Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pandemic Diary: March Edition

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The world has changed dramatically since my last post. That was only one month ago, people!

Figures. I finally get a book deal.... and the world falls apart. This, boys and girls, is an excellent example of irony.

But this isn't about me! We're all self-isolating and fighting to stay alive in the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu. It's bizarre, and surreal. And it's frightening how fast it multiplied around the world and in the U.S. My husband and I are hunkered down at home, far away from our own sons (sniff! sob!)  and other family members.

They say you should keep a pandemic diary for future alien archaeologists, yourself and your family. So I'm starting one now, looking back at early March with the perspective of a few weeks. After this, it will be real time.

Pandemic Diary, March Edition

March 4, 2020

We already knew the virus was coming, so we stocked up on canned beans at the market (I still have my receipt!). The TP aisle was already nearly cleaned out, so we bought one 9-pack of the only brand left, Charmin', the most expensive one, naturally!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

That was the last time I went out of the house and did something normal (besides picking up groceries). Actually had a mammogram. The waiting room was a lot emptier than usual, and I had no trouble staying six feet away from the other patients. Also took full advantage of the three hand sanitizer stations, after signing in with their pen, for instance.

Afterward, my husband (who has been my driver since my second aneurysm rupture) and I went to lunch at a sandwich restaurant. We already knew by then not to go somewhere with a lot of people, like Panera. So we picked a sandwich shop that we remembered is never crowded.

Little did we know that would be the last time we'd eat out in a restaurant, where you sit down and they actually bring the food to you. Remember that?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The last time we went out in public! That was for groceries and medications. There were still some meats and canned goods, but the frozen meals were already low, and the liquid hand soap aisle and TP aisle were completely empty. Why does everyone hoard stuff like that? We need bidets in this country!

Later that day, the World Health Organization declared this a pandemic. Here's a quote: "As of Wednesday (March 11), 114 countries have reported that 118,000 have contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus... Nearly 4,300 people have died."

As of Tuesday, March 24 (13 days later), 196 countries reported 395,583 cases, with 17,234 deaths. That's quadrupled in less than two weeks!

And so it continues...

From the Portland Press Herald March 12, 2020

Speaker Pelosi bumping elbows with Senate Majority Leader McConnell on March 12th. How nostalgic now. Remember when people thought elbow bumping was the way to greet each other? Before we learned we have to stay at least six feet apart to stop the spread of the virus? 

Friday March 20

For the first time, we ordered groceries from Giant Direct. I put in the order on Wednesday, but the first available time slot to pick up in their parking lot was Friday afternoon. It went smoothly, but we only got about 2/3 of what I had ordered. Guess that's going to be the norm from now on. 

Week of March 22, i.e. this week

My husband and I spend a lot of time reading (I'm currently immersed in THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers, that won the Pulitzer in 2019), cleaning, finding creative ways to make another meal out of bits of leftovers, taking walks for exercise, and watching movies. Funny movie suggestions are always welcome.

How do you spend your time while self-isolating? Have you done anything you'd never done before (like clean out that closet you've been neglecting)?

Stay safe, everyone! And remember to check on your neighbors by phone. Let's all hope this experience leads to more kindness, instead of more selfishness. 


  1. Laid off and staying home for the most part. Last time I left home was...Saturday I think and today I'm going for a walk with a friend with my dog and ill stop in at grocery store in hopes of tp. I don't expect to find any :(

    1. Hi Marcy! Nice to hear from you. When you go for the walk, will you stay at least six feet away from your friend? Stay healthy!

  2. I've been trying to work, even during our spring break! Reading, reviewing, boosting books on social media. Of course, there is also walking the dog and checking in with neighbors (from a distance, of course!). My one daughter moved back home for the duration, so I try not to be too loud while she's working from home.

    1. Good for you, Test, for keeping up with reading and reviewing, and boosting authors' books. (Do you have a name?)

  3. Love your journal idea. I work from home so am still doing that. Now that I've gotten over the shock, I'm adjusting. Since I live alone, I still see my boyfriend three nights a week and walk with a friend at a park most days. I'm planning to work on my writing and blog more and read more. And yes, I'm off to finish a more serious cleaning of my living room.

    1. Sounds like you're keeping busy, Natalie. Good job! It was bizarre in the beginning, wasn't it? Still surreal, but it's amazing what we can get used to.


YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. (Note: I've had to enable comment moderation due to excessive spam!)