Sunday, March 22, 2020

Time in the Time of Covid

I talked to my Mom today; she's 88, and feeling her age lately.  At her retirement community, everything is locked down; they're supposed to stay in their apartments.  It totally makes sense; the managers want to try to keep anyone from getting or sharing the virus.

But my Mom's bored.  And anxious.  She keeps watching the news and stuff about the virus, and then she reads stuff about the virus.  Who wouldn't be anxious.

I get that she's bored.  I think there's two ends on the spectrum of reacting to the sheltering in place thing: people with a work at home job and kids in the house are at one end, desperately trying to get things done and not finding much time for sleep or even basics.  And at the other end are folks like my Mom, who don't have other responsibilities or easy access to the internet (my Mom could, but she doesn't get on because she found it all too confusing).

I'm closer to the other end, trying to get classes up and ready while also trying to get some exercise and sunshine every day.

I'm now part of two on line teaching communities, and they're both a little overwhelming, just because there are so many people posting all the time.  What I really want is one easy answer, and done, but I don't think that's happening any time soon.

In other news: I checked nesting boxes today, saw many Robins, and the American Goldfinches are getting their bright yellow already.

So, last week, my Mom said she was going to run out of TP.  So my brother ordered some on line.  But then he got a notice that the order was cancelled.  So, on Friday my Sister in Law texted me, and made it sound really urgent to send some since I'd seen some at the store, restocked.  I went to the store and got my Mom some TP, and called her to see if there was anything else she needed while I was at the store.  No, she said.  I got a card and some licorice and sent the package to her (she gets a bit of a treat and surprise).  It's supposed to get there early next week.

Today, she called and said she needs instant coffee.  She doesn't like the coffee they bring her at the retirement place (they're delivering meals to everyone's apartments, along with whatever...  basic dietary stuff).  Like, I could have easily gotten the coffee while I was at the store and sent it on Friday.

I asked her to check and make a list of whatever she needs.  But she said she really doesn't feel like it.  (I hope I convinced her, anyway.)

I'm a little freaked out because if she gets sick, like really sick, there's probably no way I can go to see her.  And the same thing for all my other family and friends.  I can't be the only one thinking of this?

I saw a news article on the BBC about a family where four members died, but each alone in their hospital room, without knowing about the others.  The survivors are understandably devastated, and in self-quarantine hoping they didn't catch it at the family gathering.


  1. Anonymous11:13 AM

    You have my sympathy. My wife's 92 year old mother lives by herself in a rental condo. Although it is a large family only one sibling lives close enough to check regularly. That sibling has a reasonably high probability of being exposed to the virus. My wife is definitely freaking out.

    On another note, I have being reading with great interest your adventures in preparing for on-line teaching. I am very glad I retired at the end of last spring semester.

  2. Congratulations on your retirement!
    I don't blame your wife for worrying at all. At least my Mom has people in the retirement community who take care of meals and such!

  3. I feel your pain! My dad is in the same boat, watching TV news all day and not seeing people and not communicating effectively with the rest of us. The very people most in need of video chatting technology also need help setting it up, but who will do that when we're all on lockdown?