SELF ISOLATION AND OTHER ASPECTS OF LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID 19

MARCH 22 – We have now been back from Florida for five days. We have been practicing self isolation after our trip on what was a crowded and perhaps very germ-filled auto train. A precious daughter-in-law asked if we were feeling lonely in our isolation. And so far the answer is not really. Today our grandson Graham texted and set up a FaceTime call to check in on us. It was so much fun. We are blessed with 19 wonderful grandchildren and most times our interactions are with more than one grandchild at a time – which we love – but there is a special charm to just one on one time!

March 23 – FaceTime with granddaughter Lilly. She is an editorial producer with a New York based magazine. And is now working remotely from her parents home. Am awed when she tells me that ten thousand people have signed up for the webinar she is facilitating on Tuesday.

March 24 – FaceTime with Granddaughter Annie, December 2019 graduate of the University of Virginia. Starting in June Annie is supposed to begin a two year stint with Teach for America. I was not surprised when she was accepted into this wonderful volunteer program. Annie is a gifted , caring woman.

MARCH 26 – last night our son Jerry set up a Zoom conference call where for about an hour husband Jerry and I played on-line Scrabble with son Jerry and the team of grandson Jeremy and his friend Amy ( they won). We each were on our own computer screens. There were some technical glitches but we played through them and the glitches just resolved. We will play again next Wednesday.

For the first time ever in our almost 60 years of married life we were forced by our self isolation to order groceries on line. I put a lot of time into making the list and was taken aback when I tried yesterday to place my order at about 2 in the afternoon and was told told ” no more orders for today.” This morning I placed the order at 8 AM and it went through. With 27 items on my list I wondered how many I would actually get. When the shopper could not get a list item she texted me for approval of her replacements. Though I happen to actually like grocery shopping I was impressed by how smoothly the shopping on line went.

And then at 3:30 we had a FaceTime with granddaughter Claire and with her boyfriend Greg. Both of them have good jobs which allow for working remotely. They cared for my two favorite houseplants while we were in Florida. Both these plants are more than 30 years old so they are treasures and putting them in the hands of Claire and Greg they got the best of care. Face timing gave us the opportunity to meet Claire’s pussycats, Angie and Gloria who were rather shy with the computer camera but I can relate – sometimes I find being photographed a bit difficult.

MARCH 27 – today Jerry and I golfed. Our club has put together meaningful protocols to keep members from being infected with the Coronavirus. And it was a beautiful day so we were grateful to be walking the course.

Before we headed out to golf our daughter Meg and her son Liam FaceTimed us. Liam proudly showed us some homework he had worked on. The school district he and his sibs are part of has a very robust program of home schooling in this scary virus time. Liam is very comfortable with FaceTime whereas I am continuing to learn its capabilities. I just love the way it makes you feel physically close to those you are talking with.

MARCH 28 – Had a Zoom video hour set up by Annie with our family who live locally. Was so good to see everyone. There were 16 of us on the screen. It was very reassuring to see everyone and to hear about their virus coping activities – virtual birthday parties, virtual happy hours, etc. Jerry and I asked for movie recommendations that we will check out. I shared my anger at the Washington Post comic strip WUMO – that showed a doctor speaking to family members about their father who had just died. This was supposed to be funny when the Doctor said ,” Technically your Dad died of natural causes.What’s more natural than senior citizens unable to handle technology?” This is not funny – it is insulting. I have written a letter of protest to the Post!

MARCH 29 – No church in this time of pandemic but grateful to be part of a parish skilled in use of social media for spiritual purposes. Some of their messages are long, some are short – all are very meaningful. Midday we had a very fun Face Time session with son Joe and his wife Lane as they headed to an afternoon gathering of some of their family. It was great to see them looking so well. Joe is a doctor – an internist in private practice. Lane is his office manager. They, like our our daughter, Maura, who is a nurse practitioner, are on the front lines in this time of health crisis. We need the reassurance that comes from checking in with these three.

In the afternoon we had a Zoom call with granddaughter Emily and her fiancee David. They are recently engaged and we couldn’t be happier – for them and for us to be acquiring such an amazing and thoughtful Grandson -in-law. He and Emily are well matched both in their kindness and their desire to help others.

March 31 – Have been trying for the last two days to place a grocery order with either Whole Foods or Wegmann’ s. This morning I got up at 6 to place the order. By 6:10 I was too late for Whole Foods – no spots available. Wegmann’s had time available on April 5 between 5 and 7 PM. I grabbed it and placed my order. Only problem was we were out of some of our daily food staples. That was solved when Lilly, taking a break from work , offered to do our shopping , and her brother Gus offered to bring it out to us.

April 1 – This is the day Jerry and I should have just been getting home from Florida. We appreciate the loving concern of our all our children who because of Covid 19 persisted in urging us to return early. It was our son Jim who realized that in Florida we were not getting a realistic picture of the pandemic disaster that was descending on our country. And he was right, we weren’t. It is a role reversal when parents have to acknowledge that their children know what is best. We thank them for their persistence.

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