The #Corona Diaries – Observations – Online Madness, Quarantine and Masks

What’s transpired since our first two weeks of self-quarantine since returning from Mexico? Oh, that’s easy – still quarantined!


Now that most of us seem to be living in this new dystopian world order in respite from the usual hustle and bustle of daily life, many are being asked how they fill their days, and how they’re getting by while Mother Nature? God? Goddess? or whomever the highest power over us has reigned us in and forced us to live a different way for the time being. How are we coping with confinement? Are we fighting crowds for staples? Are delivery services working out for most people? Is hoarding settling down or getting worse? Today I’ll share my observations of what’s going on in my own world.

If you’re anything like me, keeping track of world statistics is a new past time for me. Not that I’m a doctor or scientist, but like some, I watch the numbers escalate a few times a day by checking in on the world statistic counts of country statistics – total cases, new reported cases, deaths, etc. Daily I wait in hopes to see the curves flatten out across the world, and sadly, other than China, who seems to be on the downslope of its numbers, I think we are weeks, if not months away from containing this epidemic. When I look at some of these frightening numbers with deep sadness, I am grateful that so far Canada is doing a great job on keeping the numbers down in comparison to most of the world. Social distancing is imperative and critical.

Some of the good things I’ve noticed is a lot more kindness and compassion from people despite the empty toilet paper shelves and rationing of canned goods. And after all the cancellations of our previously booked doctor appointments, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term effect this backlog of our medical system will play out once we resume back to life in the new normal. Also, 3 times I spent over 2 hours putting together an online grocery order, only to find after all was completed that ‘sorry, there are no available time slots for delivery’, so I gave up on that.

Hub and I self-quarantined without being directed to upon our arrival home from Mexico, now almost 3 weeks ago. Because of my husband’s age and compromised health, I made it a point to stay far away from him as much as possible, just in case I may have caught something and scared to pass onto him. His daughter brought us groceries the day after we returned, and we didn’t venture out anywhere until forced to when I had to take my husband for blood work at the lab, ordered by his Gastro-enterologist, to check his levels and make sure he didn’t need blood until they could reschedule his procedure, which had been moved onto the list of ‘elective’ surgeries and postponed indefinitely to prepare hospitals for Corona patients first. But Dr. B is amazing and we formulated a backup plan should an emergency procedure be required.

Since we were out – gloved up and masked, we took the opportunity to pick up more groceries. Surprisingly, the long lineups we’d heard about from many were not. The usual shelves – sanitizers, toilet paper, pasta sauces were pretty much bare, but we managed to get what we needed. And most shoppers did in fact have their faces masked – some wearing surgical masks, while others in their makeshift coverings.

Speaking of masks, I’d like to say something about them. When this virus began going global, there were lots of announcements how we didn’t need to wear masks. That is sheer nonsense, and most definitely procured information through the media as to not create a panic among people who have no access to them. Of course we need masks when going out to brave the outside world. The problem of them being in short supply around the world doesn’t mean we should go out without covering our face. There were all kinds of reports to substantiate the claims we don’t need to wear them, like, they only last so long, they don’t stop all the germs. bla bla bla. Well it seems to me the medical profession couldn’t be without them to avoid getting sick themselves from patients. If we go out into the elements of the unknown where other people are, and don’t know if the cashier or the person who got a little too close to us at the grocery store is a carrier, or even out sick when they shouldn’t be, we should protect ourselves as best we can.

No, I’m not hoarding masks. If I had a box, I’d certainly donate them to a senior home or something of its ilk. But I had about half a dozen left from old stock that are like gold for us when we must go out as my first priority is my husband, and of course myself so I don’t transmit anything back to him. There are also plenty of inventive methods of covering up. I saw many in stores with scarves or bandanas tied around their faces. I see this as better than nothing. And as long as we take them off and throw them in the washing machine along with everything else we’ve worn while out, then wash our hands and shower, we can wear them again. Something is always better than nothing. The thing about masks is that they shield us from people we come near who may not even know they have the virus, if we haven’t been tested, we may not know we’re spreading germs, it prevents us from touching our face when out in public after we’ve touched anything, and essential for caregivers to try and prevent passing germs around immuno-compromised family.

If I could sew on a machine, I’d be making masks from old bedsheets or table linens to give to those in need, just as a few of my friends are doing now. And for an added protection behind the home-made mask, I’d add a coffee filter inside it for extra protection. These are just a few ideas I came up with. Don’t have any disposable gloves hanging around? Grab a few plastic produce bags as soon as you walk into the grocery story and stick them on your hands. Whatever works!

Now, how to show some love when you can’t demonstrate it physically. Many people are using social media – Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp, even old fashioned phone calls, and the like to keep in touch with loved ones. It’s a little more of a personal touch than the usual texting people do as common practice. As I try to steer clear of my husband, I’ve invented our own kind of sign language to show some love. As we are usually huggers in days of past, I now go into his room to check on him and cross my hands over my chest in a gesture that looks like I’m hugging myself, only the hugs are for him. We both laugh when we do it to each other as even though we don’t physically touch, we still know the love remains.

Have an observation or implementation you’d like to add?