One thing I realized I’m thankful for during this virus-time: I live alone.

Considering how easily I get mind-numbingly bored (and you, dear readers, have bumped into a few of those posts), that might seem surprising. My kids, so to speak, are feathered, finned, or have paws and floppy ears.

It hit me today, while people are so worried about their families and I’m doing all I can to distance myself from others (I still talk to neighbors, I admit, but keep at least 10 feet away and ALWAYS outside, though the kids get more careless so I move away when they get too close). I almost called my bestie in the middle of work when I had this realization, even though most of the time I’m a damned lonely person trying to figure things out.

Even then, I’m super glad it’s just me here with my pets.

Because I would either already be sick by someone who thinks it’s “just the flu” still and they’d be in denial they were ill, or I’d get so frustrated with their craziness I’d be dragged in for murder.

I almost laughed in the middle of my shift when I thought about how miserable I’d be if my aunt and uncle were living with me. I haven’t heard a thing from them or spoken to them in so damned long, and they haven’t responded to anything I’ve said in over a year.

If I could go back in time, say October 2018, and change things, and get that big house and have them live with me, I’d be on the fast-track to the poor house. That is, if I wasn’t already before this point in that alternate reality. My aunt is paranoid and judgmental, and I probably would’ve been guilted out of going to work like I am now, on the fast track to the unemployment line.

I still remember when my dad helped my uncle one weekend in the summer and I stayed overnight with my aunt and cousin. I was up by 6 a.m. and the dog wanted out by 6:30. The sun was up and my aunt and cousin wouldn’t be up for over an hour, so I took her out when she started to whine. We took our time going around, keeping by the fence so she could do her business. Later on, my aunt told me that anything could’ve happened to us out there and it wasn’t smart to be out so early.

That startled me and I was just puzzled to hear that, not because it was a dangerous neighborhood or anything (it wasn’t), but because I was 25 freaking years old!

Heaven only knows what she’d be doing right now, and what I’d be doing right now if we were in the same house. She’d be freaking about every little thing I’d done in the day, question me about any symptoms people might’ve shown, probably shooed me out of their half of the house just in case (and likely the kitchen, too), and blasting FUX all day long–

Okay, when I put that last part in, yeah, I think I’d be on the fast track to county jail before the unemployment line was even a possibility, whether murder or busting that freaking TV to shut it up.

Boy, I’m glad I live alone, because I think I would’ve killed her if I had to live in quarantine with her for several weeks.

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Thanks, Mrs. White, that would probably be my mental state, too. (Can’t help it, was watching Clue this morning. It fits).

And then there’s the more cautious aspect. I have a job to do right now, which is a risk in this moment of time, but I’m doing what all I need to do as best I can with what I have to protect myself and others as I work with them. It is considered essential, and if I feel I can’t hack it any longer alone, or that I could’ve been exposed, I can tell my workplace that we’ll have to shut down for safety.

Because of that, I’m really glad there’s nobody at home, because I would feel so guilty for making them worry about me, or that I could get them ill, too. And that worry for others at home would make me quit working to help anybody else.

I feel a bit silly in some respects because some of the appointments I’ve been working on don’t absolutely have to happen right now, and it feels frivolous. I figured we were essential for those other essential folks that needed to keep their licensure up to date and all, or for a job. But that’s only about half of them right now.

The people in my area haven’t changed their moving patterns much that I can tell, though several are wearing gloves and masks where before there would’ve been maybe only one person doing that while shopping. The stores are still pretty full of customers, and people are on multiple shopping trips. I went today to make sure I bought enough Keurig cups for my work coffee maker and that was about it.

I don’t plan on food shopping for quite some time, because I noticed something else: the general feeling in the towns around me regarding this virus was gonna lull me into a false sense of security.

The common refrain seems to be “I think the virus is something serious, but you don’t need to go crazy!”

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This is what I imagine they look like on the inside when they see a person with all the protective gear on or getting the sanitizer out every five seconds…

It seems just half the businesses are operating, but plenty of people are still milling around at the other ones. I am finding that a little more worrying every day now, so I decided that was the last grocery trip til May unless I really run out of something major. I have plenty of meals I can heat up or make until then, and that’s not counting the cans of soup I loaded up on the last time there was a sale. Those cans could last me well over a week, too.

The longer I continue at work, the more concerned I get, because I’m not getting much if any information day-to-day, just more rumors because unfortunately I’m in an area that’s probably 70% FUX news-watching fans.

At least I haven’t heard any glowing comments about the Great Pumpkin in D.C. for a while. Small favors.

But more than that, I see more people with gloves, personal sanitizer, masks, or all of that each day. I have my gloves, but no masks anymore. I might be able to find some somewhere, but dad’s old stash is gone. I keep my head turned to the side when speaking to someone, which looks weird, but I’m not breathing on them or projecting toward them when I talk. That’s the big thing. And I put sanitizer on my gloves between clients. When the customers are gone, I take off the gloves (carefully) and get my good soap and plenty of hot water, soaping and washing all the way to the elbows.

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Watched too many medical shows growing up, but I can use the big kitchen sink at work to my advantage, for sure.

I hate sanitizer, frankly, but I get the usefulness of it. I prefer good antibacterial soap and water any day. And using that lets my hands breathe a bit after the gloves. I wipe and spray every hour, anything customers might have touched (and in between customers at my work station, too). Any pen or keyboard gets Clorox-wiped: that’s the deal. Nobody dithers about it, or looks at me like “gee, you’re overreacting.”

These precautions wouldn’t be enough for my aunt. She’d probably be boiling everybody’s underwear and socks and make us all wear nurse scrubs or something to work in if she relented and let us leave the house to work.

I am So Freaking Glad she doesn’t live with me.

I am wondering, though, about my uncle, because I’m sure he’s temporarily laid off with his job, unless he could transfer and do something else. Part of me wonders that about my stepdad, too, if he can work at his job right now, since so much of it involves travel and working in a metal shop on other days.

I hope for the best there, but at the same time, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about humans in my own place, because the fear and guilt would be overwhelming if something happened to them. Most of the time it sucks being alone.

This is one of the few times I’m actually glad of it.

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4 thoughts on “One thing I realized I’m thankful for during this virus-time: I live alone.

  1. carol hopkins says:

    I hear ya. I have high anxiety when I do have to go into a store because of hubby’s health. I am pretty sure if I brought home the virus it would be the death of him – his health is just too compromised. It’s a frequent worry. But I take every precaution such as you’ve described here. It’s all I can do. Please stay as healthy as possible and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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