When this shelter-in-place began, my oldest son volunteered to do my shopping. I’d text him a list of what I needed and he’d pick it up along with his own groceries, and leave my supplies outside my door. And that worked well for the first week or so. But, recently, news would suggest that people his age, and especially smokers which he is, may be just as vulnerable to this virus as me – a healthy sixty-nine year old. So, I’ve decided to do my own shopping from now on. Once a month, if I can get my list organized that well. Early morning senior hours. Straight home to put my clothes directly into the washer on the hot water cycle, and get in the shower and wash my hair and every inch of my skin.
On one of my morning calls to my mom who, at ninety-one, lives alone about two and half hours up the coast from me, I told her of my new plan.
“Wear gloves and your mask,” she instructed.
“Well,” I said, “I would if I could, but since I have neither, I will just not touch my face and hurry home to wash everything when I’m done.”
Mom called two hours later.
“I sent you a package.”
“It’s just an old mask and a package of disposable gloves I’ve had for years.”
“Well, thank you.” I said. “Wait. How did you get that mailed without leaving your house?”
A long pause.
“I have to go now.” Her voice was firm. “The cat wants out.”
And I was holding a dead phone with tears in my eyes.