I live alone. Isolation is not new to me. Except for the first 15 years of my life, about 3 months in college, and 2 years taking care of my ill mother, I have always lived alone. I am good at it. I love to travel – alone. I enjoy musical events and theatre and social functions of all kinds. It isn’t that I dislike society, but rather I find the obligations to consider someone else’s desires and wishes at these things bothersome. And some people, generally speaking, can be … boring. I don’t do inane conversation well. People find me aloof or distant. That’s fair. But to my point, these fifteen days of recommended self-quarantine for the Covid-19 Pandemic is not upsetting me in the least. I already work from home on-line and commute one day a week to a small town where I am usually the only one in the office.
Learning how to be okay alone did not just happen. It took some strategies. The most important one would be getting to know your priorities. I am not a multi-tasker. I work best if I concentrate on one thing at a time. So often, our lives do not allow that. If you have kids or a spouse who need-need-need you, that is well and good, but you have to remember yourself too. You are no good to anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. It is EXACTLY like on an airplane when you are instructed to put your own air mask on first before helping others. The only difference being the crisis happens extremely slowly. The crash takes years and years and if you haven’t been taking care of yourself first, the slow erosion becomes a sudden devastating collapse – like a sinkhole.
Maybe it is my rural upbringing or just my nature or a combination, but survival is a thing with which my kind are familiar. Rural people know where milk and eggs and meat come from. We know about potatoes and carrots and onions and the dirt in which it’s grown. Seriously, people, toilet paper is NOT the issue. We had an outhouse – a toilet -a hole in the ground with a tiny house over it in which to … relieve ourselves. It was not heated or lighted. It stank. And our toilet paper was usually the yellow pages out of a Sears and Roebuck or JC Penny catalog. We were lucky if we got the phone book. That paper took less softening before it could be used.
We didn’t practice social distancing to avoid disease. We lived a long damn way apart. But we knew where the water came from out of our tap and where it went after we took our baths – three of us at once in the tub. We dug our own landfills and cared about what we put in them. We recycled because we needed to use things more than once. New things were expensive. We understood having because we had experienced not having. I also think that “cart shaming” is ridiculous, but I live in a rural state and when we go to town to get groceries, it’s usually for a month at a time anyway, so we aren’t hoarding, it’s just our normal usage.
Let’s talk about soap. That’s right, plain ordinary soap. Not bleach, not hand sanitizer, no disinfectant sprays, just soap. If you believe that a surface isn’t clean if you don’t use a caustic chemical, you would be wrong. In fact, those caustic chemicals are killing the good bacteria that humans require in their gut and their septic tanks! Soap is a disinfectant all by itself. So, here’s an idea. Fill your kitchen sink with hot water, pour in a few drops of your favorite dish soap, get a cloth out, and swab the decks! You don’t need a brand name disinfectant. Just use soap. Use it often. Use it on everything. When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to come to the table until we had washed our hands to the elbow, front and back! And look at your fingernails. Mom knew dirt, and Mom knew washed. Ivory. Joy. Camay. When did parents stop telling their children to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough! Now we need the CDC to do so?!
Ma Nature has stepped up to give us all a dose of reality because viruses don’t discriminate and they don’t care what your political affiliations are, they aren’t racist, and they aren’t interested in your socio-economic circumstances. Covid-19: the great equalizer of 2020!