Covid Life

Ah, this COVID life.

My face felt naked today, for the first time, without a face mask. I stepped out of my apartment and I felt different, my face felt different, like I had forgotten my phone, or like something important was missing. I don’t feel the same without a mask. I don’t feel comfortable.

I was late one winter day. I had grossly overslept. The bus arrives at 6:50 or so, and I didn’t hear the alarm until 6:30. I threw on some socks and boots, and tossed something edible in my backpack (a can of tuna, maybe, an apple, a banana), having already decided to buy something with caffeine in it at work. I rushed out of the apartment building, zipping my jacket as I ran, and immediately felt different, wrong. But, I couldn’t figure out why. I touched my face to make sure I was wearing my glasses, then patted my pockets for my phone, keys, and wallet…

…and I wasn’t wearing any pants. My thermal underwear were so warm, so good, such high quality, and such a constant staple in winter that I felt like I was wearing pants. I looked around really quickly, to see who saw me standing outside in my long underwear (no one, thankfully), then I rushed back inside for my pants. I don’t remember if I missed the bus.

But, that’s how I felt today, standing at the bus stop, without a mask. It felt wrong. I didn’t quite feel like myself.

Walmart sells regular eggs, white shell, in a carton, sixty eggs. They cost about $5.50 right now but they have been as low as $3.30. The cartons are thick and sturdy; I was throwing them away, keeping the clutter down, but I have been stocking up on canned goods, mainly of the “No salt added” variety, and the egg cartons hold sixteen cans each. I’m stacking them up in the kitchen and should probably sort and label them at some point..

I have been blessed. I have a full-time job. My rent and utilities are paid every month. I’m stocking up like any sensible American who can afford it. Over 30 pounds of rice, 15 bottles of hand sanitizer. I have run up my toilet paper situation to over ten packs of four-roll and 2 six-roll. But that’s my stash for bad times. Now I have to buy some more rolls for everyday use, just two or three more packs on the side, so I don’t have to touch my stash. Eight, nine packs of two-roll paper towels, Walmart Great Value brand should have been enough, but then I broke down and bought a 6-roll pack from Costco, so I could feel…safer, better. You know, prepared, in control.

The Covid life – trying to erect walls against an unstable and dangerous reality.

It’s getting so I only feel normal when I’m wearing a mask.

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