A day in the life of a covid quarantiner

The path along Minnehaha Creek, a popular route for our daily walks.

Every day begins with coffee, of course.

Which fortifies me as I peruse the headlines and digest my various online sets of news sources.

Eventually, I reach my fill of virus and political news, but it can take several hours.  By this time, it is mid-morning and I think about which collection of projects to work on that day.  I have several categories:  some of them are administrative, the overhead of life, like gathering info for filing taxes, or processing the mail that has accumulated, aging any viral contamination on its outer surfaces.  Or making another pass at compiling the email addresses for my high school class, which drafted me onto its reunion committee.

Another category is more physically constructive.  It includes working in my garage shop, on a woodworking project or attending to the never-ending items on the home repair list.  If it is sunny, I will opt for the session in the workshop, whose clerestory windows provide a strong boost to the positive mood that comes from working with tools and material in my hands.

Lunchtime brings me back to the house to enjoy something delicious that Poldi has cooked up.  These days in quarantine have led her to expand on her already extensive skills in the kitchen.  I am the beneficiary.  She updates me on whatever news she has gleaned from her sources.

The afternoon brings another set of options.  We listen to the press conference of the state health department, absorbing the meaning of today’s covid infection and death counts.  We once again are appreciative that as retirees we can easily isolate, but fear for our neighbors, friends and family, who must somehow continue to carry on with their business and livelihoods but must curtail it to conform to the allowed social distance.

While the sun is still amplifying the ambient temperature, Poldi and I strike out for a neighborhood walk.  I have analyzed the relative risks of contracting the virus while outdoors and crossing paths with passersby, and our masks are at standby on our neck.  If we engage someone for a conversation, or enter a storefront, the masks are immediately deployed.  The outing in our neighborhood is therapeutic.  Although I am an introvert, Poldi needs more connection.  A walk around the block is not enough, but it helps.

The evening brings us back to home life.  Poldi pursues her passion for cooking.  I work on my various interests including my archives of photographs, wondering how best to curate them for subsequent generations and researchers.  Yes, I know, it is a bit of hubris, but it helps me follow Carl Sagan’s advice when asked about the purpose of life:  “To do stuff!” 

Our evenings wind down in front of the television, finding programs and episodes that distract us and amuse us.  We fall into bed, sometimes exhausted by the day’s events, and sometimes relieved by our shared life throughout the pandemic. 

We are the lucky ones.  We are confined to our home with someone we love. We wish you the same.

Checking the Mail

John checks for mail at Rural Route 2, Box 619, later to become 292 Heather Lane.

In 1965 we moved into a newly-built house on the outskirts of the town of Long Lake Minnesota.  Today considered an “exurb” of Minneapolis, at that time it was a rural community at the very edge of urban influence.  I turned twelve on the day we moved in and was starting to explore the possibilities presented to a teenager in those years. 

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