Day 18-Quarantine, or Stay In Place?

When I began this journey to chronicle my experience with COVID-19 I decided to title the essay as ‘Quarantine.” Webster defines quarantine like this:

“a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed: many animals die in quarantine.”

Our President and Governor call it ‘Stay In Place.’

The difference as I see it is that in a quarantine a contagious person is kept in a place of isolation until such person is no longer contagious. While ‘Stay in Place’ means I get to remain where I live, and as long as I follow the guidelines as directed until such a time as the order is removed. Another difference is that under quarantine the individual is known to be infected, and can pass the disease to another. Under ‘Stay in Place’ it is unknown if I am infected, and I might pass it on if I am infected.

Under quarantine, there is no way in hell I would be allowed to walk my dog or go to the store for groceries. If you have been diagnosed positive it wouldn’t matter if you were an essential worker, you would not leave the quarantine area for anything.

Why are we under stay in place and not in quarantine? Probably because it would be impractical, if not impossible, to manage millions of people in quarantine. Picture it like being sent to prison. We don’t have the resources nor the infra-structure to house millions of sick people. So our leaders chose to invent ‘Stay In Place’ as a mitigation effort.

Today is Saturday and the are fewer people out for walks. Of course the temperature is in the thirties as compared to yesterday’s fifties. All of my friends are taking the stay in place order seriously and none want to come over and play, nor do they suggest I come to them. We do phone each other to learn how we are doing.

I don’t feel like cooking today so I’ll dip into my reserves of TV dinners and cook for all of five minutes in the micro-wave. I don’t even feel up to a salad today. Too much effort is required to assemble the ingredients and pour dressing.

Tonight, I will go onto a movie marathon. I am skipping Homeland today, because I have watched so much of it that I am dreaming in Homeland. Last night I found myself in a dream situation that required escape, and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move any of my limbs and it freaked me out to the point of waking up struggling to whip the covers off. I was so wrapped up in the sheet that I was totally confined and unable to get our without a fight.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and it is the first time in my history that the churches are shut down. I am glad they are substituting video masses during Holy Week. I plan on attending them at my computer. I will also attend a Lions Board meeting by video conference, and also an Oasis meeting for the visually impaired by video conference. This should be interesting.

Getting groceries delivered is not working yet, and I don’t think it will. They need people to do the work but no one is looking for work at the moment. I vision two or three trucks arriving at my house one day with the groceries I ordered, and me shouting no, no, no. What would I you with those fresh vegetables and fruit all at the same time. Make stew and juice I suppose.

 

 

 

Day 17-Quarantine-Sad Scams and Love

I just completed reading a book titled ‘I Love You, Send Money.’ It involves online dating sites. Why would an eighty something be interested in dating sites? As crazy as it sounds I still long for companionship. Being locked up isn’t helping me one bit.

Recently, while on a soul searching session with myself I began to list all the things I missed the most since Peg left me. Most of them involved physical comfort like: sleeping in the same bed together, hugging, holding hands, kissing, cuddling, sex. A phrase came into mind ‘sexual grief.’ It sounded strange, but I googled it anyway. Bingo, the search yielded several hits under sexual bereavement. It is a very real emotion experienced by both men and women, but it is little talked about because of embarrassment. One cannot spend 20, 30, 40, 50 years with a partner sharing intimate relations and not miss it after God turns off the life switch and leaves a partner alone. The suddeness, and finality  of the change is too dramatic to not take notice. I have experienced this twice now, and I am here to tell you that sexual grief is a real thing. After Barb died my emotions went crazy, and never settled until I married Peg two years later. Peg and I were very happy together and now that she died the same damned emotion has kicked in. This time, however, I was waiting for it, and my body is also seventeen years older, so raging hormones with the intensity of a flame thrower have diminished to a flickering candle.

Getting back to ‘I Love You, Send Money,’ A few weeks ago, I experienced an online scam for which I fell hard. This time it was an email from a friend who purportedly was traveling and not able to buy a her niece a birthday present. She asked me to buy an iTunes gift card and to send her the pass key via email. This friend had lost a brother and a sister within a week of each other in different cities, and I thought she may be traveling between. I emailed back using the address in her message asking for how much she would like on the card. It sounded plausible so I took the bait and rushed out to buy a fifty dollar gift card without waiting for her reply. I scratched the coating off the passkey, took a picture and sent it via email. I called her and left a message as to what I did.

Hours later, she called me to tell me I had been scammed. How can that be, it was from your address? She hadn’t gotten my email. I looked at the original message I got and discovered that her address in the header was correct, but the address in the body was not exactly the same. He address was her name, but the scammer added an additional vowel at the end to make it different, and the service provider was different. Damn! I got fooled.  What can I do now? Gift cards are not returnable, so that was out. I asked my self, I wonder if this scammer has had time to redeem this card? I went to the iTunes store, logged in and found the section where you can enter gift card numbers. I did and iTunes accepted my card and I have a credit with them. I got lucky by outsmarting the perp, but it doesn’t change the embarrassment.

When I spotted this book I was searching of free e-books to read while my library is closed. The title tingled a nerve and told me to read it. The story is about people who are using online dating sites. These particular people are in their late forties/early fifties. One a widower, the other a divorced mom of two lookin’ for love. Supposedly they are both using the site for the first time. They begin messaging. The guy, I thought started talking about love a bit earlier than I would be in this situation. I wondered. The girl was very tentative at first but slowly opened up. They agreed to meet in Hawaii months later for their first date. The guy is an engineer who has a business helping railroads. To make along story short, his latest client is in Sri Lanka and while he is there he needs money to finish the job. His bank for some reason will not free up his funds so he asks his online friend  to help him out. He needs fifty thousand dollars, and she agrees to send it to him. I was right this was a scam. She never gets her money back, he never made it to Hawaii for their first date, and she goes bankrupt.

Between this corny online love story scam and the third season of Homeland I am ready for COVID-19 to die and go to hell.

In the meantime, I am experimenting with online grocery shopping and keep striking out. The grocers provide the service, but they can’t handle the volume of business. A third store has now put me on hold waiting for a delivery date.

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