Who knew what we were in for when we started sheltering at home? I started quarantining with my high-risk husband with a positive “can do” attitude, a credit to my pragmatic Mid-western upbringing. With this newfound home time, things were going to get done!
How has this plan played out? Unfortunately, my initial exuberance has gone, as my grandmother would say, “to hell in a hand basket” faster than COVID-19 can spread at a Missouri pool party. Sad, unrelenting reality has zapped my motivation. Here’s the quarantine timeline I’ve experienced:
Weeks 1 to 4: High hopes
Anxious energy percolated out of me as my mind tried to grasp the daily news. I was a git ‘er done machine. Closets and drawers were Marie Kondo-ed. Mis lecciones se hacían todos los días. (Spanish lessons were completed daily.) The foothills were hiked in clean and coordinated outfits. New and complicated gourmet meals were whipped up. Alcohol intake was tempered with church lady like moderation.
Weeks 5 to 8: Reality hits
The news was nothing but bad, bad, bad – a frying pan to the head each day. Closet cleaning was abandoned. Why clean at all given what’s going on? Who cares if our place looks like the program: “Hoarders, the Broken in Boulder episode”? I moved my old sweat pants and T-shirts from a high closet shelf to an easy-to-reach drawer. (No, Marie, this did not “spark joy.”) Spanish lessons tapered off. ¿Cuándo terminará esto? (When will this end?) I no longer went on nearby hiking trails as they had become bottlenecked with large groups of mask-less potential spreaders. (Death by one snotty sneeze seemed a pathetic way to go.) Cooking lost its appeal and started feeling more like a pandemic-prison chore with no hope for parole. My wine bottles seemingly emptied themselves without my knowledge.
Week 8 to present: Why bother?
Our home is barely kept looking presentable. My old, comfortable clothes are never put away but are occasionally washed when my husband gives me that,“Heh, are you going feral?” look. I’ve stopped my Spanish lessons but when reading the news I find myself muttering phrases such as, ¿Qué infierno es esto? (What fresh hell is this?) Now walking around the neighborhood and seeing strangers’ faces without masks seems off putting, like they’re not wearing pants only ratty underwear. Cook? Yah, right. That’s so March 2020. Happy Hour has been replaced with We Got Through Yet Another Day Hour.
Who knows what weeks 12 to 16 will bring? Hopefully not eating baked squirrel in stained sweat pants. ¡Muy triste! (So sad!) Stay tuned.
By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn is a Boulder freelance writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.