At 11:30am this morning, Gov. Hogan issued a stay-at-home directive for the state of Maryland. As he spoke on live t.v., a row of trees stood behind him with their beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom on a perfect blue sky backdrop. He was wearing sunglasses to block out the morning sun. A Public Safety Alert was sent out statewide. As soon as I heard it, I took a quick shower. Up until yesterday, I had not left my house in over a week.
After getting dressed, my daughter and I headed out to pick up supplies. We stopped at the grocery store first. Luckily Aldi had most everything we needed, with the exception of a few things. Of course, there was no toilet paper and they had run out of fresh tomatoes, kiwi fruit (which I eat every day and is is loaded with vitamin C) and my daughter could not find her favorite meat-free chicken tenders. She is vegan.
We spent over $200, which is the most I have ever paid in one trip, but we bought extras of essentials (baking supplies, dog food, bottled water, etc) so that we would not have to go out again- at least for awhile. Then we went to Target. I was surprised to find Target had even less than Aldi. Both the bread and pasta aisles were completely empty. Aisle after empty aisle: no toilet paper or paper towels (almost every store ran out weeks ago), and a limit of only 2 bottles of drinking water per person. We live in the country, so bottled water is a necessity for us. I had my daughter buy 2, then I bought 2 more. We stocked up on shampoo, laundry & cleaning supplies, pet food (we have 4 pets, all are rescues), and again I spent more than I usually do.
But the strangest part of all? At least 35% of the people we saw out shopping were wearing medical face masks. Up until a few weeks ago, when you heard "face mask", only the image a woman wearing a beautifying clay mask in a magazine or t.v. ad came to mind. Now, in March 2020, no one will ever think of the term 'face mask' the same way ever again.
Another interesting/odd thing: most stores have run out of nail polish remover and pure acetone, both of which are used to remove professional acrylic gel and dip manicures. With every nail salon and beauty shop forced to close, women now have to do their nails at home.
After my daughter and I returned home, we were in a lighter mood. Then sun was still shining and it felt a normal spring day. We were able to stock up on almost everything we needed (except kiwi fruit and vegan chicken nuggets, ha) and it was such a picture-perfect day. My daughter, Maddy, went out to our backyard, which is surrounded by trees and farms, and sat in the sun with our dog, Lucy. I ate a snack in the kitchen while I put away the groceries. Things almost felt normal.
In the evening, we relaxed and watched our favorite shows together on Netflix and prime video. Lucy, our rescued Beagle dog, snuggled beside my daughter on the couch and I played with the cats during commercial breaks. I'm so grateful for our pets. I can't imagine this time at home without them.
It's times like this when everything feels normal again and you almost forget everything else that is happening in the world.
If you are reading this, I encourage you to do the same: make sure you continue to do all the things that make you feel happy each day, whatever they might be. Listen to your favorite music, go outside and sit in the sun. Eat your favorite snack and watch a movie with someone you love. Exercise, read, and continue to write in your journal each day. It's important to keep a daily routine. (Find ways to do that here.) These normal activities and following a daily schedule will help us all stay grounded and mentally healthy.
Reach out to me any time. Peace and love. (Pub date: Mon. Mar. 30, 2020)