Seventeen years ago a mega-blizzard blasted the Eastern United States. Folks remained home for days. The storm raged over President’s Day weekend, from February 14th to the 19th, 2003. Everything closed. Roads and airports, businesses, schools, all shut down. Life came to a standstill. Pennsylvania, my home state at the time, declared a state of emergency and
insisted demanded urged citizens to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel. Hub and I settled in our warm and cozy condo, enjoying domestic pastimes like watching TV, reading, cooking and eating, putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle, and watching the snow fall.
That blizzard experience came to mind as a result of today’s 24/7 news. It is difficult to avoid the coronavirus hype. Regions around the world are quarantined – a huge region of China, towns in northern Italy, folks on a cruise ship, then again when returning to the U.S.
Being confined in an inside cabin on a cruise ship sends me into paroxysms of anxiety. There are no cruise plans in my future. But I think about the possibility...would I be forced to pay the exorbitant wifi fees charged by ships (usually $15-$25/day)? I can survive a week or so without constant wifi access, but I would not want to be cut off from the outside world for two plus weeks. Folks might get mad when I don’t wish them Happy Birthday on Facebook or like their posts...old friends might think this senior citizen left this world...bills would pile up and nasty notes demanding payment clog my email inbox and snail mailbox.
So, should I be proactive and prepare to be quarantined at home?
Should I fill my freezer with ice cream and other high-calorie frozen delights to ease my unease?
During a snowstorm folks make a bread and milk run. Should I stock up on firewood, Starbucks Frappuccinos, wine and cheese, and chocolate in preparation for fireside feasting?
I have a pile of books eager to be opened, but maybe I should stop by the library and take out a couple more.
Should I buy candles and canned foods in case our electricity is knocked out? Another reason to stock up on books, an alternative to endless binge TV-watching.
And I better check my toilet paper supply (diarrhea can be a symptom of coronavirus, in case you missed that warning).
What about exercise? After being confined in a house without a Peloton, will I balloon a few pounds? I fear it is inevitable.
No one knows what will happen tomorrow, next week and beyond. Rather than obsess about the virus, I will fixate on whether the black pants I want to wear tomorrow night are clean, and if I can find them...That is really what I should do if confined at home.
Clean my closet. And maybe the rest of my house.