Isolation Behavior: Simple Changes During the Pandemic

This may sound strange but so far, the global pandemic has been fairly pleasant for me. The inability to go about many of life’s normal tasks has given me an opportunity to rest. I’m not driving kids all over the place. I have few social obligations and none of them require me to get dressed, go out, or spend money. I’m free to read, rest, pray, think, and just be. Even homeschooling is a bit easier since I no longer have to leave the house every day. I’m thankful, especially because I know that others are suffering. While this experience has been more positive than negative, I’m still managing some minor changes. Here are some ways my life has become different during the pandemic.

Dry Hands

No matter how often I moisturize them, my hands are continuously dry. I mean cracked, with white lines between the cracks! This is next level ashiness. My hands look like I use flour for lotion, but I won’t stop washing them for at least thirty seconds with soap and hot water, especially if I’ve been out in public. I know from working in the medical field, in which people are accustomed to constant hand washing, that overly dry hands can be prone to infection because the skin is less able to to provide a strong barrier. My challenge is to keep my hands free from germs while maintaining the moisture my skin needs. Buying stock in butters, oils, and lotions might be my next financial move because I know I’m not the only one dealing with parched, dusty hands.

Decontamination

After being out in public I feel like I might be covered in an invisible contagion. There are too many conflicting reports on how the novel coronavirus spreads. I generally assume the worst and hope for the best. That’s why I promptly shower, wash my hair, and wash my clothes after being out. Sometimes I cover my hair so I can just wash a head wrap with my clothes instead of washing my hair. Sometimes I even wipe the washer and dryer down. I behave almost like my husband did many years ago when he supervised asbestos abatement projects. He entered through the basement (we lived in New York back then), put his work clothes in the washer and showered before coming upstairs. Like him, I’m trying my best not to bring contaminants to our family.

Bleach Bath

I bathe my groceries and any packages that come into the house in a bleach and soap solution. It’s a huge process. We no longer keep the grocery bags (which we use to line our waste baskets) and we definitely don’t put anything away immediately. Instead, I put soapy bleach water in the sink or a plastic basin. Everything waterproof and airtight gets submerged. Cans, plastic bags, bottles, jars – it all gets a bleach bath. Boxes get wiped down with bleach water. Produce gets soaked in water and white vinegar. Everything gets left to air dry unless it needs to be refrigerated quickly. Since we’re avoiding nearly everything and everyone, we don’t shop often. When we do, we buy huge quantities which makes disinfecting groceries a very long process. I feel like it’s worth the time. I don’t know what germs might be on our stuff but I hope I’m killing whatever might be there.

So Fresh and So Clean

After going anywhere in my vehicle I wipe everything down with disinfecting wipes that my husband made. The steering wheel, gear shift, door handles, radio, air conditioning buttons, the console, the seats, seat belts, arm rests, and everything I think I touched gets wiped. I’ve been wondering if the bleach is going to start cracking the leather but I can’t worry about that right now. The extra effort I exert after going out in public makes me want to stay at home even more. Disinfecting everything requires a lot but one nice thing is that every time I get into the truck it smells extra fresh!

Is This What They Call Supper?

I basically swapped lunch and dinner, so we eat sandwiches or something light in the evening and I’ve been making a big midday meal. This serves a few purposes. One, I’d rather not eat a heavy meal in the evening. Sometimes I’ll just eat a bag of popcorn and drink tea or wine at dinner time. The kids eat cereal, soup, chips and salsa, quesadillas, salad, hummus, or whatever they feel like making for themselves. Two, prior to isolation we weren’t always at home for lunch. My husband works and my middle child attended school. Even my homeschooled children weren’t always at home. The oldest did volunteer work and took dual-enrollment courses at a local university. The youngest enjoyed field trips and community events at the library. Now that we’re all at home during the day, it’s nice to take my time and prepare a meal without the normal evening rush. Third, it’s great to have my kitchen pretty much all cleaned up before the sun sets.

As different areas begin to “reopen” I hope you will continue taking the recommended precautions and wherever possible, avoid contact with people who don’t live with you. Love and thanks to the cashiers, garbage collectors, teachers, postal workers, and all medical personnel, including dietary, housekeeping and maintenance staff. Comfort and healing to those who have contracted COVID-19 and those who are mourning because of it.

2 thoughts on “Isolation Behavior: Simple Changes During the Pandemic

  1. I learned a lot from reading this. I definitely need to start bleaching my groceries. And yes, my hands are itching from the dryness. I’ve been a bit OCD but it’s out of control now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagined what I would do if I was still working in nursing homes. How would I prevent cross contamination? What PPE would I use? How would I sterilize the environment? Then I remembered what Thad used to do in NY and adapted it all for my house. Thanks for reading this.

      Like

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