It’s been 3+ weeks and you’re starting to get into your quarantine routine, and then…
You’re running low on everything…including t.p.
Jersey City enacted a curfew and closed non-essentials, schools and everything before NYC. We were told early March to stock our homes with at least two weeks of food and household supplies. Most of us probably bought enough (and already had pantry items), plus were able to go to non-grocery stores to get Lysoland toilet paper amid the hoarders.
By mid-March, the madness had other NJ counties and NYC-ers invading NJ’s big box stores trying to do their initial stock-up.
You realize, circa week 3, that you’ve underestimated your stock. Because most of us do not cook every meal at home, do not work from home, do not need to wash and disinfect everything once entering the home, and you probably weren’t hyper aware of how much t.p. each individual used on a daily basis, including yourself.
And, oh, you find out then that you’ve got at least another 3+ weeks.
If you have to brave the big grocery store (because most corner stores have now closed their and grocery delivery is back up for two weeks (yikes!):
*Make a thorough list because you are going to the *scariest place ever* (after the hospital) and you will not want to go back, nor can you just “go back.” It is a huge ordeal.
*Pick a less popular time to go (i.e., on a weekday around 2:30, on a Sunday night, any night when it’s freezing cold, raining).
*Send only one person in the household. Wear a mask and gloves.
*Practice patience. Everyone else is in the same dilemma, and it is going to take longer than usual now that stores an enforcing social distancing.
*Know your aisles; you’ll likely have to navigate a certain way and you may have a time limit.
*Wipe down all packaging with disinfectant wipes before putting any groceries away and discard of all bags.
You’re starting to feel emotionally out-of-wack
Around this time, you’ve adjusted to being enclosed with your family/housemates, but personally, you may be experiencing a range of feelings. Psychologists are likening it to the stages of grief (without having lost someone — an entirely different topic that will be covered in a future post.)
*You may suddenly bursting out crying or going on an angry rant. Emotional outbursts will happen. Allow yourself to feel all of the feelings. Be kind to yourself.
*Continue to practice patience with those around you. Everyone is struggling.
*If watching the news constantly makes you anxious, limit your news TV time to one program or skip a day. Not too much changes once the numbers start leveling out in your area.
*Sleep as much as you can within a regular time frame. It’s good for your immunity and restorative health. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, avoid all electronic screens and instead try reading, meditation, or use a melatonin spray or other sleep aid. Or get out of bed and go work on a quiet activity in another room until you’re tired.
*If you feel like sleeping late or going to bed early or taking an afternoon nap, do it. When else will you have this much freedom to do so?
*Continue to get some fresh air and activity into your day. A quick walk around the block will suffice.
*Carve out solo quiet time for yourself, away from others in your house, your phone, your computer.
*Call a friend who makes you laugh, or someone elderly who may need a listening ear.
You’re so over the rigorous sanitation game, when no one you know in your area got sick
But you need to keep it up:
*Wear a mask when you go outside.
*Strip down when you get home. Throw everything into the laundry.
*Wash hands thoroughly.
*Disinfect the doorknob, the railing, the lightswitch, the sink handle…anything you touched.
*Clean your phone, your car keys, your wallet, your cards, your sunglasses…and anything else that came in from the outside.
*Take a shower and put on clean clothes.
You’re not into cooking (or cleaning up) as many meals
*Consider ordering in from your favorite restaurants/one you’ve been meaning to try. There are actually some great places that have managed to stay open for delivery only as we approach apex. Order directly to directly support tip your delivery person well. Here are the ones I’ve tried so far.
*Plan ahead. Few restaurants are still operating. They also must close at 8pm. Order when they open for lunch or by 5pm for dinner. It may take two hours to arrive.
*Be ready. Know that they are not going to get near you or walk inside if you buzz them in. Meet them outside as they place the bag six feet from you.
*Remove everything from its containers and put it into your own containers/plates. Immediately discard of all packaging.
*Wash hands thoroughly when done, and wipe down any surfaces the containers came in contact with.
*Never eat from the containers the food came in.
*Freeze your leftovers to enjoy later in the week, or refrigerate items you can throw into an omelette or some other way re-purpose the next day.
You may get bored…again
*As of now, we are not asked to volunteer, but think of other ways you can help. Dig deep. Get creative.
*Share with citizens of Jersey City about how we can help others at this time. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include a list of opportunities in my next post.
Thank you all for being awesome neighbors,