Someone on Twitter recently asked, “What has the pandemic taught you that you can live without?” For me the answer is paper towels. Back on Day 7 I mentioned that our kitchen paper towel roll had run out and I hadn’t replaced it. I still haven’t, and my husband is adamant that we shouldn’t (excessive paper towel usage has become a pet peeve of his). We have a lot of dish towels, and those work for most paper towel purposes, the only downside being that they have to be laundered.
We’re not quite living without, mind you. There is a roll of paper towels that my husband uses for occasional messy cooking tasks, such as draining greasy foods. He left it in the cabinet where we store replacement rolls, so that it wouldn’t be the first thing that anyone reached for. I also have a separate roll that I use for cleaning. But we have cut down drastically. Had I replaced that kitchen roll, we would have gone through all the towels on it by now, and probably a few more rolls as well.
Have you ever woken up from a good dream and been sad when real life reimposed itself on your brain, because your dream life was just so much better? I have, and based on what I’ve heard from other people, I’d say it’s a common experience. Everybody likes a good dream and wants to stay in it as long as possible
Bad dreams, on the other hand, are not fun, and usually it’s a relief to be woken up from one. But, thanks to COVID-19, now even the bad dreams can be preferable to real life. The other night I had an apocalyptic nightmare, and waking up was not a relief. I wished immediately to be back in it, because at least in my dream apocalypse I was actively fighting against evil, instead of passively and indefinitely waiting for a formless enemy to go away. Real life is now the real nightmare.
There is some slightly good news regarding COVID-19. The numbers are beginning to suggest that the death rate for the virus may be around 1%, which is lower than previously thought. Now that there’s more testing, more cases are being revealed, and many of them are mild or asymptomatic. But, even at 1%, it has the potential to kill millions. For future context’s sake, here the numbers as of this afternoon: over a million people infected worldwide, with about a quarter of those in the U.S. Over 53,000 dead worldwide. The U.S. has lost nearly 6,000. There are 657 cases in RI and 12 deaths so far here.
According to Marshall, there is bright side to schooling at home. He said, “At least there’s no homework, because it’s all home work now.”
But neither kid has been keeping up with the work. Livia’s teacher has e-mailed me several times over missing assignments, and Marshall’s teacher called us today. The homeschooling routine is still new, so I’m cutting the kids some slack for the moment. I hope they’ll do a better job staying on top of the workload when they’ve had a little more time to adjust.
The governor announced recently that schools will be closed at least until the end of April. That is not what the kids wanted to hear. The last few weeks have been difficult for them. Now their jail sentence has been extended another four weeks. They are not happy. Neither am I. I think we’re all starting to go a little stir-crazy.
Tonight we played Kakerlakenpoker (Cockroach Poker). Kakerlakenpoker is a card game with cards that feature creepy critters such as cockroaches, flies, and rats. It’s an interesting game, completely based on bluffing, and the kids get a kick out of it. The kids were both extremely hyper during the game (dancing and jumping around), and they definitely need to spend some time outdoors tomorrow!
No cockroaches were harmed, or even poked, in the making of this fun family activity.
The kids never got their last order of books before the library closed. Livia has now gone through most of the reading material she had on hand, and last night she asked me for more books, specifically stories about magic. Once again, I am thankful to have such a large library of children’s literature, because I was able to give her a bunch of books to try. I also managed to find a few books to suit Marshall’s tastes.
I’m feeling a little stupid, though, for not having more library books handy. My husband and I saw this pandemic coming down the pike, and we stocked up our pantry in February, before this crisis was even a blip on most people’s radar. I wish we’d given as much forethought to reading material. If I had just ordered those library books a few days earlier, we’d be all set. I could have gotten a few things for myself, too. Not that I don’t have tons of unread books on my shelves, because I do, and I really ought to read them first, but it’s always more fun to read the books you’re not supposed to.
Weathered wood is strangely beautiful. I often take pictures of it. There was something familiar about the lines of the weathered tree trunk pictured below, but I didn’t realize what it was until I reviewed the pictures today. Do you see what I see?
This self-isolation time would be less annoying if my foot didn’t hurt so badly and I could walk without pain.
I have been trying to wean myself off social media. The nonstop feed of bad news and misery is too much for me. So I’ve been watching more TV (old Avengers movies, The Witcher, Star Trek: Picard), reading more (Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy), and playing my piano (lotsa Chopin, as always).
I dreamed up an interesting idea while half-asleep in bed this morning. It’s an idea for a novel, though, and I really should finish the one that’s already half-written before moving on to another. I haven’t done any writing lately, but I feel constant pressure to write, and I don’t think I’ll be able to ignore it much longer. Writing is something I have to do for my own sanity’s sake. I always return to it eventually, whether I want to or not.
Note to self: the next time you buy roasted pumpkin seeds, hide them. If you don’t hide them, all the other hungry people will find them and nom nom nom, no more pumpkin seeds for the Apocalypse. Keep all the deliciousness for yourself!