A Week in the Q (you know, quarantine)

Took this photo today on our walk. Even the birds are distancing.

I bought eggs! 18 of them, actually. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined, and am proud of my success!

On Sunday, we used a bunch of eggs for a fancy brunch with turkey bacon and potatoes.

On Monday, we were aware that we were going to need some vegetables and eggs soon. Can we make it to the store? Hmm...I refuse to go to Safeway again because I was previously traumatized by the crowds and disorganization. I really don’t want to go to Trader Joe’s again because there are too many variables. A line forms outside, so the store isn’t as crowded when you get in. However, the big busy parking lot, and the foot traffic in and out of all the other stores at the shopping center, make it risky. Can we wait until Tuesday? Yes, for sure.

OK, its Tuesday. We will just stick to our lovely Encinal Market down the street. In normal life, we shop there almost daily to gather dinner supplies and fresh meat. Life in the Q, however, has meant very few trips anywhere. We had stocked up nicely on a big supply of everything, including a bizarre amount of polenta, a couple of weeks ago. So, we venture down the street, wrap our faces in scarves, use Clorox wipes on the cart, and head for the refrigerator section. No eggs, no anything, practically. My husband becomes agitated and insists he will have to go to the dreaded Safeway or Trader Joe’s for eggs. I become highly anxious and freak out. “NO! I forbid it!” Our local grocer intervenes and tells us that more eggs will arrive on Thursday morning. The store will open at 10. “Be here then,” he warned, “there will be a line.”

We survive Wednesday with only two eggs. Everyone agreed they belonged to daddy. The rest of us can manage with avocado toast for breakfast. We do live in California, after all.

I plan my Thursday morning around the eggs. I can’t work until I get the eggs. Up early, exercised, and saving the shower for after the exposure in the market. I walk the three minutes down the street at 9:45 and there is already a line of 11 people standing six feet apart. I am number 12, and within seconds, another 10 arrive behind me. I feel like it’s the apocalypse. As soon as the store opens, we all calmly march in. I am first to the eggs! Another line of people forms behind me. OMG, we are only allowed one carton per shopper. Of course, I grab a carton of 18.

Now I am in a mini panic. It is getting more crowded. What else should I gather while I am here? Frozen pizza, wine, and chocolate. That’s what I grabbed as I maneuver around people right and left. “Get in, get out,” I’m thinking, as people are passing by me in too-close-for-comfort zones.

And then I hear my name. One of my very best friends in the whole planet is behind me! We haven’t seen each other in weeks, of course, and there we are. Happy and sad. Six feet apart, not able to hug, having to dodge people who wanted to get to the balsamic vinegar we were blocking. It was both comical and depressing all at the same time. We settled on a shoulder to shoulder "back bump," chatted for a while about the madness, our kids, her job as a doctor, and then shouted “I love you,” down the aisle, and went on our way.

I came home with eggs, wine, pizza, chocolate, and a heavy heart. It was the second time this week I had an in person, yet distant conversation, with a very close friend.

Now it’s Friday. I had eggs AND avocado toast for breakfast. It’s easier to be in the Q when you are cozy with your family at home, but facing the outside-world reality of what social distancing really means can be heartbreaking, to say the least.

What am I doing about that? Lots of texting, lots of FaceTime, and hoping we don’t need eggs anytime soon.

Pour a cup of decaf and tell us how you are managing without eggs and your best friends.

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