Covid-19 diary: Part 2

March 24, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 24, 2020

After about two hours of passing New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway electronic signs referring me to covid19.nj.gov, I was nearly at my parent’s home. I had given a lot of thought to how I was going to get out of my car and into the house safely in this pandemic.

I don’t display any of symptoms of Covid-19. Unfortunately, that seems to be true of many of the people who have been spreading the disease. Still, I could make an effort to avoid bringing in any coronavirus that I might have picked up during my rest stop.

I called ahead and, editing my to-do list on the fly, asked my Parental Unit to confine the dog and unlock the front door. After parking in the driveway around 10:30 p.m., I pocketed my phone, which was already powered down. When I got out of the car, I shouldered my duffel bag and my computer backpack and then walked inside.

No one greeted me. The first resident of the house I saw was Lucky, leashed to a piece of furniture in the living room. She silently stared at me as I paused on the landing.

My parent was upstairs; we exchanged verbal greetings as I went into what we still call grandma’s room, although my grandmother passed nine years ago.

I dropped my backpack near the entrance to the room. The duffel bag went by the far wall. I plunked the phone down on a piece of furniture. P.U. came to the door and we chatted briefly. Then I said something like, “Shoo. I’m going to take off my clothes and get in the shower.”

I stripped out of my shoes and clothing and set down my eyeglasses. The bathroom was next door; I stepped in and clumsily used my elbow to turn on the lights and ventilation fan.

No bath towels had been put out, but there were some in the closet, which is right next to the shower. Once I shut the water off, I opened up the closet. I groped around for a moment before realizing that I was likely to fall and hurt myself if I attempted to grab a towel while staying in the shower enclosure. I set a foot onto the bathmat and extracted a towel.

After drying off, I went into my bedroom to start dressing myself. Unfortunately, the bedroom that I use didn’t have many clothes in it, so I made some trips to my childhood bedroom to get, among other things, socks, underwear, a sweatshirt and shoes.

At some point, I went back into grandma’s room and pulled my laptop computer, tablet, a case containing a pair of eyeglasses and some papers from my backpack. I cleaned my phone with a sanitary wipe and used it on the bathroom’s panel of light switches, the bathroom faucet, some doorknobs and the case of sanitary wipes itself.

I’d made a good-faith effort to clean off or, in the case of the stuff I’d brought, isolate any potential viruses or germs. I went downstairs to greet the person and dog with whom I intended to stay for the next month, if not longer.

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