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Dear Quarantine Journal

Updated: May 25, 2020

Day 1: Social isolation - I can’t believe that they expect me to work from home. Hang on a minute – I already work from home. No larger group gatherings – no parties? Yes! No need for introverted me to come up with excuses for not going out. Sorry, can’t, I’m social isolating. Yep, I was social isolating before it was cool. It’s kind of nice having the kids at home. I just hope they won’t need help with math. My oldest has yet to emerge from his room, he is loving not having to get up for school. He is taking social isolation to the extreme. I’m not worried; like all feral animals, he will come out when he’s hungry.

Day 12. I’m doing math. Not my kids’ homework but calculating the average number of squares per toilet paper per roll divided by the number of people in our house, multiplied by the average number of “craps given” divided by the number of rolls currently in the home. Crap. I really mean crap! At this rate, without a re-supply of rolls, we can last six days until drastic measures will need to be taken. I wonder if I should be separating the three-ply into one-ply? Would that count as a project for art class? Still no sign of the allusive teen. I am beginning to wonder – does he have a stash of tp in there with him?

Day 17. Teachers, I miss you. Can a child be expelled from home school? I have replaced the swear jar with a "mom” jar. Every time the words “mom” escape the lips of my progeny between the hours of 8:30 and 4:30 (when I’m at work) a dollar shall be added to the mom jar. This fund will be used to buy toilet paper out of the back of a van. It has now been 17 days since the last sighting of the eldest child. I’m still not worried. Somehow our internet usage has increased by tenfold even though there are only two more people home during the day. I made a note on my calendar for September to send copious amounts of chocolate and alcohol to school for the faculty assuming school returns in September – please, please return in September.

Day 22. Today I went grocery shopping. I just got my normal amount but I saw all the people looking at my full cart judging me. Silently accusing me of hoarding. I find myself calling out to strangers, “I have teenage sons. I honestly do need 3 jugs of milk.” I messed up in aisle three. I’m so sorry. I forgot to check the direction of the arrow and pushed my cart the wrong way. Store staff have it hard enough without me adding to the chaos. I just want to say, “Sorry and you guys rock! Thank you. Do you happen to know when the TP will be back in stock?” I have set up the trail cam in the kitchen and left out a pack of pop tarts to attract the allusive teen.

Day 24. In my mind, I didn’t visualize myself surviving an apocalypse in flannel PJs, but there you have it. The heir has been spotted – I think – it may have been a sasquatch. Let’s be safe and say something hairy has emerged from the basement in search of food. The pop tarts were gone. The wrapper left behind a mere two feet from the trash can. Eye contact was made, the teensquatch grunted, scratched at the five-week growth of beard upon its face, and sluncked back into the darkness of its bedroom. The kid is winning at social distancing. I have noticed something different about our other child. It took a while to figure out – five weeks without being in a pool, he no longer smells of Eau de Chlorine. It’s getting to himl; I can tell. He tried to teach the cats to swim today. The day before he blew a whistle and told the dog ,“no running in the hallway.” We may need to dig a pool in the backyard.

Week 30. I need yeast. Has anyone seen yeast? I have no idea why I need yeast but apparently, I need it. I have no idea what I will do with yeast but I don’t want this to turn into another TP situation. Also, seeds. I need seeds. Preference for organic heirloom seeds. I don’t know why they need to be heirloom but it was on Pinterest so there you have it. I have decided to rip up all the grass in the yard and replace it with kale, cabbage, and carrots. It will give the kids something to do and maybe I can barter carrots for yeast. The cabbage is my TP backup plan and kale – well kale seems to be the answer to every ailment. Are sasquatches vegetarians?

Day… #. I’ve lost count what day it is. The sasquatch in the basement has fully transitioned into a nocturnal being. The other child is beginning to look like he belongs in an 80’s rock band. My husband coughed – he is now under a mandatory twenty-metre rule (about the distance from blue line to blue line).

Day who the flip cares. In all seriousness, COVID-19 has, in one way or another, impacted all our day-to-day lives. Together we are going to get through this and I do believe come out the other side a more appreciative and empathetic society. Until then, I am going to count my daily blessings and continue to find humour in the every day because now, more than ever laughter may be the best medicine – not kale.

Written by Gaylene Smith: Gaylene is a Strathmore resident that has trouble taking life seriously and can usually be found making inappropriate or sarcastic remarks around town much to the embarrassment of her family and friends. (of which she has both – honest!)



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