A Cracked Thermometer: My Tale of Social Distancing Gone Amok.

Source: BH Photo Video

And how’s your life going?

Everyone healthy still? No sniffles, sneezes, or coughs? Got plenty of toilet paper?

I must admit, the toilet paper hoarding amused me. It’s as if people were ready for a major attack of both Montezuma’s Revenge and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. “Emperor, meet General Tso!

We’re about as prepared here at Snakes in the Grass as we can be. It’s wholly different from preparing for a hurricane primarily because we know we’re staying put. With a hurricane, one still buys as many Twinkie boxes as possible, in spite of any embarrassment at the cashier line, all the while knowing that some of those boxes will later be packed in the car if you end up evacuating.

But at the moment we’re mostly in uncharted waters with COVID-19; nearly all of us are staying put in our homes. When they instruct that we shouldn’t even think of setting foot at a doctor’s office, or an emergency room, my mind begins to think about converting the guest bedroom into a mock-up of a MASH 4077 unit. To my knowledge, there are no runs on white lab coats.

Source: Depth of Field Magazine

In the last few days, we’ve managed to stock up at bit. We have some meat and poultry, fresh produce, and a bit of dairy too. I even bought my Fantasy Five lottery ticket in advance for seven days running. Gorgeous, however, consumes milk like I quaffed beer in my college days; so short of buying a cow to put out on our terrace, that alone could be our achilles heel as we attempt social distancing.

What we didn’t buy, because the shelves were completely devoid of them, were any OTC cold and flu medicines. The stash that we already have of Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc., in our own medicine cabinet will have to suffice.

We arrived home from the store satisfied that we had avoided serious crowds by going early. For at least the next several days, there is no reason to really go anywhere, save the mailbox and the garbage dumpsters in our condo development. Our gym is closed for the next two weeks, as are the law firms I service for my part-time job. As my mother used to say during the frigid Michigan winters of my youth, “We’re as snug in a bug in a rug

Which brings us to the thermometer episode.

Your humble blogger was satisfied that we were about as “prepared” as we can be. But in an effort to be cautious, I decided that it might be a good idea to look one more time in that medicine cabinet, plus the spillover cache we have under the sink. Marie Kondo and Suze Orman could really gang up on us for the amount of money we spend on drug store items, and how we store them.

I’m using the royal we here.

Gorgeous is more than happy to to point her finger at me for being the medication aggregator in our home. Guilty as charged. I just find it comforting to know that in the unlikely event that I wake up at 3:00am with a sudden rash somewhere on my person, that I have an ointment at the ready in which to treat it. Ditto for heartburn pain, headaches, low-self-esteem, etc. You name the problem, and I’ve probably got an OTC to cover it. As a result, I wasn’t too concerned about not finding any NyQuil at the grocery store. We probably had something else, perhaps even with a current date.

In going through everything, however, I wasn’t sure about the condition of our thermometer. We had a trusty non-mercury glass thermometer which I’ve always liked because it doesn’t require batteries. You know, old school. I really liked that thermometer. Until I dropped it in the sink and its tip shattered.

Ugh. We had just been to the store too. All that social distancing successfully accomplished, and now it had to be repeated for a freakin’ thermometer.

Gorgeous was not pleased. Thermometers are important to have right now, especially since it’ll be the first thing we’re asked to provide in the event we that have to call our doctor. She grabbed her purse, mumbled something about needing more fruit anyway, and without looking at me was out the door before I could wail “I’m sorry!” for the fourth time.

She was gone for over an hour.

She had no thermometer when she returned. Publix was out, Walgreens and CVS were both out, and Target was out too. A quick check of Walmart online said that our local store was also out of stock. Amazon Prime had none available, and regular Amazon could get us one, but only by the end of April or early May.

In addition to toilet paper, people are also apparently buying thermometers. To paraphrase a good friend of mine who likes to complain about runs on snow shovels before big storms, “What happened to their previous thermometers?!” (Hi, D).

But your humble blogger, in addition to knowing how to break things, can also think outside the box. Question: what’s one pharmacy which no one ever goes to normally? Answer: a hospital pharmacy. I called up our local hospital, and lo and behold their pharmacy had a handful thermometers still in stock. I ran over there and quickly fetched one for us. I wasn’t thrilled with actually walking into a hospital right now, but I did succeed in getting one. It only, ahem, took way more social interactions with others than authorities are recommending at the moment.

I make light and joke. It’s sort of what we do here at Snakes in the Grass. To once again quote Emily Sailers, “You have to laugh, otherwise you’ll cry your eyes out.” According to WHO statistics as of this writing, some 207,000 people worldwide are now infected with COVID-19, with over 8,000 deaths. In the United States alone, 115 people have died. Two of my more eloquent blogger colleagues recently posted about getting through all of this, and I do recommend that you read them: Janis at Retirementally Challenged and Ally at The Spectacled Bean.

In the meantime, with our local gym now closed, I am earnestly doing my core stretches at home every other morning. Gorgeous had to forcefully remind me at least four times when she snapped the below picture to keep my legs in a down position, so as not to frighten away readers. Seriously, you should all thank her.

So keep your kitchens stocked as best you can. Make meals, but also order some carry-out occasionally so that local restaurants can somehow survive. This apparently is going to last a while.

And take my advice: careful with those thermometers.

Until next time…

54 thoughts on “A Cracked Thermometer: My Tale of Social Distancing Gone Amok.

  1. Okay, now I have to go in search of my thermometer. Like you, I have a veritable in-home pharmacy of over the counter cold and flu meds, plenty of Tylenol, but a thermometer??? I THINK there’s one in that cabinet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Made me laugh with this one. Thank you. I know we have a thermometer somewhere in the house and now that I have all the time in the world, I’ll look for it. Maybe tomorrow. Or the day thereafter. As for food stuffs and cold meds, we’re good. Stay safe, be well. And thanks for the shoutout on this post. Much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had my thermometer since college when I went in the hospital to have my wisdom teeth removed!! Yes, they put you in the hospital back then. Anyway, now that you mention it, I haven’t seen it in a while. Hmmm. Need to check on that. But hope we don’t need it. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We also keep a complete pharmacy for every bad event possible. Bee sting? We got it! Rash! We can take care of you. Perhaps for leprosy you are on your own. Unfortunately some aren’t from this decade but hey, beggars can’t be choosers! We have a couple of thermometers. I should find them. They may have street value. BTW the current hottest item here is guns. Gun sales are up by 30%, ammunition by 65%. Whoa! Waiting for homicides to go up with all that “together” time that no one can stand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, great. In addition to our inability to initially accept this crisis, we can once again show the world how much we Americans love our guns too. Shootings will help an already over-burdened emergency room system.

      Looks like your home is stocked like ours, Kate! I’d actually be happier with TWO thermometers, so at some point I’ll add to the one we have after we get through this. Can’t be too careful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As you know, Marty, it is never truly about The TP in any relationship.

    Very true on uncharted waters. You may have heard how Ibuprophen is a big no no if you suspect you have COVID – 19. Makes things worse.

    My husband and family completely social isolating ourselves since Sunday

    My husband and I could likely live for a year with our supplies, and we did have an earthquake kit all ready beforehand. Our concern is our daughters and their families with newborns, infant, small children. We keep extra supplies here for them, just in case, although we are not seeing each other for now. Only Facetime.

    I did read Janis and Ally’s great posts. I am interested how other people are living, since I learn new gems. Now I will tear the house apart for a thermometer we have somewhere. I think it was digital? Do I need batteries……Nice to hear from you and both you and Gorgeous, stay healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica, I did NOT know about ibuprofen and COVID-19. Oops. Many thanks for telling me. I’m on a restricted use of it anyway, so my normal go-to us always Tylenol. But I’ll need to read up on this — many thanks for the head’s up.

      I think it borders on tragic that grandparents are having to stay away from their grandkids because of this, but you’re taking the most prudent measures with keeping your distance. Yes, for now FaceTime is your answer.

      The thermometer I was able to get is a digital one. I had one a few years ago and didn’t like it because I think it failed after only like four months or something. So the wonderful glass one I broke did the trick, and I’m still going to try and replace it. Redundancy is always a good thing for certain household items — like TP for example! 🙂

      You guys stay safe and healthy too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me again, New info re Ibuprophen. Too much info to relay here and I don’t want to add links to a comment. Likely find it in CTV News “Fact check: Is taking ibuprofen risky for COVID-19 patients?” We are all getting inundated with “good” information, and you have your sources. Stay safe and healthy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, no worries, Erica! I did check that after our earlier back/forth and saw some of the revisions to the earlier warnings. For me it’s all moot because I shouldn’t take ibuprofen because of some sensitive stomach issues I have. So acetaminophen is my go-to. But it’s all good to keep on top of this right now. You get a gold star for coming back and clarifying. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I realized a few weeks ago that our thermometer was broken. Ordered one off amazon, and it should be here this weekend….but for now we’re doing the hands on fire
    Head thing and hoping for the best and that none of us feels warm

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never thought I would think this way but thanks to the awful flu I had last month, my cupboard is stocked with “fresh” Tylenol Cold & Flu and NeoCitran (as opposed to the expired meds it usually holds). And I am grateful. Since no one has immunity to this new virus, sooner or later we will all get it. I have a thermometer too, the kind that need a battery, and I haven’t used it in years. Uh oh…



    1. Oops, this comment of yours for some reason went into my SPAM folder, sorry!

      Yeah, I do fear you’re right in that in some form — hopefully mild — most or all of us will somehow get this virus. All we can do is be as careful as we can, and keep those medicine cabinets stocked up. The thermometer I got is digital, so at some point I’ll want a backup for it. I don’t trust them!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So, first I had to search high and low for the thermometer. I was so thrilled when I found it that I sat down to comment. But, then I got to thinking, what kind of battery does it use. Hmm, I don’t have a replacement battery and what are the odds this old one works. Now, I have to schedule an early morning visit to the store tomorrow in an attempt to avoid the crowds to secure a battery. I’m thinking my odds aren’t good since I’ve already looked at the big box store in the sky and they’re out a couple of weeks for delivery. We were hunkered down, and now I need a battery. Life in a pandemic – one small crisis after another. 🙂 Stay safe, and we’ll try to do the same.


    1. I know, right? Just when you think you’re okay, some smart ass blogger has to go and point out what you might be missing! When they came out with the digital thermometers for home use, I first thought how convenient they were; no more holding it up to the light and trying to read it (all the while having it lose the temperature you had). But after buying a crappy one a few years ago, I like the old fashioned glass ones better. When this is all over with, I’ll get one of those again. Thanks, Judy! You stay safe and healthy too.


  9. I’m pretty good at being a hermit…but now there’s a caveat, so I’m a bit worried…we’ll, more than a bit worried.
    I think I have a thermometer….somewhere.
    I keep remembering a sign on my doctors’ door…long before the virus. It said, “if you are sick, for the safety of all of our patients…please don’t come in.”
    Bwahahahaha! Seriously. It said that. 🥴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, Laurel, none of our doctors want to see us right now. I have a long-scheduled appointment at the end of this month with my doctor for my annual physical. I bet they’ll reschedule for something three or four months from now. 🙂

      Stay healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The good news is that I had an awful cold in early January (I know that this wouldn’t normally be classified as “good” news, but I am stocked up on some meds that we wouldn’t normally have around the house). The bad news is that, while sick, I discovered that our thermometer didn’t work anymore (I guess even the old fashion ones have a shelf life?). The virus wan’t a big deal back then (so we thought) so I put off buying a replacement. Stupid me. Now we can’t find one anywhere.

    Thanks for the shout out, Marty! I really appreciate it. Best to you and Gorgeous… stay healthy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If there’s a will, there’s a way, Janis! I bet you find one somewhere. I guess one could borrow an extra from a friend, though as I think about that it’d have to be a REALLY good friend that I like. 😉

      Be safe, both of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So far so good here, Marty!
    Here goes my saga of three thermometers: The first, an old fashioned mercury one from way back recently got chipped and needed to be responsibly discarded; the second, one of the first digital ones that has seen all three kiddos through childhood illnesses but I wondered if it was getting inaccurate (I tend to have a lower base temp so my ‘fever’ can be beginning at other people’s ‘normal’) so bought one of the newer non-mercury glass ones and it didn’t have the level of accuracy I desired – but enough to test against the questionable 30yr old digital.
    Whew – it tested accurate and we do have a functional digital thermometer in the house…complete with decades old slip-on tip covers!
    ps-thank Gorgeous for me about posing you for the photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your dry wit. So much like my brother’s. It’s a great way to see the world – yeah, life is serious, but fergodsake, if we don’t laugh at it, what’s the point? My guy is doing all of his exercises also on my yoga mat in the guest room. And he turns up the ’60s music full blast while I dance in the other room. We’re two “oldies but goodies,” for sure.
    I’m the opposite of you – our cabinets (including the medicine) are always close to empty. Refrigerator is day to day. Our daughter (40) calls and lectures me daily. But she lives 10 minutes away and has 3 young children. If I need a thermometer, I know where I can get one.

    Stay safe and healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Firstly, please bring your brother to St. Augustine. He and I should have a beer.

      Secondly, good on you guys for putting the best spin on this as possible. Gorgeous has been chafing at our gym being closed, and hasn’t enjoyed the aerobic walks in our condo development (full disclosure: I’ve been loving them). So my hats off to you two for figuring it all out so far. Keep it up.

      Thirdly, tell daughter to chill. Honestly, ten minutes? You/she/all of you are are fine. 🙂 Stay well, Pam!


  13. Thanks for the tip about the hospital pharmacy… I’m going to keep that one up my sleeve.

    I usually buy all of the essentials in bulk and well in advance, so we have a supply of TP – which is a good thing – up here in Northern Ontario, people think nothing of driving 2-3 hours to the nearest largish community in order to raid the shelves.

    And yes, I have a thermometer – must be 40 years old.

    I joked about the TP daftness online and a fellow I know from the neighboring community messaged me privately to offer TP if I need it. Now is that a wonderful gesture, or what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Canadians are tough. You guys can survive sub-freezing temps and two + hours for toilet paper. That’s IMPRESSIVE. And a neighbor who will just give it to you? Amazing.

      But, yeah, get a new thermometer, Maggie. Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy! 🙂 Stay healthy!


  14. “Snug as a bug in a rug!” My mom used to say that too. Hey, wait a minute, I think that she still does!
    Your thermometer episode sounds totally like something that I would do. Glad it is all resolved. You must admit…it made for a very entertaining blog post! 😀
    Big hugs to you and Gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hadn’t even thought of Nyquil!!! Checking Amazon right now. Am I part of the problem? I thought it would amuse you to know that I was “exposed” to 8 adds of the same woman doing a very dificult yoga pose. I guess it’s because your blog I health related. Stay well!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey Marty, It’s good to see that you haven’t lost your excellent health, good workout habits, and sense of humor. Yesterday, we returned home early from South America, as the airports were closing behind us. Before being allowed to board our flights, health workers checked our temperatures with a forehead thermometer. I hope it wasn’t broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, so glad to hear you are safe and back home, Joe. I had been wondering about you and one other blogger I follow. I’m sorry that your great adventure was interrupted. Hopefully you’ll be able to make your way back there to continue it again at some point. Be safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hehehe that’s great you’ve got one. We don’t stock them as we only service the hospital and not the public 😊
    Shortage of Salbutamol and Paracetamol over here. Especially the children’s formulation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My first call to the hospital pharmacy turned out to be the internal one that is apparently like the one you work in, Vy. They must get calls like mine all the time, and they quickly transferred me to the public one in their lobby. Wow, you’re low on some pretty important meds. I hope they are able to replenish soon. Be safe…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They’ve put in place restrictions now Marty. Only 1 of each per customer. Hopefully it will come back in soon. We don’t have a public one as it’s a tiny hospital. There’s a retail one just about 10-15 minutes walk down the road.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I bought one of those digital beeping ones when my daughter was born. She’s pregnant with her second child, so I sure hope it still works :O I may need to climb onto some steps to rummage in my “spare” drugs box (you don’t need to be a hypochondriac to have a bit of a build up – honest!) stuck up on top of the kitchen cabinets – except my newly operated upon knee may not be entirely safe for that yet. I must remember to ask Himself to use his great height when he gets home. His work is still categorised as “key” while I’m in full working-from-home mode. Frustratingly, just as my knee is getting better and I feel like getting out …

    Liked by 1 person

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