Quarantine Diary

Well, this is a proper shitshow, isn’t it? It’s been almost three weeks of quarantine, during which time I haven’t left my house, save for a windy walk. Submitted for you now, a record of my Coronavirus isolation.

DAY 4:

I’ve begun counting the quarantine days as it now stretches beyond the point of normal hiding inside my pillow fort. Plus, I made it through my departed sister’s birthday yesterday, so I can focus on the abject terror of plague quarantine with fresh aplomb.

I don’t think all the voices in my head know yet that we’re imprisoned, and are just wondering when we get to go out and see the nice man who serves us gin for money. Shhh. Sleep, my darlings. You don’t need to know that it seems this will drag on for many, many weeks.

While I wait for them to awaken I go through the motions of working from home, which is natural for me. I am not Essential during a plague, or during not-plague. I know how to handle my shit and get intense work done while the family whinges around me. I am a pro. I’m going to do everything I can to own this quarantine. Reading, sewing, TV show binges. I can do this, and I can do this for a long fucking time. I hope.

DAY 5:

Ima need people to stop making memes about toilet paper. It isn’t cute.

Yesterday was the release of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons (or “AC” as I shall mention it for brevity’s sake). I would like to formally apologize to Nintendo executives, whom I have cursed repeatedly over delaying this title for so. fucking. long. It turns out you were just saving it as Quarantine sedative, weren’t you? (Ooooh, conspiracy theory!)

I’ve been playing this game since it’s first release in 2001 and have been an avid, rabid fan. This is just what I need to take my mind off of Sanjay Gupta, ventilators, and whatever the fresh hell Trump is saying.

I have peaches to trade, by the way. Peaches.

DAY 6:

I decided to work from bed today. But I am still insisting on wearing non-elastic pants during the day…such as it is. I admit to sleeping until about noon most days. But for at least five whole hours of my day I am kind of fit to be seen in public. I realize I’m starting to watch for neighbors to walk down the road so I can run out on my porch to wave at them. This happens never, because I live in the center of the middle of the farm next to nowhere. But I’m ready if someone does walk by.

Today is the Luxembourgish holiday of Bretzelsonndeg. Not making this up. I’m (newly) Luxembourgish, so I have decided to really embrace this. I am ready! See, on this day, a man in love is supposed to present his sweetheart with a pretzel. If she returns his love, she will present him with eggs at Easter. (A poor jilted man will have an empty basket and deep shame.) For days, I’ve been texting the Hubby about remembering to get me a pretzel. But I fear he has forgotten.

DAY 6 – Part Two:

It was nearly midnight and I had no pretzel. My poor Luxembourgish heart was ready to shatter when I saw a Facebook post relating to my missing pretzel. Egads! In Leap Years, the Bretzelsonndeg tradition is reversed. (So complicated!) So it is I who was supposed to present him with a pretzel, and then wait for eggs at Easter. What the hell is this, people?

Worry not, diary, I quickly remedied the situation by grabbing a tissue from the nightstand box (clean, I promise), and twisting it into a pretzel shape. I presented it to the Hubby while he was distracted with a Magic the Gathering tournament. Love wins!

Now I wonder what type of egg I will get at Easter.

DAY 7:

It’s been one week isolated in the house with the Daughter. Wine supplies are running low. Internet connection spotty. Husband keeps leaving bread crumbs on the countertop.

Tomorrow he goes back to work, as he has officially been deemed Essential, which makes him walk a little taller and act smug. I may throw some toast crumbs in his eyes later and see how he likes referring to me as “non-Essential” then.

DAY 8:

Dear Diary, this has been a fantastically marvelous day. First, the postman (also my next-door neighbor) delivered my bag-in-box wine. I have missed it so, ever since I moved away from the U.S. It’s such a bargain! People here in Europe don’t realize what they’re missing. But clever scamp that I am, I found a bag-in-box wine supplier online that ships to my door! And now I’m stocked for at least a few days. I’ve really outdone myself this time. Huzzah!

Then, Diary, the most exciting thing happened for a quarantined lady who had just cracked a box of wine! The doorbell rings (!), and it is my next-door neighbor informing me that roaming donkeys have entered my yard and are eating my grass! Wild donkeys.

In a panic of ecstasy, I ran through the house yelling “Donkeys, Janet! Donkeys!”. When Daughter ignored me, it occurred to me that she hasn’t read David Copperfield, and this great literary quote opportunity was completely lost on my audience. Crap.

Of course, this was the day when I gave up on pants. So my neighbor and his son saw me in some very unfortunate pajama shorts and stained t-shirt with pigtails askew. Nevertheless, I grabbed some ugly loafers and ran out into the yard. There they were, my very fuzzy new friends.

It appears someone had dumped them on the country road and drove off. So cruel. They look like they’re in good shape though, and Neighbor has agreed to keep them in his pasture until he can find a place for them.

I tell Neighbor that the box he delivered this morning was full of wine. He asks for the link.


DAY 9:

I woke to the sound of donkeys braying. It made me smile.

Today I go back to wearing pants and actually brushing my hair. Lesson learned: One never knows when a neighbor may ring your bell to signal donkeys are in the yard. Always dress for company.

I decided to cut Daughter’s hair today. It did not go well. So short. She didn’t want more than a trim. Oops. Her vitriol was bubbling over so much, I insisted we go for a walk down the road so she could calm down. She wore a hoodie with the hood up, lest someone cross our path (no one did). She spent the entire walk cursing me and saying hateful things. I allowed it because it seemed like healthy venting, and she was actually getting physical exercise, especially when she began jogging back toward the house to get away from me.

Neil Diamond released a video of him performing “Sweet Caroline” with new quarantine lyrics, and my heart melted a little.

I played more Animal Crossing.

Luna AC

DAY 13:

I cannot even say what has happened over the last four days. It is becoming a blur, and every morning when I awake, I hear the Paul McCartney song, “Another Day”.

And I hate Paul McCartney songs. The lyrics are really awful to boot.

I play Animal Crossing everyday as a useful distraction, but today when I first tried to visit a friend’s island–hence, staying connected–I found that my router is the worst. Time to order a new one. And the isolation thickens.

We bought heating oil because it’s the cheapest it ever was since the beginning of time. The delivery truck showing up in a week should be good cheer.

DAY 14:

Just another day. I fell into the trap of watching Tiger King on Netflix. Goddammit. I feel so dirty now. What have I become?

Then at bedtime, husband turned to me in bed and said, “Oh man, CNN just cut away from a Trump Covid-19 press briefing because he asked the ‘My Pillow’ guy to speak”. I called him a big liar and laughed at him. No way. No way that’s real.

No way that’s real. No way….ah jeeeeesus. We’re all fucked.

Husband announced he’ll be working from home for the next three days. Afraid of having nightmares about the My Pillow Guy and Joe Exotic bumping uglies while Trump watches and calls it “beautiful”. Wine supplies holding for now.

DAY 15:

I’ve rallied to embrace a sense of purpose. Husband asked me to sew him a face mask, which I happily obliged. It felt nice to be…what’s the word? Essential.

Made Husband go out for a lengthy walk down our abandoned road. A Garda car passed us. Of all fucking things. And I knew the Garda! He breathalized me once during a random Christmas check (hey, I was fine), and we had quarreled over an insurance disc. But here he is, and I’m delighted to say hello. He seems no less delighted to see us and asks how we are. Human contact. Such a thing.

I celebrated by calling our favorite local restaurant and ordering takeaway pizza, which they do in a limited capacity. I also convince the owner to sell a few bottles of beer to go along with it, and for one evening the family is happy.

Husband tells me that a lot of people have been thinking of me and asking how I am. This tickles me since people tend to forget me pretty easily. I don’t remember the last time I smiled so much.


DAY 16:

Spent the day in bed. Hard to muster excitement for the ol’ hamster wheel of life today.

Trump and the My Pillow Guy just held hands and ordered 100,000 body bags, while there are people in America still eating out and going to parties. Not a big fan of humanity today.

Tried to binge-watch Westworld. Huge mistake. I’m becoming more convinced that this is all a really sick version of The Truman Show. Also, if I turn out to be a robot, I think I’m okay with that.

DAY 17:

Okay, I got my ass out of bed and dressed myself, just in case of donkeys.

I filed my tax returns for both countries and then spent waaaaay too much time on Facebook. I fucking hate Facebook. But then I got into this whole “Name 10 things everybody loves but you hate” thing. To my surprise, it blew up! Nobody reads anything I write, ever. See: My Twitter account.

I guess people are desperate for connection. But now this scares me and I want to hide. I am a bundle of emotional contradictions.

Speaking of Twitter, I’ve begun correcting people who post incorrect Animal Crossing information, and the twats haven’t responded. I’m taking this personally.

Drinking lots of wine today, and since the newscasters keep telling me that Quarantining is saving lives, whenever my husband sighs at a wine refill request, I shout “JUST SAVING LIVES HERE!”.

Must order more boxed wine.

To Be Continued…