Mary Beth Writes

1. I hate that each day when I start these diary entries, I have to look up yesterday’s posting to see what number I’m on because it’s too high to stick in my head. Today is #36.  Yes it is.

2. I hate that each day as I read tweets and FB posts and look at the NYT and WaPO and other websites - I HATE that there is always brand new news about the devasting effects of this disease and how poorly the government is responding. 

3. I’m really iffy on religion lately. I see no way any religion makes sense when people in dire poverty will die from this – because how do you social distance when you sleep in a box or six to a one-room shack? To say that my God loves me and that is why I am held in the palm of His hand – means to me that others must be less loved by the divine because they are going to suffer and die like riffraff blowing down the street.  It makes me angry when theology preaches that there is a divine rationale that will even this all out later. 

I believe in community; I believe that kindness is always an act of faith - so most of us need a faith community.

But I hate religion that says. “Don’t worry, God’s got this.”

History says otherwise.

4. I hate that I have not been in a Goodwill store in six weeks. Once, a few months ago, two old guys were shopping together. One held a pack of adult diapers and was earnestly saying to the other, “This price is great. These things are so expensive and she and I both need them, and this will help us out a lot.” There was a whole novel in there and I got tears in my eyes and I miss the poignancy of scrappy people.

5.  I hate that I can’t zip into the grocery store to pick out exactly what we want. Len picked up our order today and instead of bouillon cubes the guy gave us “Bou” brown Gravy maker. Anyone want it?

6. I hate that our groceries come in plastic bags again. We had converted to reusable bags for the groceries and other purchases. We used mesh produce bags instead of those filmy store bags.  And now we are back to plastic bags inside of plastic bags inside of plastic bags.  We throw them all away because the point of having someone else shop for us is to avoid potential virus droplets. But I hate this.

7. I hate that children are stuck inside their homes with their weary and sometimes awful parents.  When I volunteered in a local school   – sometimes at the end of the day the teachers would ask kids to complete the sentence “The best thing that happened today and the hardest thing that happened today.”  And each and every time the “hardest thing” - was having to go home.  These little kids, many of whom had spent rough and frustrating days not understanding or doing their work … these same children would say the worst part of their day was leaving school to go home.  I hate what that represents.  

8. I hate that there are still no comprehensive roll-out of tests to determine who has been exposed and who hasn’t and how to proceed safely.

9. I hate some politicians. Real bad.

10. I hate that The reason Guatemala is now starting their crisis is because more than half of the undocumented Guatemala immigrants we expelled from the US were postive for Covid. So we sent this disease to one of the poorest nations on earth. Good going. Source here. 

What do you hate about living in this time of Coronavirus quarantine?

(Tomorrow I will try to come up with positive things from this quarantine.)




I hate that people are dying and grieving alone. That there is no horizon. That my job now involves phone calls to 70 families each week right now on top of working with the kids. And that I have to learn weird new social skills like communicating with a mask on, communicating that, yes, I really do want that extra large personal space bubble, and people a little closer to my inner circle are starting to get sick.
Mary Beth's picture

This is really it. Loss and suffering. I'm so sorry.

So awful!!!!!

I hate that I had to make masks for my 3 and 5 year old grandchildren .....but somebody had to do it. I am glad that I could. I hate that the powers -that-be have dragged their collective ass on a national response I hate that so many will be hungry because unemployment checks are slow getting to them. I hate that my church would not cancel a 120 person event on March 14 that I opted out of. I hate that there is so little I can do to help others.
Mary Beth's picture

Those three hour lines of cars waiting to get a box of food - that's so scary. And needless.

I hate that those people ranting and raving about the government taking away their constitutional and god given rights don't give a damn about my rights or those of other people of color when it's been happening to us for way longer than this... And yet they cry fowl when someone steps on their white privilege rights... The line forms HERE...
Mary Beth's picture

Puerto Rico, knowing that no help could be depended on from this govt - was one of the first places to respond. Look at this: One more female leader who acted like a leader.

I'm proud of you for stopping at 10!
Mary Beth's picture

The county sheriff of Racine came out on TV today - saying he will not enforce Safer at Home. The TV stations all covered this plus other protesting-quarantine measures None of the local or national networks mentioned the sick, hospitalized, or death count in Wisconsin today. That's where I could start my second round of ten. 4000 people in Wisconsin are officially positive (not including ones that can't get testing.) 200 have died. But by God, don't take away my right to golf.

All very valid comments. One other “hate” I hate not being able to hug my loved ones. I hate living in fear around other human beings. I want that personal bubble too. I hate wearing a mask but I’m afraid not too. I hate all the human suffering.
Mary Beth's picture

Friends from church have stopped by to sit six feet away and I love that but it is so weird to not hug when they arrive. I met my new neighbor yesterday, we both reached forward to shake hands - and then we both rocked back. Crazy.
Leonard's picture

I hate that the Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow won't listen to the CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, who agreed with the Governor's extension of the stay-at-home order (which the doctor called "flexible"). I wish the County Executive would direct his anger at the disease instead of at people trying to save lives. And, if he has so much energy, perhaps he could help get testing, contact tracing and PPE gear for health workers.

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Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.


 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.


Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.


Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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