my pampered house cat, who has been self-quarantining all her life. This is her moment to shine and she is getting through this self-quarantine better than the rest of us.

Still there is no reason good enough, in any pet’s mind, for you, also known as the human servant, not to provide the necessary supplies they have become accustomed to having. Buying pet food before you pick up your own food? I totally understand.

Even when it’s not a national emergency, kitty lets you know when it’s time to get up, time for her afternoon treat, when her food bowl is empty and when it’s time to go to bed. Having such a punctual pet is like having an assistant like the ones famous people and musical groups hire to keep them on schedule.

The assistant is the “bad guy,” who just when their bosses are having a great time meeting and greeting their fans, says it’s time to go. Kitty works pretty cheap for all the services she is providing.

We did buy some people food too. While we were filling our cart with only the necessities my husband, Joe, made an interesting observation. Any food that was deemed healthy was still in good supply, where as any food containing a wealth of fat, sugar, and more calories than you need in a week was sold out.

What does that say about us? It appears everyone is getting through the crisis the best way we know how – by eating junk food. There’s an upside.

Anyway, I have been extra careful on these shopping trips. As a year-round sinus and allergy sufferer, I don’t want to create paranoia and total chaos by pulling out a tissue, sneezing or even clearing my throat.

The virus has pointed out one thing very clearly and that is how good we usually have it. I’d even say we are a bit spoiled. Did you ever imagine going to the grocery store and not finding everything you need? Generally, the clerks ask us if we found everything and then they try to get it for us if they don’t have it. Not the past two weeks, we needed to make multiple trips to the store just to find some of the items we usually buy like bread and cereal.

Week two of self-quarantine and, if this goes on much longer, someone in our household is going to die (and not from the coronavirus.) It doesn’t say much for my cooking ability that Joe did not know I had supper ready when at 5 p.m., he announced that he wanted take-out pizza. Several thoughts crossed my mind: “no-one would ever convict me and, if they did, I’d have more time to write, and maybe I’d get out early for good behavior.”

One thing that needs to change immediately is the marriage vow; let’s use the words “for better, for worse, and in seemingly endless pandemic self-quarantine.” I didn’t have that in my marriage vows, and for all of us who didn’t specifically agree to it, we should be able to “opt out” under the law for at least for the duration of the pandemic. Contact your legislators now.

Hang in there, with all the negatives going on today, we are learning to appreciate the small things and to look out for one another. It’s heartening to hear the stories of those helping their neighbors, local restaurant owners, and even total strangers. Please continue to pray for the many people who are being devastated by this pandemic.

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