Pandemic Diary: April 11-26

April 11

Tomorrow is Easter. I’ve still only been reading the Bible for Lent. I’m halfway through Ezekiel. But tomorrow, I’ll finally start reading other books, too. It’s about time. As good as it is to read the Bible, it’s not easy.

My favorite book I’ve read the last couple months is Ecclesiastes. Some of it could have been written yesterday. It’s oddly liberating to be told that everything is vanity–and therefore, it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t feel productive or cheery for two weeks during a pandemic.

April 14

More Rice Krispies Treats today.

April 15

I go to the post office for the second time in a week to mail some books. I tried the other day, but the line was so long, I figured I would never get to the counter.

I pull into the empty parking lot and consider the disposable face mask next to me in the passenger seat. I haven’t worn a mask yet. I don’t want to start.

But the post office feels like a mask-y place so I put it on, pulling face framing layers from under the elastic strings so I look cute. I add a coat of mascara (everything is vanity).

There is a plastic sheet up between the employees and customers inside. The woman in front of me (six feet ahead, of course) complains about her glasses fogging up. Everyone is wearing a mask, but I feel paranoid and even unkind wearing it. It makes me look suspicious of everyone. But the teenage boys I saw walking on the road were wearing them, too. So I will keep this mask in my car and put it on when it seems like the socially acceptable thing to do. 

April 20

Matt is reading a lot about COVID-19, but I’m not. My life is hardly about it anymore. Now it’s been two or three or four weeks of mostly being in Puyallup. Life is about what we are eating for dinner or how funny the dogs are or learning how to sew on Mom’s new machine. As long as I stay home, I’m okay. A small business loan is covering my paycheck for a month or two, so I don’t need to fear losing much money. So if I am safe and taken care of, why bother reading?

We drive over the mountain pass to an unmarked trailhead outside Ellensburg and hike along a ridge line near the Yakima Canyon. It’s delicious to get outside, and hard to want to think about taking any precautions. It’s warm enough to wear shorts and sunscreen. On the top of the ridge, Matt and I walk along with beers and observe the Stuart Range, Mount Rainier, the farms outside Ellensburg, and the Yakima Canyon.

After the hike (on which we encounter three rattlesnakes), we drive through the canyon. We pull over by the river and eat lunch from a cooler and nap on some empty picnic tables. We pass other people who have brought lawn chairs to the riverbank.

April 22

I’m sick of the online benefit concerts. I’m sick of SNL. I’m sick of seeing disclaimers before TV shows that they were filmed before social distancing started. I’m sick of the slight glares people, including I, give each other from under their masks when they pass each other in the grocery store. I’m sick of Zoom happy hours. They aren’t the same as real happy hours and no one likes them.

April 24

I feel at my worst so easily. I get grumpy so fast. If I have a good mood, then that’s a nice bonus, but it’s so hard to manufacture one. At the same time, it’s lovely to spend so much time with my family. It’s a great house to stay in. Matt is unbelievably wonderful and loving.

April 26

What have I achieved in this time?

  1. Set up an Amazon author account, even though I should have done that months ago. 
  2. Signed up for a hunter safety course. Have not completed it.
  3. Signed up for a vegetable gardening course. Have not completed it.
  4. Signed up for a half marathon. Have not completed it.
  5. Successfully fed my dog green peas.
  6. Completed Tiger King and Tales from the Loop.
  7. Crumpled up my mask and thrown it away because I hate it so much.

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