The Other Side of Isolation

This isolation has been relatively painless for us. I don't think I've left my property since the beginning of March. We live in the country so there's plenty for us to do on nice days. On rainy days, I cook big meals, clean, or watch tv. Every night I read for 2-3 hours.

I've been enjoying a few blogs that have been journaling their isolation. I like to read what other people do with their time. Some are making masks, others are cooking or baking. A few are gardening. (I'm in this group.)

In the US, we're closing in on the peak of the virus, or so they say. That means a few more weeks of down time. I'm bracing myself for all the gripers who'll complain that we either did too little or did too much that inconvenienced them.

In a few months, no doubt most everyone will forget about the long hours grocery clerks, delivery people, and health care workers put in. It's human nature to be ungrateful, or at the very least forgetful.

I hope people remember the good things about isolation.
  • Having real conversations with family.
  • Checking on all those we didn't see for weeks at a time and really caring about them.
  • Not spending gobs of money on stupid splurges.
  • Sleeping more. 
  • Learning where my gaps were that kept me from being more self sufficient.
  • Saving money on gas!
  • Exploring your neighborhood (or your property) while still social distancing.
Think about it. Has it really been that bad?

I miss garage sales, but other than that there's really not much I needed from the outside world. While we did lose a bit of our retirement fund via the stock market, with time it'll come back to where it was. In the meantime, we're saving a lot of money not zipping out for this or that.

Another thing I've noticed is that we use up everything. Nothing goes to waste. If I'm missing something to complete a project or a meal, I improvise. I imagine it was like this all the time in my grandmother's day, so I feel proud to be just as resilient.

It's an unprecedented opportunity, and not one we'll see again in our lifetime. For a few months you got to learn what you're really made of. That's worth something, at least to me. I've always wondered if I was up to the task of doing without or making do. Now I know.

What do you think? Have you learned anything about yourself?

Let me leave you with an especially epic video from a young family in the UK. That's what I call entertainment!


Jackie said…
Maria we have learned that life now is really not much different for us 3 than life before Covid19 virus. Staying home pretty much all the time is the norm for Mom and myself. Karl on the other hand is adapting better than I expected as his job required him to pretty much spend hours on the roads going to and from one site to another for different reasons all week. Now though his days are a little less road hopping and more time spent at his desk about 30 minutes from home 1 or 2 mornings a week then rest of day working from his "makeshift" office here with us as their employer has wisely curtailed group meetings, as well as long distance travel for the most part, looking out to the best health practices on everyones behalf.
lisa lombardo said…
Hi Maria,
The most difficult part for me has been the ongoing concern for the health of family and friends who can't stay home like we can. My husband and I both work from home so things haven't changed a lot for us.

I, too, hope that people learn to appreciate what they have more fully and are thankful for their blessings. Some people will be changed by this experience while others are all too willing to go back to their old ways. We can't force lessons on anyone!

Best wishes with your garden and livestock this season!
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: I've been impressed with the people (who work outside) have adapted to isolation. I've discovered some can't do it. While others glide into the new routine without a problem. It's wild.

The important thing is that you and your family are safe. I think some people lose sight of that, yet it's the only thing that really matters.

Glad to hear Karl is one of the survivors. Has he started his garden yet? We had a hellish storm move through last night. I haven't yet surveyed the property for damage. I hope my garden made it. The trees yesterday were sideways in the wind.
Maria Zannini said…
Lisa: Us too. We've been staying in constant contact with family and friends who have to work outside. A few are first responders so I worry for them especially.

People are people. The same sour apples will complain no matter what, but I hope the more enlightened ones will realize how lucky they were and what an opportunity they were given.
On the whole, I prefer working at home over being in the office. I do have to go into the office once a week to keep up with paperwork, but I take all reasonable precautions. It would be nice if I can arrange to work from home at least occasionally once all this is over.

I don't have a lot of extra time, since not only am I cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry more frequently, but I'm also working on more writing projects, crocheting, sewing masks, and taking an online class. I'm worried about my family, but I keep too busy to fret.
Maria Zannini said…
Sandra: I'm wondering if this will change some companies to allow people to work from home more often--now that they see it works.

Some people though are having a hard time working from home. They're missing deadlines and their production has dropped. The few times I got the chance to work from home, my production nearly doubled, so I have to assume it's the individual, not the situation.
Stacy McKitrick said…
I've learned I still do not like cooking, but at least I'm not poisoning us, either. Haha!

I've also learned that as long as Hubby is busy (working or playing his game), he leaves me alone, so maybe I will survive when he finally retires. :)
It hasn't been much different for us. Both retired and we stay home a lot anyway. I've been busier than ever, helping my writers club switch over to webinars, something none of us had any experience doing. But I'm considered the tech geek in our branch so it's up to me figure it out.

It's also getting close to announcing the winners of our middle school writing contest (all the middle schools in the county are eligible- we're up to about 40 schools this year). I have to make up the anthology of winning pieces and get them printed. We can't hold our usual awards ceremony for the 30 winners so I'll need to mail out the prizes, including copies of the anthologies. I'm feeling a bit frazzled.

Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: I have a feeling you're a much better cook than you let on.

Re: retirement
We were talking to our financial planner only today and he said the same thing! He says he leaves the house just to give his wife a break.
Maria Zannini said…
Marlene: I'm impressed that you're doing webinars. That's the future and you're ahead of the curve. Its just a matter of time before I'll have to bite the bullet and learn it too. Way to go, Marlene!
Angela Brown said…
When people ask how the kiddo and I are holding up, I feel a little weird telling them that we are quite excellent, especially since the only difference is that we aren't eating out as often as before shelter-in-place kicked in. ☺️

Loved that video! Thank you for sharing. It gave me a fit full of giggles lol!!

And yes, I have seen a few complaints that the death toll is nowhere near what "doomsday Chicken Littles" were claiming it would be at this point. Like, actually upset there aren't more people dead to make this inconvenience to their worlds more... I don't know, morbidly validated 😳
Maria Zannini said…
Angela: That's funny you should mention the mortality rates. Something's not jiving with the CDC and/or WHO infection numbers. It's different, sometimes inflated from the numbers I'm seeing state by state. I get the feeling someone is trying to pull a fast one.
The other thing I'm noticing is that while they're fixated on Covid numbers, no one says a word about the common flu. In the last summation, 80,000 people died of the flu in the US alone. This year, not a peep about the flu. It didn't just disappear. Are they perhaps mining some of those numbers to pad the Covid cases? Inquiring minds want to know.

I for one am delighted you and D are doing so well. Good job, mom!
LD Masterson said…
I just shared that video on Facebook. Matt, Drake, and I are serious Les Miz fans (we've all seen it on stage multiple times). This totally made my day.

As far as the shutdown goes, I was excited about getting a jump on the yard and garden work in early April then winter decided to do an encore performance. At the moment I'm just a bit frustrated. But we're getting by "with a little help from our sons".

Stay safe, my friend.
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: That blast of cold air that hit you guys raked across us too. Not cold, but cool enough that I had to give my seedlings some protection. We're usually pretty hot by now. This is the longest spring I can remember here.

re: video
Wasn't it great! Talk about talent.
Mike Keyton said…
Our media are the pot stirrers over hear. When the govt was slow to initiate lockdown they hollered and screamed about it. Personally, I'm guessing Boris, who's a fairly astute politician, was waiting until the 'public demanded' lockdown. Waiting a week was better than forcing it too early, because then the media would be screaming tyrannical Tories.
Now, however, the same media are raising the question of how to end it. Hard choices and lose/lose situations.
One thing I do know is that when lockdown does end many will be like those supposedly free range chickens kept in large bars with a small exit allowing them to exercise outside 'it they want'. Some may go out blinking in sunlight. The majority tend to stay in the barn. I suspect 'freedom' will be a bit scary for those accustomed to the new normal. And on that note - keep safe :)
Mike Keyton said…
Bugger! 'pot-stirrers over here'
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: I'm in no hurry to get out when they give the green light. I saw pictures of China once they gave their okay, and they were shoulder to shoulder. It's another pandemic waiting to happen.