Dispatch from quarantine

It was Mark Twain who once said, “Write what you know.”

Well, “what I know” has been quarantine, off and on for the last few weeks. I don’t have it in me to write an otherwise cheery column when life isn’t cheery at the moment.

I thought we had been cautious, but it wasn’t enough. Covid-19 hit home as the New Year was ushered in. Keeping my family separated was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.Darcy Gray

When I asked my husband for his thoughts on quarantine, one of the first things he said was, “It’s important to have someone bring food to you so you don’t die.” Accurate.

After getting the virus, he confined himself to the basement while the rest of us – myself and our two children – stayed upstairs. I feel grateful we had a little room to spread out, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. The cooking three meals a day, the careful and sometimes paranoia-fueled cleaning, the having to explain over and over to a 7-year-old why she can’t run and hug her dad … it takes a toll.

But even now as I write about it, guilt sweeps over me for discussing first world problems. I’ll be honest: My husband is the cook in our household. He’s a good cook, and since he works an earlier shift than I do, he’s usually the one who makes dinner. When I cooked during quarantine, there was an occasional grilled cheese and Ramen noodles. (Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese?) It’s not that I can’t cook – hey, I threw some decent slow cooker meals in there, too – but my husband has always cooked with ease. I’m the one who has to carefully follow the recipe.

So what positive note or advice do I have? We are out of quarantine, with no severe symptoms although my husband lost his sense of taste and smell. We found Battleship and Guess Who to be the best games to play with a family member from a distance. Say “yes” when someone offers to drop off needed items, and don’t be too proud to ask for help. And take a moment each day to step outside, even if you’re just sitting on your front steps, watching nothing in particular.

– Darcy Gray, WPC president

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