Coronavirus,  D.G. Kaye,  Environmentally friendly,  Great information,  Life cycle

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?






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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Stevie Turner

    We’ve heard that masks are not effective because they don’t cover the eyes, which can absorb droplets. What is preferable is a full-face plastic visor rather than a mask.

    • dgkaye

      Yes, a visor would be great, but a mask over mouth and nose does help. Just throw on a pair of glasses or sunglasses. It’s better than nothing. Seriously. xx

  • Joy Lennick

    Hi Debs, Good to know you’re keeping sensible and safe. Like most people, we are in lock-up (without the bread and water…) and have been for a few weeks. Apart the usual chores, there’s plenty to read, emails to answer, a column to write (weekly in the local CBNews) and am still plodding on with ‘my book.’ This virus is unprecedented in our time-span, and we can only live in hope that soon – may it be VERY soon….it will, somehow, peter out and let us all get on with our lives. Both take care. Big virtual hug. xx

    • dgkaye

      Hi Joy, I’m with you on all counts. I’m following what’s going on in Spain and Italy and it’s just frightening. Glad you have lots to keep you busy. Stay in. And if you must go out, wear a mask! <3 xxx

  • Marian Beaman

    This morning I called a friend to catch up. Then I called my sister to do the same as I was walking in the preserve. Both times I was wearing my Fitbit, hoping to feed steps into my hungry wrist band. Now I see the App didn’t log my steps, irksome but certainly not the end of the world.

    We are observing social distancing and hand-washing, LOTS. Our grocery store is advising seniors to go between 8-9 am when the store would be totally spic and span, and hopefully well stocked. Still, all feels surreal because it IS.

    I limit myself to catching up with news twice a day, so I don’t succumb to overwhelm. I want to help though, and now I can: Our college has set up a fund to help students who lost jobs stay in school digitally. Worthy cause, one way to alleviate suffering.

    Stay safe, Debby. Take deep breaths with me. 😉 (((( ))))

    • dgkaye

      Best idea Marian, too much news is depressing. And so nice to hear about the digital schooling. I know that’s happening a lot around the world. Keep doing whatever you’re doing, yes, don’t forget to breathe! Just stay safe!:) x

  • Toni Pike

    Hi Deb, You’re doing the right being oh-so-careful when you have to go out, and staying isolated at home. That’s the only way to break the cycle of infection for everyone. We are all effectively locked up here, no groups of two or more and there are now heavy fines and people enforcing them. But the sooner everyone complies, the sooner this will be over. Factories are setting to work here making masks etc. I think things will improve in a few weeks. Toni x

    • dgkaye

      Hey Toni, thanks. Seems like our clampdowns are similar at our opposite sides of the earth, lol. Yes, fine here too for people not distancing enough and non-essential businesses that are open. We have to all do our diligence to get rid of this silent stalker. I do hope by another month it begins to dissipate globally. Stay safe my friend <3

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    The Coffee filter inside the mask is a good idea Debby… though I have heard some Drs reporting that the normal filter masks are not good enough to stop the virus from getting through.. Also it can enter through the eyes too.. Well I have my glasses.. but all we can do is protect ourselves and others with what is available and anything is better than nothing.
    My paint brushes have been practising some strokes as I paint butterflies and flowers… and thankfully when we go early in the mornings to to our plot no one is there and its only a five minute walk away.. So we have been busy planting.

    Like you say, all routine appointments are stopped at the Dr’s I had several alerts from our surgery about what is happening.. Thankfully I have not needed our GP in years.. But my hubby is on regular repeat prescriptions.. And we worry for our better halves.. 🙂

    Keep doing what you are doing Debby.. Here at least people are being respectful of distances while shopping as the staff regulate spacing.. And the shelves are more or less full and back to normal again..
    My Son however has got laid off from his public transport driving job.. As no one on the buses… In a way I am thankful as he is no longer on the front line.. But his wife who is still working thankfully, But is on the front line with the public.

    I see no end to the problems even after all are healed and well and no more cases around the world.. The world is not going to recover from this quickly it will take years… And nothing is going to be quite the same ever again..
    So I keep on keeping on, sending my thoughts.. Oh and I will go find a link Debby of a World Meditation on the 4th… I am going to be joining in and have sent the link to several people..
    So I will return with the link ..
    Take care of yourselves Debby..
    Much love your way my friend <3

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Sue for sharing your wisdom here. I agree with all you said. NO, the world will never be the same – and as you and I have talked about over the years, some of that may be a good thing. I’m glad you have your plants and painting to get you through. Yes, like I’ve been saying since we learned about this virus, of course something is better than nothing to cover our faces. I think it’s an extra protection at least while out in the grocery store. Even checking out isn’t a 6ft distance from cashiers who aren’t wearing masks. We don’t know who these people have come in contact with, and not to mention who is asymptomatic but can spread it. At least a mask could ward off a passing droplet. Important to take off mask as soon as we return, throw it away, or wash if homemade, then WASH HANDS after touching. Thanks for all your input Sue. Stay safe my friend. <3 xx

    • dgkaye

      Thank you for this Sue. I will share it with the Fey sisters too. Let us join energies and put goodness forth into the universe. So mote it be. <3 xxx

  • Diana Peach

    I think the “masks makes it worse” (the current US government’s position) is totally bogus. I understand that they’re worried about people hoarding masks, but I have one – still covered in sawdust from my last project – and on the rare occasions that I have to venture out, I’m wearing it!

    I’m so glad you are hunkered down and playing it safe. This is going to go on for a while and there’s no reason to take chances if you don’t have to. Stay safe and be well, my friend.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Diana. And I’m glad you are using the mask when necessary. The scariest part is that this is a silent killer disease. We don’t know if the clerk at the grocery store is asymptomatic and passing on the virus? Better safe than sorry! So stay safe you too! <3

  • Jacqui Murray

    I like the idea of the sacks, Deb. I reuse my grocery sacks for dog walks but I have a ton of them. Now I have another use for them. I’m glad to hear things are going well (that being a relative word) in Canada. And that you are healthy and basically happy. Keep it up, Deb!

  • John Maberry

    Sounds like you’ve found a strategy that works to keep you and your man engaged–even if it’s not like you’re used to. The flame is not even close to flickering out with no hugs.
    Looks like the US may soon be coming around officially to wearing some sort of face covering. We had a visit to get an update on tests from time gone by and they handed us those ear loop masks that surgeons wear. Those are not really sufficient, I imagine, for the COVID-19. Then again, we’re not sick and expect the staff at the doctor’s office aren’t either (the parking lot was empty).
    We really don’t need to go out much and when we do, we take precautions too.

    • dgkaye

      Good to hear, and yes, those are the masks that are better than no protection. They are fine for short term or a grocery run with social distancing. You can cover up with whatever you have and toss in the laundry as soon as you get home, then wash hands after touching it. Ya, of course all this talk comes out now about us wearing masks. As usual, I didn’t wait for this nonsense and been masked publicly since we flew home from Mexico. 🙂

  • Marjorie Mallon

    I haven’t been using masks up until now but I am thinking of using a bandana to cover my nose and mouth. I wear glasses perhaps that helps a little? Not sure. Take care, Debby. I’m linking to your post on my #Coronavirus latest post. Marje x

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Marje. Yes, I do think glasses help – sunglasses, whatever. The main thing is not to touch that mask while out and taking it off and directly into washer upon returning and washing hands immediately after touching it. Thanks for linking <3

  • sally cronin

    It is mayhem and so much of the food in the UK and elsewhere that was stockpiled is now in the bin because of the rush to buy fresh vegetables, meat and fruit without any way of freezing or preserving.. madness. As to masks, I think that they are important.. I wear glasses and always wash them in the shower with me when I get home but I have been wearing long scarves wrapped around twice and then through in the washer with the rest of my clothes. I have made David some masks and great idea about the coffee filter,and at the very least they might protect him when someone sneezes and does not cover their mouth etc.

    You are right to be concerned for both of you as G needs you fit and healthy. Like Canada, Ireland took action early and have made the right decisions regarding schools and lock down.

    Very constructive post Debby and will reblog tomorrow. ♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for your adding to the conversation Sal, and for sharing as you are ever generous. You and me, lol, we are definitely sisters from a different mother LOL. I know you’ve been covering up for grocery jaunts as we’ve discussed this already. But I find it interesting that the media has only been bringing the mask conversation to light these past few days. I hope everyone does the same. <3 <3

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    You are setting examples for us Debby … I don’t have a husband to run away from!! or sadly to take care of … but that’s life. The masks are just being picked up here … and perhaps I should cover my face the odd times I go out … I’ll do that! That statistics line is interesting … I’d get hooked on that if I looked every day – not sure I could. Love the ‘hugs’ you’re able to give your hubby … take care and am glad all is well your end of the world – stay safe – Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary. I’m glad to hear my post inspired you to cover up when you venture out. I don’t know why the public wasn’t told long ago to do this. If everyone covered up we could significantly stop the spread. Stay safe! <3

  • Carol Balawyder

    A most interesting post, Debby, with lots of interesting comments. Your travelling poster made me think of this joke about the quarantined husband and wife who had an argument and she went into her room where she changed into a cocktail dress and put on makeup. “Where do you think you’re going?” asked the husband. She shuffled past him and answered, “I’m going out to the kitchen to have a drink.”
    I’ve noticed in my condo’s recycling bin that there are a lot more empty wine bottles than usual!
    We are fortunate to have access to social media, fortunate that here in Canada we have good leaders, fortunate to have food even if it means taking extra hygienic precautions. What puzzles me though is how there still are people who gather in groups and do not observe the social distancing rule.
    As many of us are writers and spend a great deal of time on our computers, this self isolation is not as an inconvenience as it likely is for others who have 9 to 5 jobs away from home and must now get used to spending time at home. Like it or not. Or the person, used to working from home (us writers) and suddenly finds herself (or himself) with a spouse and children at home all the time. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Loved your comment Carol, you sure covered a good range of what’s going on in many people’s lives. Yes, it’s not as difficult for writers, but I’m hearing from quite a few, including myself, it’s tough to concentrate much of these times. Thank goodness for books to carry us away sometimes. And yes, I’m happy with what our country and leaders are doing to try and minimize the spread. Just too bad most are only talking now of wearing masks. I ventured out today for some staples and noticed almost everyone wearing masks. May we all get through this safely. Stay covered my friend. <3

  • Valentina Cirasola

    We are all getting creative with masks, and cooking with the few foods available on the shelves. I would have never believed flour and yeast are in such demand and the first to disappear. Did everybody turn into a master chef?

  • Pete Springer

    I’ve been calling at least two friends per day. It’s easy to get ahold of them since practically everybody is home. These are some of the best and most meaningful phone calls ever because many people feel like me—we miss being around our friends. What I especially appreciate are the calls seem to be necessary for both parties. We listen to each other, and there isn’t a rush to get off to do something else.

  • Adele Marie Park

    Debby, that is a beautiful gesture from you to hubby. I love that idea. I have also picked up a few tips which I, sadly, didn’t even think about. Once in the house take off your gloves and don’t touch anything before you then wash your hands. Keep safe, well and happy. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Adele. That’s an absolute given! Remove everything when coming back into the home and wash hands immediately without touching anything else first. <3

  • Sherri Matthews

    Aww Deb, I love the image of you hugging yourself for your husband and you both still maintaining your sense of humour and laughing through a scenario none of us could possibly have imagined just a few short weeks ago. Boy, I’ll say it again, thank goodness you got back from your holiday when you did…crazy. Re facemasks, it seems the thinking is now gaining hold that yes, they are good to wear…can you believe it? I read in the NY Times an article about good old British tea towels when doubled up, are the same grade as medical masks against the virus…I have a few of those at home! Glad you’re getting your supplies and keeping safe, my friend. Big virtual hugs and love to you! <3 <3 <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Sher. So, that’s interesting about the ‘British’ tea towels. I think I have a few around here myself – maybe not British, lol. I hope you’ve got your masks ready for you and yours for venturing out! Hang in there my friend, that tunnel light will present itself eventually! Hang tight! <3 <3 xxx

  • Sherri Matthews

    Lol…whatever works, right?! Yes, all masked up here and venturing out as little as possible. Though it is lovely and warm and spring like here and supposed to be all through Easter…so thankful for our garden. But worried too about the deluge heading out, still not listening… But…here’s to that light and the end of a long, dark tunnel. Love & hugs to you, my friend. Keep safe! <3 <3 <3

  • Deborah Jay

    You’re timing coming home was as good as mine with the house move!
    So glad you are able to stay safe inside your place most of the time – I realise I’m incredibly luck to live in such an isolated location, life really hasn’t changed that much for me, aside from rare visits to the supermarket.
    It’s those that I find stressful – although the 2m rule is finally being enforced by re-arranging the way we move around inside the store, the restrictions on some items mean we have to shop more often than I would under normal circumstances. Being inside the store is a surreal experience, and reminded me very much of shopping scenes in the dramatised version of The Handmaid’s Tale – all we need are men with machine guns standing in the aisles and we’ll be there!
    A tip if anyone wants disposable gloves, certainly here in the UK. Animal feedstores are still open, and those for large animals stock latex single-use gloves for such things as lambing etc. I bought 2 boxes of 100 gloves and there were loads of them on the shelves.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing your experience Deb. Yes, a few have compared the shopping system to Handmaid’s Tale. Let’s hope the armed guards don’t show up! And yes, we did our thing just in time to isolate! Great tip on the gloves! I managed to grab myself 2 boxes on Amazon and some washable masks. Grocery tip for those with no gloves – place plastic produce bags on hands when entering. I saw lots of those in the supermarket. Stay safe my friend. You’re in a good place! <3

  • lisa thomson

    Excellent reminders, Deb. Making sense of this is not easy. You’re right we won’t be returning to life as we knew it. Even when things go back to ‘normal’ it will be a new normal. Yet to see how that will look.

    Staying in now is the only way to stop this. We only go out for necessities and then I feel gross when I get home. What do I sanitize first? My hands? The doorknob? My purse—yuck can’t sanitize leather. It’s overwhelm. I’m doing my best though. No mask or gloves. I will definitely use the plastic bags as gloves next time.
    Sounds like you and your hubs are handling everything well. Stay healthy, you. Love and virtual hugs.

    • dgkaye

      Ya, Lis, it’s a new part time job coming in from dystopia. I take my shoes off before entering, take off my clothes and directly in the washer, wash my hands, get a Lysol wipe and wipe down anything I may have had exposed like purse or phone and wallet, wipe down door knob, then wash hands again. Doing the best I can. But mask up girl! The biggest problem is being around asymptomatic carriers. I trust nobody at this point! Thanks for the wishes, and be safe and be masked! Virtual hugs being sent your way too! <3 xxx

  • Robbie Cheadle

    We are also not going out much, Debby. Once a week for groceries has been our limit although I must venture out on Saturday to get Michael’s medication. Life for me isn’t that different. I am still working and always like working from home so I’m happy to be able to do that full time. My boys are studying and I am overseeing their studies but it is limited what I can do to help them. I have been doing more fondant art as it relaxes me and I can’t go to physiotherapy which means my back is not wonderful right now. We have gloves and masks as I have always used them for various things.

    • dgkaye

      I’m glad you have your family all set Robbie. And yes, for us creatives, staying home isn’t as tragic as it is for some, just some of the daily things we take for granted are gone for now. We can only do our best, and yes gloves and masks essential for survival from the outside world. Stay safe, keep doing what you’re doing. <3

  • Jennie Fitzkee

    My computer and phone are constantly being charged as I do soooo much distance teaching with my preschoolers. It is really hard! I’m mostly home, and when I go to the store, I pick a small one with few people. I gotta remember the mask when I have to go out. What’s driving me crazy is not getting my hair cut!

  • Liesbet

    Oh Debby, it must be so hard to not be able to hug your husband. At least that’s something most of us in partnerships can still do physically. But, I’m happy to read you came up with an alternative! You guys are figuring it out!

    I only have a bandana to wear as a mask. We don’t drink coffee (so, no filters) and – obviously – we don’t have a washing machine or enough water to shower daily in our 19ft van! I’d say things have been a tad tricky for us these weeks and we sure wish we could be in a house right now. Although, I still think the safest place is by ourselves in nature. Things would have been easier if we’d still have our sailboat – more room to provision, we collected rainwater, and we could be at anchor in isolation for months. 🙂 But, we will figure things out as well.

    • dgkaye

      Arg Liesbet. You guys are open targets. Even in seclusion out in nature, you still must venture out for food where the dangers lie. I do hope you guys reset your priorities and go back to Mark’s parents’ home. Even if you do, you guys should mask up and isolate around his parents who haven’t been exposed to all the places you have. With no enough water supply you must find hand sanitizer. No gloves? When you go to a store, put plastic produce grocery bags on your hands! Rough times ahead. Stay safe! <3

      • Liesbet

        Hi Debby,

        We do have gloves (used to dump our tanks :-)), but one has to wonder what the difference is when the gloves touch all the same things as the hands do, which we wash after touching anything “foreign”. I agree gloves would be better to keep oneself from touching their face, like a mask would as well.

        We are on our way to Massachusetts right now. We will have to shop there in stores as well (for us and the in-laws), but the danger is higher there with many more cases than in the Carolinas. For that reason, we will do a stock-up in a safer state and not stop (except for fuel) anywhere else along the route. My MIL used to order food online, but no more open slots!!

        Also, no worry about potentially infecting the parents. We are 100% aware of the risk and will avoid all contact until this is over, so for more than the initial two weeks. We will not set foot in the house (kitchen, laundry room) and have things figured out. Our room is detached from the house, with a separate entrance and we have ordered a one-burner stove and small oven in order to cook. 🙂

        • dgkaye

          Oh Liesbet, I’m so happy to hear you’re on your way home. Great plan! About the gloves, disposable gloves to toss out when exiting a store after touching, or taking off and straight to the wash upon return. Don’t forget the plastic produce bags you can use in a grocery store. And good idea about not shopping in Mass. it’s getting very contagious there, an upcoming hotspot. Travel safe and don’t touch your face or put anything in your mouth with unwashed hands. Don’t I sound like a naggin’ MIL? LOL

  • brigid gallagher

    Thank you for lots of good tips Debby. I ventured out on my first food shopping trip last Sunday, after my self isolation. It was great to find so few shoppers out early, and I was able to stock up my freezer and fridge. I think masks and gloves are sensible. I now have a lovely cloth mask made by a local lady for a cancer charity. Stay safe.

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