Day 4 of the Statewide Directive – The Housebound Dig In.
“Most seemed to have heeded the order, issued by He of the Slicked-Back Hair, and fitted their shelters with all manner of ingenious devices meant to stave off infection and, perhaps worse, boredom. Board games, stacks of bound paper known to the ancient ones as ‘books,’ and television programs featuring real housewives from somewhere and celebrities most have never heard of filled the airwaves as people sought to occupy their time. Eventually, the cruise line and Shen Yun commercials began to die out entirely, replaced with ads from dubious pitchmen offering home remedies and solace for the soul – at a price…”
We’re pretty new to this Shelter in Place thing and some appear better at it than others. Former convicts appear to be doing especially well, proving good at managing life in confined spaces and finding things to occupy their time.
Others have organized and reorganized their homes, staged musical theater productions with family members, given new attention to neglected gardens, and taken up new hobbies – like birdwatching or calling down the Five-O on improperly distanced neighbors.
We’re also learning a lot about ourselves during this time. We’ve learned that some people don’t care about SIP Orders or Social Distancing and instead embrace the YOLO – You Only Live Once – acronym as guidance for how they live their lives.
Cramming yourself into a basement speakeasy with dozens of other people, playing hoops with the boys or declaring yourself exempt from restrictions on continued operation of essential businesses doesn’t make a lot of sense right now as we all strive to avoid contact with the crazy colored ball with the spiky tips on it.
We’ve also learned that criminals don’t appear to care much about Covid-19, roaming around in search of easy pickings like Amazon and Doordash deliveries, and apparently willing to enter your home – even if you’re in it.
We don’t think that’s going to end well if it keeps up. People are dusting off grandads’s blunderbuss and feeling compelled to defend themselves if necessary. And reports of military personnel and hardware moving around the country and talk of more stringent future enforcement of health protocols has only added to our angst.
Generally, we’d be remiss if we said we felt this whole sheltering thing was going to go off without a hitch because, well, people are people and people are going to do what people do. There could be some nastiness ahead. We hope not.
Current projections show as many as 56 percent of people in the state could become infected by the novel coronavirus over a period of about eight weeks if steps to mitigate the spread are skirted – which is why we’re doing what we’ve been asked to do.
The idea, of course, is to reduce projected hospitalization rates experts say would quickly overwhelm our health care system should the virus break out and be allowed to run amok.
So, we’re staying hydrated, eating less but well, and touching our face so little that our face has begun to wonder what it did to make us mad at it.
Our supplies are holding out better than we expected, negating any need for us to go out and engage with TP Rustlers or the Hoarding Hordes we’ve been hearing about, and we’ve managed to have Mexican Food Night, French Food Night and even a Spa Night – which proved good for facial morale.
The hardest part of sheltering in place for us, at least, has been tuning out all the blather that popped up when folks realized this was going to get real. We’ve streamlined our news and entertainment sources, blocked the televangelists and pitchmen, concentrated on accessing hard news and old Lovejoy episodes (Season 2, still great even after all these years) as well as our search for forgotten classics (Zulu, Ace In The Hole, Newsfront).
Faced by all this Sudden Change we’re hoping to see our way through to the other side, and perhaps reunite with people we know when we do. Right now we’re keeping up with you all by computer or phone, but it’s not like the real thing. When we get the All Clear to this latest life’s aberration we know one thing for sure – there’s going to be one heckuva party when all is said and done.