Self-Quarantine; Day 1
Day 1 - 2020 03 17
If you don’t know me, here’s a bit of context. My girlfriend and I were in New York City two weeks ago. I came back last week and she stayed longer for work. As the news began to snowball she cancelled the remainder of her job and I drove back to pick her up yesterday. Since pulling off the road into our driveway yesterday, we haven’t been off our property and won’t be for two weeks.
We’re voluntarily self-quarantining for the safety of the community. We live in a small town with - as far as I know - no cases yet, in a state that also is so far relatively lucky (though I expect that’ll change. Especially given our proximity and social connections to Boston). I have no interest in being the irresponsible link between my neighbors and the New York hot-spot.
Below and over the next 14 days I’ll collect some thoughts and experiences. Making it a learning experience, a sort of adventure and something to share are a few ways to get something good out of this.
I made a little calendar with some notes on what food to make when. Like when to start sourdough starters and when to soak chickpeas and stuff. Things that require a bit of planning. I definitely want to keep us in fresh sourdough bread the entire time.
Also keeping a jar of sprouts going the whole time. It’s sort of amazing that you can have healthy, fresh vegetables, on-demand out of a bag of nonperishable little specks.
I made Thai green curry with a lot of vegetables for dinner. So far, so good, for quarantine food. I’m trying to think of stuff we have on hand to cook and freeze now that’ll be fun and nutritious later. Carrot ginger soup is one. From-scratch hummus and fresh-baked pitas are doable with non-perishable ingredients we have, too.
We found out a local farm is doing a once-a-week vegetable pick up. you fill out a google spreadsheet and they leave it in the driveway for you to grab.
I’m thinking about calling the local cheese and dairy places and seeing if we can buy directly from them, too. Fewer crowds, more direct support of food-creators who otherwise are having a really hard time with restaurants closing. Might be an unfortunately-forced introduction to a really nice way of living, culinarily.
My general feeling is equal parts normal (this doesn’t look a whole lot different from our normal working from home lives) and entirely fucked up. When I’m not actively looking at the news or twitter or reddit or thinking too hard about friends and family who are working in hospitals it’s deceptively easy to feel like nothing’s going on all. …Until my nose itches a bit and my hand’s instinct to scratch it gets squashed by my now-pretty-good counter-instinct to avoid it doing so.
Part of me feels like I’m waiting around to see if I notice symptoms - and it seems like maybe that hourglass won’t run dry for about two weeks, if we’re being really careful. Every random normal cough, bit of afternoon fatigue or slow-to-materialize burp that makes my chest feel funny is a devilish little tease. does it start right here?
I’m trying, and generally succeeding, to stay cool, but the little gremlin is running around quietly back there.
Towards the beginning of all this news I was less worried about my personal well-being and entirely focused on being vigilant for the sake of the most vulnerable populations. However, after semi-accidentally reading about the experiences of “young and otherwise fit, healthy people” on twitter another, more powerful and more personal anxiety began stewing in the corner of my mind.
Even if you end up recovering - even recovering at home without going to the hospital - this is not an experience you want to have. “Mild” might mean a cough and fever, but it could also mean every-breath-is-panic-pneumonia.
Enough about that for now, though…
All in all I’m not exactly sold on all the precautions making any difference. Either neither of us have it, both of us do, or one of us does.
If neither of us do, it’s just a matter of being diligent about cleaning and isolating objects we’ve brought into the house until any potential virus remnants are inactive. Then we’re totally safe until we bring more objects into the house.
If both of us do, then I guess all the precaution is pointless. Eventually we may become symptomatic and it’ll either be very mild …or very not.
The tricky thing is if one of us has it and not the other (yet). I think it’s difficult - but feasible - to avoid infecting the other. The uninfected person, if he/she washes hands a lot, doesn’t touch their face and avoids directly mouthing/nosing some virus in any other way (definitely no kissing), can in theory avoid getting infected. I think. It seems like it’s at least worth tipping the odds in that direction. The lifestyle adjustment is relatively minor, given the potential rewards.
It’s 11pm now. One day down.