Writing this while Isabel is in the office with a video conference call/follow-up appointment with her doctor…the new realities of life in an anxiety stimulating pandemic…no more leaving the house for in-person encounters…not even with your doctors or therapists. I just got the word that our apartment complex staff will only communicate via phone calls and emails, and that all amenities, such as the coffee area and exercise room are closed until further notice.  Maintenance guys will only respond to emergencies.  Will they be coming in HazMat suits for that?
I went early to the supermarket, after 2 days of trying to get things delivered like I always have from Amazon and Walmart, and neither one can even fill an order…(lots of  online OUT OF STOCK indicators)… or get it to me. I just read yesterday they’re hiring a hundred thousand more people for their warehouses… they call them fulfillment centers (what a great name!) and to ramp up their delivery system. So I had to venture out early to the store for provisions …I am near a few…not knowing what I would find. It was early enough that it was not swamped, but there were more people there than there normally are this early in the morning. They had a ton of workers stocking shelves, putting out LOTS of canned and dry staple foods wherever they could find a space. There were many shelves that were empty of certain things and others were fine. Not surprised. This morning, there was lots of produce and dairy and deli/bakery, frozen foods, and so on. I had a list (peanut butter, potatoes, bread, cheese, canned vegetables, cereal, almond milk, etc.) so I moved quickly, and I think, given the fact that I am always pretty ‘thorough’ and ‘determined’ about stocking up at all times and from before, this was just about ‘topping things off’, so I would be fine. I would say we’d be all right for three weeks not having to leave the house, or more, if it comes to that. I appreciate all the people are doing in the grocery stores and on America’s production and transport lines to gear up to meet the needs of the populace. Other countries would not be able to do this. So I’m thankful.
Handwashing note: I washed my hands before I went into the store, washed the handle of the cart,  washed hands a couple of times while in the store, again when I went out,  and again when I got in the car, and then when I got home with soap and water before and after unloading the car.  I don’t worry about it much when I’m in the house… just doing it periodically, in bathroom, for example.  Also keep repeating and obeying the mantra …”Don’t touch your face.  Leave your face alone.”
This reminds me about twenty years ago, on a career day in the high school where I taught, we would bring in speakers from different careers and have them give students an idea of their jobs.  In our room, one of the presenters was a flight attendant.  I don’t know how the subject came up, but she spoke about cleaning her hands frequently and never touching her face while she was on a flight, constantly ‘contaminated’ as she was while on the job.  I have never forgotten that advice and it has served me well.  Still does. Pass the soap, please.


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