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The quarantine is a new lifestyle change. All the activities we were free to do are now restricted. I am trying to wrap my head around what returning to the old life means. New normal, what does this catchphrase mean? I am trying to come up with ways to make this work. In seven weeks we are adjusting to a new way of life. It includes working from home, online learning, and new ways of doing errands.
A trip to the grocery store has now become an episode of the early bird catches the worm. A few weeks ago I was totally oblivious to the way toilet paper was moving off the shelves. When I found a multipack I grabbed it with no clue on what was to come in the upcoming weeks. In a matter of weeks, it was evident that panic shopping was taking over in the grocery store and Target. I realized we were now living with the reality of a pandemic and how it has altered our daily behavior.
Lessons Learned in Seven Weeks
- Now that a trip to the grocery store may require waiting in line outside, using a delivery service is not a bad idea. The downside is trying to secure a delivery or pick-up time. One tip I found helpful is searching the delivery app in the wee hours of the morning to schedule. After two years, I went back to Instacart.
- If you are searching for cleaning supplies, try to get to retailers as soon as they open. My local drug stores gave me the days for deliveries to grab inventory. A larger Target has more inventory each week than a mini Target. The best time to get items off the shelf is as soon as they open at 8 AM. Mid-morning, afternoon, and evening shopping is disappointing with very little left on the shelves of high demand items. I rediscovered Walgreens so check in stores that are not usually on the list. If you have the cartwheel app, you can order items available for pick-up. This makes a Target run quicker.
- If you see toilet paper, paper towels, Lysol, gloves, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes on the shelves grab it. Do not wait until you need it.
- If you need baking staples, grab it when you see it. Flour, sugar, and YEAST are in huge demand. Also, chocolate chips. I guess there is a lot of baking. We have done our share.
- Keep gloves in the car for pumping gas, my local gas station is now providing but this may be the case at each station.
- If you order masks from Amazon expect a two to three-week delivery. Just make sure you have other ways to cover nose and face when going to places for errands.
Working from Home During Quarantine
This is not my first time working remotely. It is an adjustment in terms of finding a space to work, organizing files, communicating more via email internally, and taking a break during the workday, I realized how much time a commute takes from the workday. Technology makes it easier to communicate remotely with a wifi account. Telecommuting allows more time after the day ends to plan for family time. I love hearing how the Zoom app keeps the workplace connected for both work activities and after-work meetings for colleagues.
What is Online Learning for My Teens During Quarantine
My oldest teen started his freshman year in January. He was extremely excited to start his first college semester. My son’s two-week extension quickly moved to the end of the semester on campus. The real impact of the quarantine was obvious, I think. It is challenging for my son. One thing the school implemented was a pass/fail grading system. While it sounds like a clear solution to imposing restrictions it took a toll on his academic experience.
The quarantine means my youngest teen is doing online learning for middle school. I think the transition to a new learning format is a challenge for the teachers and students. I realized it is a weekly test of endurance as we are adjusting to it all. The communication between school and parents is excellent. I am so glad parents’ feedback is important to make this process works for all students.
What has the quarantine changed for us? There are more groceries and lots of dishes. I am trying to stick to grocery shopping every two weeks. We are planning meals together or at least agreeing on meals. Baking has become a past time from making zucchini bread, 4 ingredient peanut butter cookies to banana bread. Since the quarantine, my son has an interest in eating healthier and cooking. We are actually talking more and sharing feelings good, bad, or indifferent. I am conscious that teens need a mental break during this time as well as adults. My youngest is using screen time to decompress and my oldest likes to take walks on the local trail.
For me, the time means spending more time binge-watching what I find on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. Also, packing, purging, and donating unused stuff we have accumulated over the last six years. This time is giving me time to organize. Adulting during this quarantine is a reminder to set aside time for physical and mental wellness. My hope is that we come through this healthier physically and mentally