Many of us here in California had no idea how hard, and long, this stay at home mandate, from Governor Gavin Newsom, was going to be. It is especially challenging when you have two seniors that you are watching out for, while trying to stay at least six feet away, so you don't accidentally contaminate them.
Keeping away from my mom is easier, and sometimes on purpose. We either don't answer the phone when we see her number, or, we get in and get out when she needs our help. Actually we are pretty lucky that she is self sufficient and only needs us for things she can't do herself, like retune the radio and reboot the cable.
Linda's mom is a different challenge because she lives with us, and avoiding being too close to her is sometimes impossible. No matter how many meals we try to slide under her door, she still insists that she wants to eat with us occasionally. Linda is much tougher on her than I am, and I relent two or three times a week and let her join us at the table.
As this forced jailing drags on and on, it is making us find ways to get out of the house and do things we usually would not think about doing. We are now shopping seven days a week instead of the usual once a week before coronavirus hit. This not only increases our chances of getting the virus, but it also gives us more chances to see if toilet paper is back in stock.
Neighbors are doing their part to stay safe too. We now have so many golf carts driving up and down the street it looks like the Kennedy expressway on a Friday afternoon. Golfers are still playing, but taking care to separate themselves from each other by taking their own carts out. Foursomes now have four carts tearing up the course, instead of the usual two, and my favorite is to watch them crawl out of their individual carts, and then line up shoulder to shoulder on the tee and watch each other tee off.
The HOA office, clubhouse, cafe, bar, and swimming pools are all closed, but there are still 26 people, and their dogs, all parading around the same 40 square feet of grass on the main parkway every morning. Hey Ethel! Hello Larry!
At the grocery stores half the shoppers are wearing masks and gloves, that our health care workers could desperately use, and then of course they line up to check out 18 inches from each other. Some stores are offering hand sanitizer on your way out and I'm thinking shouldn't you be doing this on your way in before we touch everything?
As we embark on another long day of forced enclosure out here in the desert, I wonder how long we can survive the closeness, and trapped feelings, that have built up after all this time.
"Hey Linda, how many days has it been now?"
"Two and half, and if you ask me that one more time I'm going to kick you."
Only seven and a half weeks to go.