Novel Virus = Altered Lives

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Ramifications of Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine as America attempts to Flatten the Curve

Last week I was a senior citizen with Parkinson’s Disease, but active. My calendar shows that I was busy, busy!

  • Weekly Bible study group at my house
  • Meet friends at the museum
  • Early-out Wednesday – pick up grandkids from school
  • Breakfast with my brother and sister-in-law
  • Renew my driver’s license
  • 3rd grade Recorder concert
  • Chamber Singers concert
  • John’s Birthday Party
    • make posters inviting his co-workers for lunch
    • make arrangements with Pizza Ranch for 30+ people
    • arrive early to greet our guests

This week I am a high risk, self-quarantined senior citizen

  • with underlying health conditions,
  • at loose ends in my own house,
  • with nowhere to go and no-one coming over.

Ok, so, I ask John to please call me when he leaves the truck shed after his usual day of hauling livestock feed from ethanol plants. It’s a 15 minute drive home.

I TELL him the call is to alert me to unlock the back door

          which he automatically locks when he leaves at 6 a.m.

          which I automatically open when I leave to go out and about,

          except I no longer go out and about.  .  .

So now my front door bell has rung several times at suppertime,

                    confused, I hurry to unlock it

                    and, crestfallen, there stands John -

                              holding his boots, overall, gloves,

                              thermos, empty sandwich bags, paperwork,

                              and today’s mail from the box at the far end

                                        of our rural driveway,

                    yup, the back door was still locked.

I DON’T tell him that the call is also so I can quickly get dressed 

          in real clothes instead of slouches and slippers -

                    (I keep a pair of shoes handy under the coffee table)

          and so I can “do” my hair a little, having only brushed it yet,

          and so I can put on a touch of make-up that looks natural,

                    and a dab of perfume can’t hurt.

If I’m really lucky he’ll get talking before he leaves

to anybody who happens to be near the truck shed -

                    so I have time to quickly finish unloading the dishwasher

                              and he won’t have to wonder what I did all day.

 Sometimes I see or hear him drive up

          but sometimes I don’t know till he opens the door,

          which gives me just the necessary moment it takes

                    to close my computer, and say,

“Hi, dear, you’re home!”

Tomorrow is John’s Saturday to work

          but his dispatcher texted and said the loads changed to Monday

Tomorrow our faraway and closeby kids had all planned a surprise –

          kids + spouses + most of the grandkids + a couple of girlfriends

          were coming to celebrate our birthdays:

                    Saturday night eat out – likely the Doon Steakhouse

                    Sunday - church together and dinner at our house

Tomorrow likely will come, but the family won’t,

not because they don’t want to, I know they would love to.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:21,23

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.

May your angels guard us through the night

And bless us in the morning light.

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