A Heated Quarantine
It's mid-summer now and the Texas heat is getting to me. Next week, we will see the century mark in temperatures. I love that we moved here to be closer to grandchildren, but I've never gotten used to the suffocating air this time of year. So we hibernate most of the time. Of course, we're doing that anyway because of COVID-19.
The numbers of infections and deaths continue to rise In the Lone Star State. ICUs are full and emergency departments are overloaded with very sick patients. Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and first responders are exhausted. The general feeling is that Texas opened up too soon. Governor Abbott has backtracked and closed all the bars. He is now insisting that everyone wear masks in public places. Too little, too late, I'm afraid.
Our days go like this. We sleep later than usual, waking at 7:30 or 8. Each of us makes our own breakfast. I settle in and skim through the news apps on my phone: New York Times, HuffPost, Politico, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. I make a mental note of longer articles on the NYT to read later in the day. I do the mini-crossword in less than a minute. Then I scan through FaceBook for anything interesting or funny. My husband has entirely different set of news apps on his iPad, but I won't get into that here.
We might watch some TV. Then I shower, dress and take our dachshund Toby for his first walk of the day. It's already 88 degrees, but feels like 97. Most days, some or all of our grandchildren come to swim along with two friends in their "quarantine pod." They jump off the side over and over, turn somersaults in the water and have foam shooter fights. I usually stay under the roof of the patio and observe. Sometimes I fix a tray of sandwiches and chips for them at noon.
After they leave, we scan Netflix, Amazon, BritBox and Acorn for shows we haven't seen. We've worked our way through just about everything and have resorted to watching police shows from Iceland, Denmark and other countries with subtitles. Being summer, there is absolutely nothing on network TV.
Then it's dinnertime. I order groceries every few days, so we're usually pretty well stocked. We try to keep it interesting with seafood, entree salads, and homemade Chinese and Mexican. I am getting sick of my own cooking, however. We order take-out once in a while. Then we watch the news, depressing as it is, and perhaps go out for ice cream and a long drive. I take Toby out for another constitutional after the sun goes down.
In bed by 10:00, I watch a little TV or read. Some nights, I just can't sleep, so I sneak into the family room and watch re-runs of Frasier on the Hallmark Channel. And so it goes. No one knows when we will emerge from this. At least, we can look forward to the cooler temperatures of fall. Stay well, my friends.
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I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.