Social Distancing Week Six
This blog deals with Rooster and my experience of Social Distancing Week Six. We’re attempting to take the quarantine due to COVID-19 as an adventure. #COVID-19 #quarintine #social distancing
Rooster claims the social distancing experiment evolves in stages. You begin the experience with an optimistic commitment to accomplishing goals and doing stuff around the house you’ve put off for years. This behavior turns into a sort of quarantine routine. By the time you reach the end of week five, you stop putting on pants and binge-watch every episode of The Lord of the Rings. I agree with him in almost everything, except I would reread the books.
We are entering week six of social distancing. I now understand why prisoners are put in isolation as the most severe form of punishment. Humans are social creatures. We gravitate toward one another. Even people who do well being alone need some type of human contact throughout the day. I can’t imagine how hard this experience of social distancing would be for someone who lives alone. At least I have my Rooster to get me through the day.
Day one of week six of social distancing
Today is a good for nothing, cloudy, no sunshine, steady rain sort of day. The sun didn’t shine at all, making it seem so dark and dreary even inside the house. I couldn’t walk because of the wet and cold. That means I will have a hard time sleeping tonight. I have discovered there are days I don’t get in my steps to work off my pent up social distancing energy make it hard for me to fall asleep. Today was the sort of day that made our quarantine routine difficult.
Day two of week six of social distancing
I woke up this morning to the sound of a ladder being attached to our roof. The company Rooster hired to fix the wind damage caused by one of the recent storms showed up bright and early. They were soon joined by the surveyors working for the city. It appears our town has decided to replace the gas lines in front of our house. I hope this social distancing experiment ends before the work begins. I would like to have a job to go to when they start tearing up the road. It will be a noisy and dusty experience.
The weather cooperated, and I was able to get in all my steps. Rooster joined me when I was partway through my walk. We took a long motorcycle ride later in the afternoon. We heard sunlight kills COVID-19. If this is the case, it dismisses the one apprehension we had about taking long rides. There was a little concern since the virus could hang in the air, and we’d inhale it as we rode through the particles. We know we sometimes smell cigarette smoke from passing cars.
A report on the television that stated it lived in sunlight less than one minute. There is so much conflicting information, Rooster and I aren’t certain if this is correct. We figure it is worth taking a calculated risk to add a motorcycle ride to our quarantine routine list of allowed activities. It will keep us from going insane.
Day three of week six of social distancing
A construction theme has been added to our shelter in place lives. We woke up this morning to the sound of two semi-trailers pulling into the parking lot of the abandoned glass factory. Men started the process of unloading large metal plates onto the asphalt. Rooster says they will be used as a safety measure to cover the work they are doing on the gas line.
I have a strong desire to load my computer into my bag, hop in the car, and travel to a coffee house where I can spend the afternoon writing. It’s not going to happen. Even if a coffee shop happened to be open in the entire state, Rooster and I wouldn’t try to go right now. We have comorbidities. The problem is older people have something which will help this virus kill them. If you’re lucky enough to live to old age, you’re going to get fat and hypertensive. It’s no fun playing hide and seek with COVID-19. What it’s going to come down to is a quality of life question. Do we want to live or stay inside?
The afternoon was filled with strange events. I twisted my ankle and fell during my walk. I still managed to get my steps in after I picked myself up off the ground. We decided to clean out the shed. While Rooster and I were in the backyard, we heard a lot of sirens. Our daughter called and said there had been a shooting at Walmart. Seriously, people, don’t store clerks face enough danger these days without having to deal with gunfire.
Day four of week six of social distancing
We attended Pajama Church this morning. The service is becoming our new Sunday morning normal. I hate to confess I like attending services this way. There is less work, and I get to enjoy the entire message without watching a room full of children.
Our COVID-19 project for the day is to change the bags on the Indian. We bought everything to make the change last fall shortly before the weather turned cold. Rooster did all the work while I walked. We liked the results. We took a ride around town to show off the new look of our motorcycle.
Our city was featured on Sixty Minutes tonight. The GM plant in Kokomo, Indiana, is getting a lot of attention in recent days. They redesigned part of the empty facility to manufacture ventilators. It may have surprised the rest of the nation, but not anyone who lives here. The plant closed down years ago and put their employees on indefinite lay off when GM moved the operation overseas in favor of cheaper labor. What the media and the President aren’t telling everyone is the economic hardship this plant closure brought to our community at the time.
The people who worked for GM are some of the best in the world at manufacturing electronics. The sad thing is once the emergency is over, and there isn’t a need for ventilators, these essential workers will be out of work again.
Day five of week six of social distancing
The construction crew assigned to tear up our street showed up this morning. It appears a considerable amount of loud talking is required before they get down to the business of digging up the sidewalk where the gas lines run. They are parking in the abandoned glass factory across the street, where I do my quarantine walking. I might have to find a new track.
Rooster and I worked on our separate projects for most of the day. By early afternoon, we were tired of sitting at our desks. We decided to social distance on the motorcycle. We took another perfect ride and came home to the news the Tyson meatpacking plant the next county over has to be shut down due to COVID-19.
Cass County now has the highest rate of infection in the state. There are a lot of people from our city who work there. Rooster and I decided to make a run to the store in the morning. We believe they will tighten up social distancing rules in our city in the next week.
Day six of week six of social distancing
The construction work has officially started. This morning our street was invaded by an army of yellow-vested men on a mission to tear out sidewalks on our block. They swarmed everywhere like yellow ants at a picnic.
They are loud and busy. It wouldn’t be so bad if they looked like the sexy construction guys on the cover of a romance magazine, but these men come in various dimensions, which mostly contain beer bellies. A backhoe operating outside the window, my desk sits in front of is loading chunks of sidewalk into a red dump truck. I hope the guy has a good aim. I’d hate for the concrete to end up on my lap.
There is nothing like social distancing in the middle of a construction zone. When Rooster and I left for the store, we had to navigate through construction signage and equipment. We went early to avoid the petri dish effect.
It’s easier to remain six feet apart when most of the shoppers are still at home in bed. We came home to heavy equipment ripping up sidewalks. I find the constant beep, beep of the backup alarm and the roar of the motors is a distraction when I’m trying to be creative. At noon, an eerie quiet settled over the neighborhood. I thought they might have quit for the day, but Rooster says they just went to lunch.
Motorcycle ride to Adams Mill
In the late afternoon, we gave up trying to work and took a long motorcycle ride to a place called Adams Mill. It is one of our favorite spots to visit on the bike. There is a historic flour mill there and a covered bridge you can drive through. There is also a lot of scenic countryside to explore. We rode for two hours and had contact with no one except ourselves. The farmers were busy in the fields, doing spring planting. It was nice to see a sign of normalcy in the middle of the chaos.
Day seven of week six of social distancing
The army of construction workers arrived at 7 a.m. The rain didn’t deter their enthusiasm for making noise and tearing things to pieces outside my window. The constant beep, beep of the backhoe warning bell grates on the nerves. Rooster wondered why a helicopter was hovering over the house. I told him it was the motor from one of the machines they were running outside.
The guys in the yellow vests are amazing to watch. They worked in the wet all morning. One guy was holding an umbrella. I figured he was the supervisor. The rest of the crew were only protected from the showers by their hard hats.
Before the world, as we knew it came to an end, Rooster was scheduled to have a scope done. He’s had chest pains for several months. We spent an evening in the emergency room to see if he had a heart attack. Four thousand dollars and eight hours later, they told him he was fine and should go home. He visited a cardiologist who told him his issue had nothing to do with his heart.
Problem getting medical care
The scope was the next thing on the list to figure out why he is having the problem. To make a long story short, Rooster woke up this morning and felt like he was low on oxygen. (He worries the health issue he has involves his lungs.) He made an appointment to visit a tent in the parking lot of our doctor’s office. They tested him for COVID-19, even though they don’t believe this is his issue. He will know in a couple of days if he has the virus, but has no idea why he has pain in his chest.
Another week of social distancing is behind us. I have seven more marks on my wall. This prisoner of the COVID-19 war wants paroled. Rooster and I want to be released into the world again. We want to climb on the bike and take a long road trip. We’d like to visit one of the many places on our list of spots to travel to before we’re too old to ride.
We’d like to go to New Orleans and walk through the French Quarter, listening to the music that flows in the air. It would be fun to hop on a plane to New York City and take a stroll through Central Park. A dream of ours is to tour all the New England author’s homes, such as Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville, to name a few. Those are dreams from another time before the world came to a sudden stop, and people were afraid to leave the house. My hope is it will be that way again.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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