Week 5 – Must Wear a Mask this Spring

As of today in New York, we must wear a mask on public transportation, at grocery stores and if you can not assure social distancing, 6 feet, between people.

Schools are still closed, and we have been told will be closed until at least May 15.  Our school year was scheduled to end on June 26th.

Over 2 million confirmed cases in the world today and quite a few right here in my town.  My son told me yesterday that 1 in every 100 people in this area have coronavirus.

Most people seem to have accepted that we will work from home and practice social distancing until it is safe.  But when will it be safe to go out?  In 12-18 months when a vaccine is found, or sooner?

Some people are protesting the stay-at-home orders and want to get out and work and enjoy the freedoms we have always enjoyed.  When will that be possible?

Well, my week was pretty quiet.  I have mostly finished putting pictures on the walls after the home renovation.  We had soil delivered last week and my son and his friend spent a day distributing the soil around the garden beds.

We put together a raised box for planting herbs and peppers this summer.

I did some weeding and yard clean up around the beds.  I am looking forward to spending time making the gardens look nice this year.

One day we took the dog for a walk at a town park, that had been closed, then reopened.  It was not crowded at all.  About half the people we passed outside on the path were wearing masks.  Instead of smiling faces, we cautiously glanced at one another to ascertain whether we thought that individual may be a carrier. No one said hello, and we gave each other space.  It was an odd feeling.

The colorful tulips and daffodils were beautiful and more will be opening soon.

The basketball hoop was removed from the court at the beach.  The playground is still covered in caution tape.

The golf course was closed this week.  I don’t think people get that close to each other playing golf, but it was closed.

Yesterday I decided it was time to get some food and since I had a rebate check from Costco we would take a drive over to the big warehouse store.

As we pulled up we saw masked people standing with carts, 6 feet apart, looped around the parking lot.  I asked one shopper we passed how long the wait was and she told us it was 2 hours.  We decided to try another Costco store.

At the second store we asked the man by the entrance if I could just go to the customer service desk and cash my $500 rebate check.  He said yes, so I hopped out (after putting on my gloves and mask), left my purse in the car and rushed into the store.

Then I stood on line for over 20 minutes breathing shallowly through my mask, listening to the sounds of silence and waiting to hear a cough or sneeze.  Only one woman was working the desk and she even left the line to sign up a new member and take her picture. Seriously??  The waiting was getting to me.

When it was finally my turn I showed her my rebate check, and she told me I needed to go to the cashier.  I pointed to the registers that did not have any lines, “over there?” I asked.

Well, on my way to the register, I just happened to take a quick detour to the meat section where I grabbed as much as I could carry back to the register.  I used my check and received cash back and some food like I had wanted to begin with.  I didn’t get caught and got out as quick as I could.

Of course, once I got home we sprayed and wiped the packages with Lysol.  Then I changed clothes, put all I was wearing in the wash and took a shower.  Is that necessary? Who knows.

That was the first time I went shopping with the mask on.  Everyone had a mask and they were limiting the number of people in the store.  It was well stocked and people were getting TP and paper towels as well as water and food. It was a bit freaky with everyone walking around in masks and very quiet.  I will let my son continue to do the shopping for us.  He is super cautious and plans to go out only once a week.

As for teaching, I am in contact with most of the families in my class.  They send me photos of their children and photos of some of the work they have done.  I read stories and post the videos on our Google classroom. I communicate with other teachers daily on line and we are planning work for next week and the weeks to come.

This past week our school focus was to support social and emotional health with mindfulness activities and exercises to understand our feelings.  Stories and activities were designed with emotional wellness as a goal.  I sure do miss teaching these kids and I can only imagine how hard it is for families where mom and dad are trying to work at home with children who need to continue school work at home.  Such a challenge!

Reflections on this week: Getting outside is so important for my mental health.  After walking through the park with all the flowers blooming in the Spring, I realized, like I did when I became a widow after the death of my husband, that no matter how bad it is, life does go on.  Just like it did yesterday and last year, it will continue tomorrow and next year.  Mom always said “this too shall pass” when things got tough and it will.  But instead of focusing on how bad it is, maybe look for the silver lining.

What is something positive that has come from this unexpected time at home? Something to think about.

Here are some Spring flowers from my walk. Enjoy.




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. I’ve recently found your blog and I’m enjoying it. I also lost my husband unexpectedly and my journey has been filled with many stumbles and many successes. The silver lining I’ve discovered, as a dating and relationship coach, is what a great time this quarantine time is to date because people think they have to stop. I know it’s the perfect time to clarify what you need and want and to meet new people virtually. Delaying when we can meet in person is helping them get to know each other better without being concerned about the pressure of getting physical too soon. A wonderful benefit.

    1. That is so interesting. I hope that is helpful to people who are looking to meet other people. It cuts back on all the nonsense people have to deal with I am sure.

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