April 18, 2020 / Day 35 Quarantine Gratitude List: health, employed and spring garden.
Since we’ve passed the one month mark my outlook has grown dark and angry. The realization that we’re all experiencing collective isolation, a health crisis and economic upheaval brought on by not only a highly contagious new virus but by our world leaders’ slow response to a known threat overtook my senses.
Yesterday, I ventured out to do what was once a simple way to care for my family, food shopping. This deep anger hit me full force, after loading my grocery bags in the trunk of my car and catching a glimpse of my cloth mask covered face in the rearview mirror. All the safety precautions, extra planning, and detailed logistics to go into the local grocery store, to ensure I don’t spread nor transmit COVID-19 knocked me down. Each trip out in public know needs to be planned, anticipated and leads to anxiety.
Prior to this epidemic, I enjoyed my Friday shopping outings. Since it is my day off work, I would relish in having the whole day ahead of me while the children were in school. Most weeks I took a long walk, meet a friend for coffee, stopped at the library and then would go to multiple stores and chat with the clerks about the weather or weekend plans while doing the food shopping. It was a relaxed time alone or spent with a friend, and provided a chance to connect within my community. All of that is now gone. It seems a very distant luxury, one I am not sure will be part of our world anytime in the near future.
Many people are upset that there are vacant shelves or missing ingredients when they conduct their shopping. This is not ideal, but we in the US have been spoiled by abundance, many of the world’s citizens do not have these goods available at the best of times. The world economy has been distributed, yet through my grief and anger, I am thankful to all the store clerks, managers, truck drivers and stocking personal who continue to work despite the lack of protective gear so my family can continue to have this basic human need met.