A season of self-quarantine


Donna, my wife, and I have gone into self-imposed quarantine. It’s not that we have the coronavirus or any of the symptoms, it’s just that we are trying to avoid any possibility of us contracting this virus. Donna and I are both in our 70’s and I have underlying health conditions. We are the target group for contracting this virus.

Before I retired I was an OSHA-authorized outreach trainer. This meant I could teach safety programs throughout the United States. One of the courses that I taught was for an “Active Shooter”. This class taught people how to react if there was a threat in their workplace, school or in a public building. I think this relates very much to the current pandemic affecting the world. 

Covid-19 seems to me to be like an active shooter. Both of these situations are dynamic, evolve rapidly and are unpredictable. 

The first thing I would teach people was to make a plan and not to panic. Make a plan with your family and coworkers and ensure everyone knows what they should do if confronted with a threat. Panicking will only make a bad situation worse. Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority in an active shooter situation and distancing yourself from other people during this pandemic is the best way to prevent getting sick. 

An active shooter is a person who is engaged in killing or wounding people in a confined and populated area and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.  Corvid-19 is a virus that is harming or killing people in confined and populated areas and it is indiscriminate in selecting its victims. Unfortunately, there is no place that you can go to avoid the Coronavirus, it is a global problem. 

If escape is not possible in active shooter circumstances. You are supposed to lock doors, close blinds, and turn off the lights. Once you are in such a location you should also close and lock all the windows.  

At home, Donna and I are now sheltering in place with our doors and windows closed. They are also locked in response to the pandemic. Nobody in, nobody out. If you come over for a visit, we will be happy to see you, but we will talk to you thru the window in the door, kind of like visiting someone in prison.

Fortunately, we are well stocked with toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. We had just done a bulk buying run recently. Our larder is well stocked also so we should be able to hole up for a month or so. We may not be eating what we want but we will be eating.

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last month, I am sure you are familiar with the other CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of Corona. I am not going to rehash them here. If you are unfamiliar with them, just turn on your television.

Donna has done child care from our home for decades. There was always a tribe of characters running around that gave our home life. She currently watches our eight-year-old twin grandsons and one of our daughter’s friend’s four-year-olds. We have had to suspend this for the time being until this crisis passes.  In our self-imposed isolation, we are now bored, very bored. There are no small children running amok and we miss it. 

The first day we watched one movie from Netflix. Two television shows that we missed and played four games of euchre and wasn’t even 4:00 in the afternoon. We are also getting addicted to games on our devices. Neither one of us ever played many electronic games but desperate times call for desperate measures. Donna doesn’t even have to take the time to make dinner because Donna’s sister left dinner for us on our back porch. Is it too early to go to bed? I would take a nap but then I would be up half the night. 

After dinner, we gave up and went to bed. We decided we could watch television from bed just as easily as we could in our living room. Unfortunately, we got a little too comfortable in bed and fell asleep by 8:00. Around 3:00 in the morning I was wide awake and watching old game shows from a station in Batavia. 

On day six, we were sleeping in until 10:30. What was the point of getting up? We ate in bed, watched television in bed and spent much of the day napping. WE get 57 stations off of our roof antenna so we had many programming sources. Unfortunately, many of them were showing the same programs that they showed yesterday… and the day before. We did manage to change out of our nighttime pajamas into our daytime pajamas. It wasn’t like we were going anywhere or receiving guests. The high point of our day was a video chat with our grandsons.

Norb and his wife Donna are sequestered in an undisclosed location in Western New York.


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