Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Unfolding of a New Lifestyle

on March 17, 2020

Last Monday I received wonderful news that I did not have a serious health problem my doctor had tested me for. It was like I could begin the process of a positive new beginning. Then by week’s end the coronavirus arrived in Cleveland and life made an abrupt about-face.

This past Saturday the newspaper reported a run on toilet paper and other necessities at the big box stores. I dropped the paper, put on some clothes and headed to a nearby drugstore. I was able to buy a six roll pack of toilet paper and thought that would tide me over. I noticed employees checking partly empty shelves and making lists. Curious. The next day the Sunday paper did not include the usual advertising circulars. And there was a front page story of the empty shelves at drug stores and groceries all over the city. Empty shelves explained the absence of advertising. I went to the grocery store and got one of their last packages of toilet paper – along with bread, milk and grapefruit.

Sunday afternoon the usual six or seven women gathered to play our Scrabble-like card game. We decided that with so many of the places we regularly go being closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus we would play our game every afternoon. We put up a flyer inviting others to join us, offering to teach people how to play if they didn’t know how. Finally, a bit of sanity and fun.

Checking my shelves for things I would need to stay healthy I found I had ninety individual packets of hand sanitizer left over from my travelling abroad days. And lots of toothpaste and soap. I found a silver lining to Amazon’s selling many things only in bulk.

My son told me his way of being safe in the grocery store. He suggested I use the hand sanitizer they have by the front door and then put on gloves to wear while shopping. I must discard my gloves and wash my hands after I leave the store. I tried this with only one hitch. When checking out, after I put my credit card in the slot, I must press “yes” to say I agree with the amount they are charging me. I couldn’t make the device respond. The cashier told me I had to take off my glove and press it. I did. So much for being germ-free.

Lastly, here’s a final note of changes to come as I live into my new lifestyle. I received an email from the person who cuts my hair saying she is closing her shop for the duration. I have worn my hair quite short for longer than I can remember. I’m really curious to see how it will look whenever the duration is over.

I am praying for people everywhere frightened of the days ahead and for people and their families who become infected by the coronavirus. I pray for myself to stay healthy, and to not become a carrier. I mourn the dead.

15 responses to “Unfolding of a New Lifestyle

  1. Bill Bisgood says:

    Never been a better time to be kind to yourself. Congratulations on your good news, brought a smile to my lips in these testing times. These enforced ‘isolations’ may inspire a tsunami of poetry, at least, I hope so!

  2. Dale says:

    First of all, fantastic news from your doctor! I am so happy and relieved for you.
    Then this Coronavirus thing… My family has been in quarantine since we returned from our cruise. Well, not immediately but four days later. I even worked for three of those days. Had I realised what was in store, I would have done a bigger grocery than I did last Tuesday. Oh well. This will be prime time to get my imagination running and empty the fridge, freezer and pantry. I will abide and stay home until Monday. It’s the least I can do for my fellow man.

  3. jabrush1213 says:

    So happy to hear that you are well!

  4. Difficult times ahead but so glad to hear the good news from your doctor.

  5. I use my knuckle to press any buttons at checkout if I have to. In elevators, too.

    Glad you got what you needed before the quarantine set.

    Stay safe!

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks. Yes, the timing was good to put my own health matters behind me. Now knuckles are part of my daily routine too. I’m getting better with wearing and washing rubber gloves. Still haven’t successfully made a mask for myself.

  6. Rose says:

    Honestly ! The new life style is really freaking me out ! Being so conscious of becoming infected and putting my family in danger , I find it really difficult to drag myself out to grocery shopping or work. Just hoping, we all survive !!

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