Week 3 – Shelter in Place

“We didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.”

The governor of Georgia just found out that people carrying the Coronavirus may not show signs that they are sick.  Has he not been watching the news? Why do you think we have closed all the schools and churches and non essential businesses?

In Florida, today is the first day the of their “stay at home” order.  Is it too late?

Apparently there are 11 out of the 50 states who are resisting the stay-at-home orders for their citizens.

We here in New York have been living with this for a few weeks now.

Last week I went to the grocery store and most people were still shopping without masks.  Many items were gone such as toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, flour, beans and more.  The check out line had a clear plastic screen blocking the employee from the customers, but she was not wearing gloves or a mask.

My son went to the store for us a few days ago.  He wore a mask and gloves and was disappointed that the check out lady was touching the items and then rubbing her nose without gloves.  He disinfected our groceries before bringing them into the house.

I have not visited with friends this week but I joined a face time call with about 8 neighbors one night.  That was amusing since we all gave ourselves Bitmojis, replaced our face with a cartoon face – anything for some laughs and connection with others.

My dog was trying hard to go back home on our second walk yesterday.  He doesn’t understand why I am home all day and why I insist on these several walks each day.

Churches are closed, no services, weddings, first communions or funerals.  Broadway shows in NYC have been closed since early March – no reopening date in sight.  We can’t go out to dinner or the movies, but we can order food to go and support our local businesses so we have done some of that.

Nail and hair salons are considered non essential so I’m saving money there, but liquor stores are open and have seen an increase in sales this month.  In order to buy wine, you must order and pay on line, then pick it up the next day outside the store.

People are still taking walks for exercise but keeping their social distance, 6 feet between them. Many playgrounds have been closed.  The one near my house is covered in caution tape.  Parents can be creative.  They are making obstacle courses and sensory walks to help stimulate physical activity with their children who are looking at screens all day while completing on line studies.

My Friday schedule looks a lot like all my other days now.  I’m not rushed to shower and drive anywhere.  I roll out of bed in my pajamas and have my coffee. Then I check my phone and lap top for emails from work.  Nothing yet so I check out my Google classroom, my text messages from colleagues, my blogging friends, my personal email, the news, Facebook and Facetime my son who is in Virginia.

As the day goes on I videotape myself reading a book to my kindergarten students and upload it to my Google classroom.  I’m not sure how many people watched it – I haven’t figured that out yet.

I was on the phone for over an hour with my fellow teachers discussing plans for the next 2 weeks that we will be posting to the school website.

A parent called earlier.  She is having trouble logging into one of the sites.  I called back and walked her through the steps.  I was in fact shocked that I could help.  The best part was when her son heard my voice and talked to me over the speaker phone.  I sure do miss those little voices and faces.

I still have children who have not turned in their kindergarten work this week.  I’ll give them some more time.  People don’t need additional pressure from me during this pandemic. I’m not even sure if everyone is in good health.  If I had to work from home with my young children, it would be nearly impossible. And on top of working, many people are now being asked to become their child’s teacher.  I can not even imagine how it is for the young parents right now.

I have heard from a few friends and acquaintances who have relatives with COVID-19.  Some have not been tested but are able to stay home and just let it run its course like a bad flu.  For others, they are not allowed to visit loved ones in the hospital and are asking for prayers.

We are doing our part by taking social distancing seriously.

In my house we have new turtle neck thingys that cover the mouth and nose.  We will wear them in public places.  Friday the CDC recommended that everyone wear a mask when around other people, especially I would imagine in grocery stores.

Our president reminded people this was voluntary and that he had no plans of wearing a mask. No comment.

The purpose of writing this post is like the meme going around on Facebook – to never forget.

To remember when life goes back to ‘normal’ to not take anything for granted.

But normal will be different after this.

We will be different.

I know my life changed when my husband died unexpectedly.  I took it for granted that I would have him to grow old with.  That his salary would be there to pay the bills.  That retiring together and traveling in a few years would be a given. And that we would witness our sons marry the loves of their life and enjoy years of watching our grandchildren grow.

I still have days where I am sad that Mike is no longer here. But then I wonder what he would think about Trump being the president and the worldwide pandemic.

When this is over we will be different, but let’s hope we can find ways to be different in a positive way.

We will remember spending time with our families and slowing down our pace in life.

We will remember the pause of boredom and what we did that kept us engaged: puzzles, reading, calling loved ones, board games, movies, meals and watching the news.

We will remember how important human connection.

And we will appreciate all we took for granted like giving and getting hugs, shopping without shortages, weddings, funerals and happy hours with friends.

We will smile at children going to school and playing on playgrounds.  We will find joy in those parades and concerts people gather together to watch. We will say a silent prayer of thanks when we see parking lots filled at churches.

Just some thoughts on week 3.  Off to take the dog for his first walk of the day.  Have a good weekend.



View posts by runawaywidow
At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.


  1. Kemp showed just how brillant he was by that comment. He has an approval rating of 39% for how is handling things here in Georgia if that tells you how pleased we are with him. This pandemic has changed our world forever but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. So many people have slowed down and are spending more time with their families. Hopefully, this will continue when this is all said and done.

    1. Yes,I have noticed more kids with their dads and now that we have nice weather, kids are riding their bikes since they don’t have a million places to go after school everyday. It is nice.

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