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.
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…