Quarantine enabled

May 14, 2020

The other day Carol announced she was going out. Back in a time that is now lost to history, she would have said simply: “I have to run to the store.” But since running to the store nowadays is a call to arms for the warrior class, Carol’s announcement carried the weight of a loved one deploying to Iraq.

We may find in time that we’ve over-reacted to Covid-19, but we’re not there yet. Politicking it into a left/right issue hasn’t inspired confidence that our approach is smart. In the meantime, I’m taking stock of how stay-at-home has begun to change us for the better.

“More and more I’m beginning to feel like a rescue puppy that needs constant attention and paper training”

Recently, Carol observed me wandering aimlessly in circles with a blank stare on my face. “They’re out on the table on the patio,” she explained. At that point in my quest, I still hadn’t focused fully on what it was I was looking for, or even if I was looking for anything in the first place. When it clicked I was looking for my glasses, I was amazed at Carol’s perceptiveness, and then more so when I looked out on the patio and barely noticed the glasses almost hidden from view.

Close quarters, 24/7 can have the effect of fraying nerves. In my case, it’s had the effect of turning an already incisive and perceptive human being into something akin to the next generation of Alexa. Every day, it seems, Carol is becoming more adept at assisting my needs, sometimes well before I’ve even become aware of them as needs. I think it’s because the quarantine has driven her to find ever more creative ways to consume her normal kinetic energy levels. More and more I’m beginning to feel like a rescue puppy that needs constant attention and paper training, just so Carol can stay on her toes.

In the beginning I was guilt ridden, feeling like a slacker and not pulling my own weight. Carol knows this and has merely upped the ante for thinking of things to do around the house faster than they will occur to me. (I admit I provide a pretty low threshold in that regard.)

One morning I found her cleaning this set of little glass candle holders, the kind you see in rows at the front of Catholic churches. She turned when she noticed me watching her. “They were dirty,” she explained. The candles you drop into them leave no residue. I thought to ask my question anyway, but knew her answer would not leave me any better informed.

After a recent spate of deliveries, we’d accumulated quite a bit of cardboard. I piled it all into the car and drove it over to the community recycle bin. It takes two minutes. When I returned, Carol was already in the middle of hosing down the carport. “It really needed it,” she said smiling and gesturing where I should park until she finished.

I’m concerned now that every time I make a move in the house, Carol will notice that something else that needs to be swept, mopped, dusted, washed, waxed, retouched, repositioned or at least straightened out. As it is, every time I dress, I’m afraid it prompts Carol to think about a load of wash.

I’m most worried now about oversleeping.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *