Mary Beth Writes

We once owned a children’s book of cutely ironic poems.  Can’t find the book this morning, but I can describe the exact poem I am remembering. There is a funny little dog in an askew uniform standing in the middle of a dusty road. He looks wrinkled and unhappy. 

Tied to him is a very big, bag-of-bones horse.

The poem reads:

 “I was standing in the road as quiet as can be,

when a great big ugly man came up and tied his horse to me.”

 This is how I feel. We didn’t do anything wrong. We were just living our lives, and suddenly there is this Looming Giant Coronavirus tied to us and there is nothing we can do but wait - hoping it doesn’t get bit by a fly and take off galloping down the road with us flopping and flailing in its wake.

As some of social media is reminding us, this is how great swaths of humanity are living their lives. Waiting at the dangerous border for their 20 minutes in US immigration court. Fleeing the only place they have ever lived to try to get to a refugee camp where no one wants them. Waiting for the doctor to call with test results. Waiting out the mysterious illness in a lethargic child. Sitting on a metal stool bolted to the floor in a crowded jail because you can’t afford the bail it will cost to get you out on this charge for a crime you did or didn’t commit … while reading about social distancing.

Take away all the other luxuries, dear God, but don’t mess with our beloved belief that we have our lives under control and nothing too bad is going to happen.

Just saying it again in case you aren’t paying attention. THIS WEEK is a crucial week. THIS is the week a lot of people who didn’t think they had Covid are going to start having it.  Guesses/estimates are that there are 10,000 infected people in many/most of our states. We don’t see these individuals yet because they are still harboring and sharing it. They/you may have it now. They/you might not get the sickness very hard; but those carrying the virus can infect others for 6 days before sickness appears. They/you may be passing it to your get-together pals, the other people at the bar or restaurant, to relatives, to the cashier at the grocery store.

Do your best to Quarantine yourself for a week until you know whether you have it or not.

If this sounds alarmist, it is.

We don’t know enough about the horse tied to us. 

Did you read the response letters to yesterday’s diary? People are sharing good info. 

Went for a walk yesterday. Earlier this week I purchased a $3 binoculars app for my phone. I used it yesterday to take some photos of birds which is why there is such a terrible, fuzzy, out of focus photo at the beginning of today’s writing. 

Quarantine as a good time for new goals?  I like crows. Maybe I’ll get better at Corvid pix in the next few weeks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quarantine Diary #17 3/30/2020

Why are people (lots of them) on Facebook posting photos of landscapes? The instructions say one should post a picture of a landscape one took somewhere, one should not say where that place is, and no people should be included, especially not the posting-person.  

Why? I don’t get it. I don’t mind but I really don’t get how this connects to anything.

A friend’s husband’s company had a virtual meeting this morning about the future of their company. Things are changing but not shutting down. They will still have income and insurance.  Thought you might like to know.  

Quarantine Diary #16 3/29/2020

I’ve been busy today so I’m a little late getting to this diary. Doing what, you ask? Oh, brilliant things like washing the bathroom and doing laundry and going for a blustery walk. Took the plastic off the particular windows we wrap in the fall.

Spent a chunk of the morning reading about the lead-up to the Revolutionary War battles at Saratoga. More about that later.  Reading about brave and canny, stupid and ego-centric politicians of an entirely different era is part of my coping strategy for life in the US. We aren’t the first to live in fraught times. Not by a long shot.

Quarantine Diary #15 3/28/2020

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining?

Quarantine #14 3/27/2020

Last night we did another wild and crazy thing. We got in our car and went for a drive! The first thing we remarked to each other was that we had not been in the car together in weeks.  It felt a little odd to be in there, next to each other, about to GO SOMEPLACE! Maybe this is the way it feels to be the family dog when they let you sit in the front seat and EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING!

We drove west into the rosy sunset, filled with excitement to, um, see the sky.  Quarantines are easiest on people who have a low bar for excitement.

Quarantine Diary #13 3/26/2020

What do you miss?  What, in our new pandemical world do you miss most from our pre-pandemical world?You know, the one we lived in till two weeks ago?

I don’t mean the heartbreaking realities such as safe medical care providers and enough places to go should one become ill and the loved ones that we are losing.

I just mean, what are we getting used to? Or trying to get used to. What might we never go back to?

Quarantine Diary #12 3/25/2020

Right now it is 11:00AM.  Got up this morning at the regular time. Did regular things. Came to the office to write. Worked (hardly at all) on a project, wrapped an item for eBay. Announced to Len at 10:30 that I was sleepy and going to take a nap.

You know what he said?  He said, “Me, too.”

The following half hour he took the sofa and I took our bed and both of us slept like toddlers on cots.

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