How One week in Quarantine has Changed Us

Chain Link Fence
Keep out! Photo by Martin Olsen on Unsplash

We shower less.  I used to shower every morning before work.  Since I’m not going to work, the shower can wait.  I’d say we’re showering four times a week, instead of six or seven.  Today, for example, I put on a baseball cap instead of showering.  Later, I did some work in the yard, work that required a shovel and caused some sweat.  By the time I came in, I was happy to shower.  But when you don’t leave the house, the social pressure of being clean and neat with carefully combed hair drops way down.  Thankfully, my wife married me for better or worse.

We both sleep later.  I used to go to bed between midnight and 1 a.m.  I’d get up every morning at 7:20, hop in the shower, leave the house around 8 a.m. and get to work by 8:30.  Sure, I might sleep in a bit on a weekend, or take an occasional nap, but I usually got by fine with six or seven hours of sleep.

Now I find myself staying up until 2 or ever 3 a.m. and then sleeping to 9 the next morning.  I also nap more often in the late afternoon or early evening. I truly think I would be a night owl if I didn’t watch myself, and sleep from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.  There are days when I purposely avoid napping so that I won’t stay up too late.

My wife has always needed more sleep than I do. That’s still the case.  She goes to be several hours before me.  She’s occasionally sleeping later than normal for her but that might be because she’s been a bit under the weather.

Meal times are changing.  I used to get breakfast every morning on the way to work.  I was on a first-name basis with the lady who worked the drive in window.  Now I’m not making breakfast until 11:30 or so.  Most days, my wife has a hot cereal when she wakes then I make her an egg or two when I eat.  This is her lunch. 

We used to eat dinner at 6:30 or 7 p.m.  Now we’re often eating between 5:30 and 6 p.m..  Then I have a late night snack after my wife goes to bed.

We eat every meal at home.  My wife is a great cook, but I often ate out, even if it was just fast food.  We always enjoyed snagging lunch together if she came into town while I was working or an occasional dinner out.  We eat more of our meals together now, but it’s at the kitchen table.  We have not done any take out and we are too far from most places for delivery, but I am thinking of making homemade pizza.

I’m doing more work around the house.  Cleaning, purging, packing, and some repairing.  I’m also taking the time to clean and lube some guns. 

I’m getting less exercise.  Since our self-quarantine period started, there’s only been one day in which I had over 7,500 steps.  Being home all day, I do get more flights of stairs, but eight flights of stairs doesn’t make up for missing 4,000 steps.  I guess I need to work outside more.

Less email.  My work-related email has really died down as vendors and suppliers shut down and customers don’t venture out.  It’s almost non-existent.  About 50 percent of my emails are coronavirus updates from banks, doctors and even the trash pick up folks.  They all sound the same, like someone wrote the first one and everyone else just copied parts of it.

More time for casual, friendly phone calls and texts.  With many people home, things are less busy.  That’s leading to more phone calls to just catch up.  I spoke to a friend today whose daughter has Celiac Disease.  He warned her to buy a couple months’ worth of food because if things get worse and the government starts providing emergency food, she probably won’t be able to eat much of it.  He has plenty of rice and beans stored, but she lives about an eight hour drive away in a different state. At this point, I could foresee a time when they don’t let people drive across state lines.


Surprisingly, I don’t watch more TV than I used to. I thought I would be binge watching, but it just isn’t happening. Any more than two hours and I get tired of most shows.  When I’m not feeling well, I can binge watch something like Fast and Loud or Vegas Rat Rods, but if I were to do that now, I’d sleep through entire episodes. I think I use to use TV viewing as a chance to veg out and wind down. Not as much need to do that now.

OK, I admit, I do watch some cable news.  I’m often making breakfast while Governor Cuomo is doing his press conference.  I don’t like the guy’s politics and I don’t think he’s being tough enough with lockdowns (OK, I learned that this just that changed earlier today), but I have to give him credit: I think he’s doing a great job with his press conferences, showing leadership and being a calming, reassuring presence.  Certain other government officials in executive positions could take a lesson from him.

Personally, I prefer to read my news, and I am spending some time each morning online and again in the evening catching up on the latest.  But then, I’ve done that for years.

I also thought I’d read more books.  I’m one of those people who got 8 books out of the library before they closed and I’m only two books in.

Stay safe!