On Friday, March 13 — Yes, Friday the 13th — I went to my granddaughter’s school to pick her up for the last time. Thirty minutes later, my daughter called to tell me that school would be closed until the end of March, and I dropped my granddaughter off, saying goodbye with a huge hug, not knowing that it was the last hug I would get from her in a LOOOOONG time.
My daughter, who works in a doctor’s office, told me to stay home, no trips to the store or random visits and that I would NOT be caring for my granddaughter during the isolation period. She arranged to take her to work, seclude her in an office to do homework or go to her grandfather’s house or stay with her father, but I wouldn’t be involved, as I had been for the past 8 years, due to my age and health conditions that put me in the high-risk group.
I thought that I’d be able to at least go to the zoo and take photos since most of the animals are outdoors, but that idea was squashed on Monday, March 16, when Zoo Director Gregg Dancho announced that for the safety of the animals (which we have since learned was a wise decision), staff, and fellow zoogoers, the Beardsley Zoo would be closed until further notice.
I found with the isolation I finally had enough time to knit hats and scarves, mass-produce resin items (jewelry, paperweights, plaques, bookmarks, etc.) for my granddaughter’s school fair and binge-watch my favorite tv shows and of course, the Hallmark movies. Now I’m making face masks, sewing by hand since the power cord for the sewing machine was not in the box when I pulled it out.
I bonded even more with the newest rescue dog, Tori, who came from an abusive situation in South Korea in March 2019 and established my place as the alpha of the house. Both dogs are so much better at listening now. There’s no fighting anymore and that’s a positive.
Still, even as a solitary creature, I find myself feeling lonely on occasion. At 2:35 p.m. every weekday the alarm on my phone sounds warning me that it’s time to pick my granddaughter up from school — only now, I don’t go.
My daughter signed me up for the lunch program at the Milford Senior Center. I go there twice a week and pick up a bag with three meals in it. Since that started, my blood sugar and blood pressure have improved. She also makes dinner for me and goes to the grocery store for me.
She constantly reminds me how infectious the virus is and that it can stay on surfaces for a long time, so, even if I buy something on Amazon or from JoAnn for curbside pick-up other people have touched these items and they may or may not have been wearing gloves and may or may not have been infected.
She does bring my granddaughter around occasionally to decorate my front wall with sidewalk chalk. I love seeing that little girl, she’s been my life since she entered this world, and now we can’t even hug one another.
She always comes close to me to talk and I have to tell her to step back. Ouch, that really hurts.
She looks at me with the saddest eyes and tells me that she just wants to hug me. It really breaks my heart.
About twice a week I go out just to see if anyone is complying with the safety rules. It’s disheartening to see how many cars still fill the parking lots of some stores I wouldn’t consider essential. I haven’t gone shopping inside a store since March 15, but you can observe a lot from inside your vehicle.
After gloves and masks were recommended for everyone’s safety, only a fraction of the people out there are taking it seriously. This crisis is not over yet, and if everyone would just do their part then this last month of isolation won’t be for nothing.
Wear a mask, wear plastic gloves, especially if you are an employee, touching customers’ items. Let Orange Live know when you see something out of sorts – food prep or grocery workers without gloves, any store that is overcrowded, etc. Let us know and we’ll get the word out.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, We’re all in this together
Take care, everybody. Wash your hands, wear a mask and gloves. if you have to go out, But if you can, just stay at home!