The Self-Isolation Diaries – Entry #1

Dear Diary,

Hey there Diary, how’ya been? It has been one hell of a long time hasn’t it?

I thought I’d start writing to you again in an attempt to get ‘unblocked’ if you will.

Yes ‘unblocked’ is the right word, because what I’m experiencing at the moment is a form of verbal/mental constipation.

In the past month or so I’ve sat down at the keyboard countless times intending to put my thoughts, feelings, and concerns over the current Covid-19 global pandemic into words.

Unfortunately up till now each time I sit down to put those thoughts into words I’m unable to quiet the cacophony in my head long enough to allow coherent sentences to emerge from the chaos.

There’s so much that I want to get out yet no matter how hard I try, it simply won’t come. I’m blocked you see, because the thoughts in my head; they swirl.

Needless to say Diary that for someone who has made his living with words for more than half of his adult life, this feels very frustrating. So I’m kinda counting on you to be my mental prune juice πŸ˜‰

Officially, today is day ‘who-the-fuck-knows?’ of my self-imposed isolation from everyone on planet earth. Well everyone except my wife of course. And yes I could probably figure out exactly how many days it has been if I took the time and thought about it, but seriously, other than to occupy twenty minutes of my day, what would be the point?

It started when it started, it’ll end when it ends. In the meantime the only thing I can control is how much risk I’m willing to be exposed to through my decisions and my actions.

And so I stay in self-imposed isolation.

I say “self-imposed isolation” but you know Diary that as a heart failure patient, for me it’s more an essential survival decision than an actual ‘choice’.

You saw this winter when I was bedridden for three days because of a common cold right? Crap. I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to even sit at the computer and slap together a decent post for Thursday Doors!

Or two years ago when the regular flu vaccine was less effective for the strain that was going around and I got hit with it? Ten days in bed feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. All the while monitoring my vitals and staying in regular touch with my heart failure clinic in case we needed to pull the trigger on hospitalization. Thankfully it never came to that.

Now throw a highly contagious new virus that no-one has any immunity to into the mix. A vaccine is probably many months away and in the meantime this fucker is killing people at a rate more or less three to five times higher than the regular flu.

Connect the dots from there to my chronic condition. Ask me how I’m doing.

Yes Diary that’s right, I’m not embarrassed to admit it: I’m fucking scared.

In fact the only time in my entire life I’ve felt more vulnerable was eight-and-a-half years ago waking up in the ICU. Tubes in every orifice. Intubated. A machine doing my breathing for me. Unable to speak. Unable to move.





For me with my condition if I get hit with Covid-19 it is quite possibly/ probably/ likely/ maybe/ perhaps-but-hopefully-not, ‘game-over’.

See what I meant about coherent sentences?

The thoughts, they swirl.

How long can the world go on like this?

People have to work and earn a living.

Children need to go to school.

How reasonable is it to keep asking everyone else to put their lives on ‘pause’ just to protect vulnerable people like me?

And on the flip-side, how can some people be so damn selfish!?

People hoarding toilet paper.

Countries hoarding protective gear.

What about a second wave of virus? Or a third, or fourth…or if this becomes seasonal.

How’s the research coming on a vaccine?

You know fifty-six really is too young to die.

The thoughts.Β They swirl.

I’m telling you Diary it’s not pretty inside my head at the best of times, but lately? Lately that little hamster has been running full-tilt with his tongue hanging out.

Deep breaths.

One day at a time.

Will we ever be able to travel again?

You selfish prick! People are dying and that’s your biggest worry?

Calm down dude.

Concentrate on what you CAN control.

What you’re feeling right now is only normal.

Practice gratitude. After all, many others have it so much worse.

Think positive – even if you do get it, it might NOT kill you.

Yeah, but I never liked playing Craps.

And with stakes like this I’m not interested in rolling those dice.

So until they have a vaccine everybody please: stay the hell away from me!

The thoughts.

They FUCKING swirl!

Don’t worry Diary. I’m finding lots of things to keep me constructively occupied and distracted, and I’m much calmer and more rational than this sounds – I promise πŸ™‚

And my wife, my rock, is taking extremely good care of me too. The look of deliberate determination in her eyes as she goes through her decontamination routine whenever she gets back from getting supplies? That says it all.

It says: “Not on MY watch!”

I am a lucky man.

We’re controlling what we CAN control and I KNOW I’m going to be fine.

As the rainbow signs that kids are putting up in the windows around here say: “Γ‡a va bien aller” – It’s going to be alright.

Thanks for listening Diary. I feel a lot better already πŸ™‚

So what about you? How’s your physical distancing or self-isolation going?


About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
This entry was posted in Opinions, Writing Challenges and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to The Self-Isolation Diaries – Entry #1

  1. A day at a time…I can’t look much further than that. I’ve been blessed to stay with my parents but it means I haven’t been home for 7 weeks and Hubby & I have a long-distance relationship again. lol It means 7 weeks without chiropractor visits, 7 weeks without certain painkillers so moving at a slower pace is good. Mom and I share home responsibilities. She does the grocery shopping. I find it hard to write or settle on anything. I have way too much time to think. Since I quit my job in October, there has been a new struggle every month. Also, I quit my job – the one I loved because of stupid people who I have to continue to minister alongside, so while I’ve left the job, I’m struggling to “leave” the job. I’m frustrated…but one day at a time, looking for the beauty and humour in the opera of the every day. Be safe, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My prayers are with you and your wife. I am so sorry for the real fear you are feeling. I love your honesty in this post. Writing it down is good therapy. Your words mirror mine in many parts. Please do stay safe. My grown son, my husband, and I have been inside our apartment for a month here in France. Looking out my window, I do get upset in seeing so many people blatantly ignoring the quarantine guidelines. Just out and about, socializing and all. My husband is an “at risk” person and I often feel scared. I’ve actually been locked-up writing wise and a little depressed (honestly speaking). But, have been trying to focus on the good; we are able to stay in and away from people safely. We didn’t horde, but we did buy canned goods and meat to freeze, so enough for a while. Not too much toilet paper, just enough. =) There will come a day soon when a trip to the store will be in order. I’ve got my mask and antiseptic gel ready. Again, thank you so much for sharing this and we’ll take it one day at a time together!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pegah M says:

    I liked your diary entry. I guess everyone can partly or completely relate to it. Hang in there. Γ‡a va bien aller.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pistachios says:

    This was actually quite refreshing to read, and it’s the kind of perspective that ought to be shared more. I hope this diary entry has successfully unblocked you – certainly seems like it has!
    Stay safe and all the best πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Margy says:

    “How reasonable is it to keep asking everyone else to put their lives on β€˜pause’ just to protect vulnerable people like me?” Precisely. As a parent and a grandparent, I will gladly take on the responsibility of keeping myself safe. In return, I want my family to go back to their lives – and try to recover from lost income, lost jobs and worry. I want them to start picking up the pieces and see what they can salvage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      I’m sorry but I cannot ‘Like’ this comment.
      I know your sentiments come from a genuine and justifiable concern for the financial well-being of your loved ones, but an attitude of “I’ll take responsibility for myself and just let everyone else worry about themselves” is NOT the Canada I want to live in.
      With that in mind perhaps we’ll just have to respectfully agree to disagree.
      My thought/question was just one of many, meant to express the whirlwind of conflicting thoughts that go through someone’s head during such trying times. It says I don’t want to die, but it also displays that I’m fully aware of the incredibly difficult, and ultimately unsustainable sacrifice that vulnerable people like myself require from your children and grand-children in order to keep us alive.
      I too want your family, and mine, to go back to their lives – everyone does, truly. But right now the best way to save the most lives is for everyone to stay on ‘pause’.
      How much longer? That’s still unknown, which of course only makes the stress and anxiety worse.
      But this is not the time to withdraw and push each other away. It is the time to roll up our sleeves and work together, from a safe distance of course πŸ˜‰
      Rallying together against a common enemy and taking care of each other in times of need: THAT is the Canadian way.
      Lost income, lost jobs, worry? Yes these are all terrible things, that cannot be minimized – but as hard as it can be to hear right now: these things are temporary and reversible.
      Death? That’s as permanent as it gets.
      I hope that your children and grand-children value YOUR life, and your presence in their lives, more than they mind this major but temporary disruption to theirs.
      And I know we’re all cheering for the scientists and researchers working on a treatment, or a vaccine that will allow us to return to some semblance of normality, hopefully much sooner rather than later.
      In the meantime be well and please stay safe out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As someone who is also doing self-isolation diaries (now in the 20-something day) this is nice to read. Stay well and wishing you all the best from the UK

    Liked by 2 people

  7. joey says:

    I told you I’d read what you could make of your thoughts, and here I am. My underlying condition is auto immune and therefore not as severe and here I am, the only one in my house who’s sick. And three weeks in, I’m still “experiencing mild symptoms” — but there were two days and a night where I really thought hospital machines would be inevitable. I was truly scared. Truly. My husband was scared, and that is almost as hard for me to write as it was for him to say it.
    You should be scared, I don’t care what the YOLO people say. I value your life and you deserve to live it fully.
    What must happen first is testing, to see who has it, who has had it. Tests? What for? Testing is not common, and when people do get tested, the results pend for far too long. Then we must see consistent treatment for the more vulnerable. Then we will have a vaccine. Then maybe we fucking prepare for the next pandemic instead of acting like we are somehow not as human as other humans who live on different lands.
    We can’t get to any of the reasonable prevention and treatment, because we’re stuck in the utter HORROR and LOSS of coping with the pandemic.
    Stay inside. Write more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      “Stay inside. Write more.” Yes that is the plan for the short to medium term, absolutely πŸ™‚
      When the dust settles and we get past the worst of this shit-show a lot of things will HAVE to change if we want to prevent this from happening again. Even in places like here where the numbers (so far) indicate it was handled ‘reasonably well’, lots of things could have been done better to save more lives. I guess we’ll see how much disruption and inconvenience we’ll be willing to tolerate collectively in order prepare for or prevent the next one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. DrJunieper says:

    Everyone already said a lot, so I’ll be brief. Am glad your diary made you feel better. I am a daily diary keeper, and the reason why I am relatively doing okay right now.. Also I occasionally read it, when I am not doing so well, to remind myself what all I was capable of tackling. Keep up your spirits. Hubs worked at at a coronary unit, so I know a little more than most. But you are still ALIVE, Norm, that’s a huge thing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dan Hen says:

    Take a deep breath . ( You’re probably okay if you can . ) We’ll be okay . Worrying made more people sick than need be and didn’t help a bit .
    Actually , I kind of like having an excuse for sitting around the house and puttering in the garden . I am concerned about going out to shop for groceries and am careful . Talked to a friend of mine in Seattle today who pointed out that since people are shopping only for necessities —– maybe we didn’t need all the other junk .
    Take care and watch a few movies , read a few books , write a couple of poems , fix that broken thing that you’ve been avoiding ( if you have the materials ) , learn to bake something that you’ve never baked before , make those phone calls to friends . We’ll all get through this eventually one way or another . Most of it is not in out hands .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Dan. All things considered we’re coping quite well and I have more than enough interests, hobbies, and chores to keep me busy πŸ™‚
      You’re right though, most of it is out of our hands…and so we control what we can and take it one day at a time. Cheers and stay safe my friend πŸ™‚


  10. At least I can give you one of these on here, a big huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuug from me and amore and bestia, your fan pack here in Tuscany!

    You and your Honey are doing the very best thing you can. Let’s take it a day at the time and the future will bring what it brings.

    For example, I should be hitting twenty (I mean, fifty) in May, but that is on hold too. The count is gotten away with. If everything is on hold, I certainly won’t be doing any ageing either. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for your candor. We are under shelter-in-place orders in our county in Calif. and taking it seriously. My husband is the one running all the necessary errands. My mom and I have made masks (just 2 pieces of cotton but better than nothing) for family and friends who either work in hospitals or have compromised immune systems. God bless you and keep you. Sending prayers your way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks for the kind words. California seems to be one of the states that took this threat seriously and imposed isolation measures early. So far it appears to be making a big difference in saving lives. Let’s hope that trend continues πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Linda Schaub says:

    Norm – we can’t put ourselves in your shoes, (or house slippers), but we can wish you the best and know you have someone there by your side ensuring the germs stay the hell away from you. Your fear is more than just a routine cold or the dreaded flu, for which you suffer even from those maladies, bringing you to your knees. I can only imagine your fear. It is the selfish people of the world, the hoarders, the idiots who descend into public parks or pick-up basketball games thinking they are invincible, especially the young ones. It is why Detroit has become such a hot spot – people not needing to go to work and chose instead to congregate and spread the germs to others.

    As a Canadian, living in America since 1966, I will tell you if it’s any consolation, be glad you have a responsible government who hopefully nipped the spread of the virus better than here. Here in Michigan, our “woman governor” inflamed the powers that be since she did not show appreciation for the federal government’s efforts and our healthcare workers were denied PPEs and had to wait for our emergency disaster declaration – much B.S.

    The blogosphere is a good diversion as this pandemic runs its course … the celebration today in Wuhan after 76 days of isolation will also be a welcome day for North America as well, hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks for the kind words Linda πŸ™‚
      In Canada it has been encouraging here to see all levels of government setting aside ideological differences and working together to save as many lives as possible. No bickering or finger-pointing about whose fault something is. Whenever someone raises an issue or problem here, leadership doesn’t deflect or lay blame elsewhere, they just roll up their sleeves and fix the problem. Sadly in the U.S. right now…not so much 😦
      Things will eventually get better but in the meantime stay safe out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You’re welcome Norm. Yes, it is extremely disheartening over here right now and today our Governor issued an extension of the Stay-Home/Stay-Safe Order until April 30th. Soon many comments on the news sites disparaged her for being a tyrant and having too much authority, in part because she did not open golf courses which people said was completely safe social distancing, nor did she permit landscaping or grass-cutting services, so people are livid. She wanted the Order to go to May 31st, but received a lot of pushback so left it like this for now. Yes, it will take awhile. Thank you, you do the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Amy says:

    You are right that it’ll end when it ends, but it so damn mentally draining in the meantime. Stay safe and healthy, Norm!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Norm Unplugged! You can use this as your new Diary moniker with my blessings. We mortals all face mortality someday but somehow we developed filters to hide this fear; this virus removed that filter and we are now staring at it straight on. A friend informed me of a terminal condition earlier this year but he received a short reprieve and time is the silver bullet of hope; when I sent him a recent note to see how he was doing I mentioned that he can have some comfort in knowing that he is no longer alone facing his mortality alone as we are now looking at ours, too. If anything, removing this filter should remind us that we all are in the same boat, some arriving earlier than others and if we all have this in common, why not make the trip more pleasant by practicing human kindness.

    I was surprised to learn of your health issues but that’s something we normally do not share in public; many of us have the disease of old age and some, other health issues, too, but having your past experience is cause to be scared. I share your fears as the virus can sneak up on anyone, anywhere and that is the fear that Franklin D. Roosevelt mentioned in his inaugural address, “Nothing to fear but fear itself.”

    Practicing social distancing will be a new behavior as we habitually practice it along with better hygienic applications but the wireless revolution has now found its niche by closing that distancing gap. We can see you without being there and observe your unplugged mind and feelings when the mind prune juice kicks in and not affect you with a virus except ones from those unkind hackers. So, take care and continue to speak your mind as that is part of the cure for isolation. Let’s start a new virus, the virus of human kindness and hope it spreads faster and farther than the coronavirus!

    Stay health and stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yes I do have a tendency to snap and go off the rails once in a while, but it’s mostly meant in harmless fun. Plus it felt good to vent.
      Among all of this uncertainty one thing is certain: the world is going to be a very different place once all of this settles.
      Take care and be safe my friend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Like others, I had a giggle at your “mental prune juice” quip.

    Thanks for sharing your inner world- be safe!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Ally Bean says:

    I’m with you there on today is day β€˜who-the-fuck-knows?’ day. I find it odd that I don’t know which day of the week it is, but I’m comfortable in not knowing, which is equally odd. This virus has messed with everyone’s sense of reality, but is worse, I believe, for anyone with your medical history. I can understand your fears and hope that by writing in your Diary you feel a bit less anxious. Stay safe, be well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Ally. Venting certainly helps and manual tasks are working to keep the mind focused whenever the thoughts start to swirl. All things considered, we’re doing pretty well and I’m planning to do what I can for it to stay that way.
      You stay safe as well πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Dan Antion says:

    All I can offer is a hearty (no pun intended) hang in there, Norm. I do think this will pass. I’m doing my best not to become a hoarder, even if it means going into the grocery store more often. That feels a little like playing Russian Roulette, but if we take our share of this week’s supply, maybe there will be more next week.

    The news looks a little better today than it has for weeks. I don’t know how much joy to find there, but it’s better than worsening news.

    Stay safe. You’re protecting you, and we all want you in our lives. Therefore, your job is pretty important. Selfishly, I want you to be able to travel again, because I won’t be traveling much and I want to see the doors and other beautiful things you find.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you so much for the kinds words Dan. Yes based on the latest news we should be turning the corner soon; I sure hope so. I’m finding that keeping busy with manual tasks helps keep the brain distracted,
      It sounds like you’re doing a great job of taking care of yourselves too. Stay safe my friend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I know; scary. My lungs are not what they could have been. My immune system could have been better. I don’t want to be scared. I need to do things, face this thing. I want to read and think it through. Stay safe. Stay engaged.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. eswini says:

    Same here, Norm. Like you, I oscillate between horror, hopelessness, finding small comforts, wondering if that’s selfish, and going back through the whole cycle again. I woke up this morning missing all this and now I’m already thinking you what?

    Liked by 2 people

  20. About like yours Norm. Damn scary.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. amoralegria says:

    I’m adding my sympathy and empathy to all the comments from other readers! We are actually lucky to live in a senior community, where we haven’t had any cases of covid-19 so far. We order our meals every day and they deliver it to our door. We can walk around campus, which is the opportunity to enjoy the signs of spring, see neighbors and friends (but keeping our distance!), and track the life cycle of our swans – after watching them mate – that was an interesting treat! Now they have two eggs and she will probably lay more. They’re fluffing up their nest with more sticks and grass. I’ve been learning how to use Zoom and have had some virtual meetings with church members and my writing group.

    Both my husband and I have risk factors – we’re both over 65 and both have heart problems – mine is congestive heart failure and his is angina and blockage of arteries – he had quadruple bypass surgery last year and is also a cancer survivor.

    I worry most about our kids – our daughter still has to go to work half time (she alternates going in with her assistant), and she takes public transportation! So she won’t let us come near her! She does wear a scarf over her face. Even so, she and her husband (who’s working from home) love to cook and have brought us home-cooked meals on Sundays. Our son is another story – he is a smoker and doesn’t take care of his health. Until last week he was still getting together with his girlfriend and another friend. He is sort of an introvert and spends lots of time alone anyway, but now that he HAS to, it is freaking him out!

    I think your journaling is a good way to express your frustrations. We feel them too, and have such an inept president who has no idea how to handle a crisis, so of course the U.S. is Number One in the world in number of coronavirus cases!!! You’re lucky, at least, to live in Canada!

    Keep up the good work!!! I wish you and your wife continued good health and safety.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. We need to read more diary entries like yours, your words remind us that we’re not alone with our swirling thoughts and WTF exclamations…what are we up to on the West Coast? We shop once a week and are very grateful if we find the items/food we need, grateful for the line-ups and social-distancing and I’m grateful there are some words I can cobble together for connection and hope. As a cancer survivor, each time I go out there, I feel like it’s a crap shoot but as long as I have my “kryptonite” (my small bottle of sanitizer), I’m good to go!
    I’m glad you’re taking care and that you are so tenderly looked after – I’m looking forward to reading more, Norm!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. JT Twissel says:

    We go to the grocery every week and that’s it. I just went this morning and between all the safety measures, it took 2.5 hours during which I probably spend 15 minutes pushing a grocery cart. We’ve been social isolating for almost 4 weeks here in the SF Bay area. The Silicon Valley (because of all the info exchange between China and the high tech firms) had one of the first outbreaks on the West Coast and the local officials immediately shut everything down). It’s hard to think beyond numbers but I try to focus on all the home improvement plans I have. Take good care of yourself. Continue writing in your journal – that’s a positive way to let out frustrations!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Jan. It felt good to vent, but honestly I can’t complain. All things considered we’re doing okay. It’s the ‘what comes after’ part that’s the big unknown.
      Stay safe πŸ™‚


  24. Mental prune juice? πŸ™‚ Love that phrase. I’m glad to read you (and your wife) are taking such good precautions because we’d love to have you around for many, many more years. As for our self-isolation, we moved our moving date forward by almost three weeks to get moved a week or so before the end of March, a hectic but good choice on our part. Since our house and garage are filled with boxes and bins, there’s plenty to keep us occupied, or me at least, since my husband is working from home as always. That working from home thing’s been a blessing in many ways. Now that we’re in Arizona, he can get out every day and ride his bicycle, which is good for him (and me!) and I walk every other morning. We can sit out on the back patio in the evening and relax, which is also lovely.

    Because the prediction is that this week is going to be a bad one, I’m planning not to go out for groceries until next week and then with a mask. My list grows longer each day, but so far nothing vital. We stocked up on prescriptions and vitamins before things worsened, so we should be in good shape. We’re not visiting my parents (91 and 90), who are a big part of the reason we moved, but that’s for their protection and they understand. Thank goodness for online resources to be checked out from the library!! That keeps me from having to go through all those boxes of books in the garage right now.

    Stay well, my friend!


    Liked by 2 people

  25. Aimer Boyz says:

    Your swirling thoughts echo mine, echo everyone’s πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Oh Norm my thoughts are with you. It is such a frightening time. I’m worrying about my hubby he has high blood pressure and smoked for years. Youngest has asthma. While ago I was getting chest pains not sure if it was stress or something else. It’s hard to believe this is happening. Keep well Norm. x

    Liked by 2 people

  27. As a supremely lazy and anti-social person, I’m handling the isolation just fine. I was a little worried when hubby got a leave from work awhile after I did, but we haven’t killed each other yet so I think we’ll be just fine. (He got leave because I’m immunocompromised and we didn’t want him bringing the virus home to me.) Anyway, he has lots of household projects that he hadn’t been able to get to while working full-time, and I have lots of things I can do to keep out of his way. Like many other bloggers, I started a weekly series of my own which is essentially a diary of what it’s like to be furloughed and stuck at home if you’re someone like me. Somehow we’ll all get through this. Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy, Norm,

    Liked by 4 people

  28. I loved how easy and pleasing this was to read, very well written. And many of your thoughts feel familiar. I don’t even know where to start, so I won’t. Let’s just say I agree. Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Colline says:

    You just need to focus on doing what you can control Norm and – like you say – trust that it is going to be okay.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. marianallen says:

    I’m usually more happy than not to be isolated, especially semi-isolated with my husband. But DAMN it’s hard to see our #1 Daughter putting groceries in our vestibule and not be able to go out and talk to her or hug her. Hard not to be able to visit with any of the kids, hard to not go to the monthly lunches in memory of my late best friend, hard to not go to Charlie’s monthly brothers-and-sisters-and-spouses lunches, hard to miss my book club ladies and my writers group compatriots and my grocery pals. I didn’t realize just how social I WAS until I WASN’T. Still, I listen to this advice:

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Although my husband and I don’t have any underlying conditions (that we know of) other than the condition of being over 60, we are feeling the swirl also. I’m glad to know that you are staying well and that your wife is taking measures to ensure that will continue for the both of you. Home definitely is where the heart is… stay there πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  32. John Hric says:

    It’s a real bitch to be locked between our ears with nothing but our fears. I do find it helps to use the bright colored crayons when making diary entries and a small glass of scotch to lubricate the crayon points so they don’t ignite the diary when they dash across the page. Speaking of bright that rainbow gives a whole new look to the yard. Leave the diary open when not in use. From time to time the door to sanity occasionally appears there. Stay safe and walk that line for healthy.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Joanne Sisco says:

    I understand the ‘swirl’. It’s more like a whirlpool. I was caught in the middle of one for most of last night. Today I feel a little worse for it, and having just come back from getting groceries, my anxiety level is back up to DEFCON 2.

    But as you say, it’ll end when it ends, and we can only jealously guard our health in the meantime.
    Be well, my friend, and many hugs to your delightful wife πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thank you Joanne. I’m getting better at distracting myself from my own mind. Whenever my thought tangents start going all irrational on me I find that doing something with my hands helps: fixing something, repotting my seedlings, stuff like that.
      Louise sends hugs right back πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Lynn says:

    Oh Norm, I love the spin you have put on this. I hope that in some way, it helped to just get all of those thoughts out. They may feel very swirly in your head but they all made perfect sense to me.

    Please continue to self isolate in order to keep yourself well. We would like you stay around for a bit!❀️

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Sheree says:

    Stay home, stay safe Norm

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I have been allergies, but not the virus. We have a stay at home order in our state and county. Our county has about 46 cases so far. But I’m doing okay. I hope this all ends soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. First off, thanks for posting and keeping your sense of humor. Second, I’m so brain dead from the entire thing, that I signed in on the wrong account. πŸ™‚ But, back to the subject matter. The endangered species list your on also includes my husband. So, I’ve been the Lone Ranger shopper for the family and trying to make sure he stays as safe as Mrs. Norm is trying to keep you. We’ve stayed home for 23 days now, but who’s counting, right. You and I are. That loop in my head gets stuck on those refrigerated trailers holding bodies in NYC to the fear of what is ahead. I washed windows this morning. I wish I could wash my mind. Keep journaling. We all need it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Be safe my friend, be calm, breathe and feel lucky that you can. We can’t control it, at the moment -to a point- we are controlled and we have to accept it and make the best out of it. Laugh every day -make it a mission. Every morning -that’s an order. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I totally get your ‘swirl’. As Anne Fraser said ‘hang in there, we are all rooting for you’.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Tara says:

    Yay for Mrs. F! Thatsa nice. Seeing younger and generally healthy people struggle for weeks if they get sick, fear not — we’re protecting vulnerable people, but we’re also protecting ourselves! This virus seems particularly vicious and even healthier people don’t want to get it! Life needed a pause, apparently, and the world will hopefully emerge better from this (reorganized priorities and all). The least we can do is take care of each other. Anything else would be icing on the cake. Stay well, Norm and Mrs. F!

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Corina says:

    We’ve got to just hold on through this. I haven’t left my daughter’s house since the end of February. I’m diabetic and an asthmatic so I’m not taking any chances. I know a lot about how you’re feeling. Hoping and praying well both get through this!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Anne Fraser says:

    Hang in there. We are all rooting for you. I am finding it difficult to write as well. When I do I won’t be as eloquent as you. I find the hardest part is the lack of conversation. I miss the few words with a shop keeper or neighbour. We feel our life is on hold for a few weeks or months. We are luckier than most I live with my husband, daughter and two cats, we are financially stable and have a garden. It has made me realise how many of my friends, family and neighbours are over seventy or have underlying health conditions.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. It’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to have all these thought. You’re human. And please stay human, we want you around for a long, long time ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  44. quiall says:

    I understand Norm. I really do. I too am on the ‘you could die too easily’ list so I am scared. Emotionally I am overwhelmed. I am scared and sad and angry and . . . A cesspool of emotion. I know we will get through this but I am also impatient.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Bryntin says:

    Stay safe Norm, sounds like Mrs Norm is switched on and doing it well. Mrs Bryntin is the same, I’m in the more vulnerable category with MS, so she’s doing the foraging, making me wash my hands for no discernible reason whatsoever and threatening to tie me down if I scratch my nose… It’s all done with love and care apparently.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Our thoughts are with you, Norm.
    I’m doing my bit seeing not so ill patients in primary care. Problem shared is a problem halved and by the time all your followers have read this, it will be much lower. Courage, Mon brave

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Thank you Norm, for sharing your inner monologue with your readers. It helps to remind others what’s at stake here. It’s for people like you that I stay inside and practice social distancing (now with mask!) when I do go out. Although, according to my kids, I am in the vulnerable group (over 60, on BP medication, had 2 mini-strokes). And I guess I am. But all ages and all stages (of health) are dying from this too, so we’re all in the vulnerable group or know someone who is. Happy to stay in for you and me, and everyone else.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Not sure what happened Deb but I just fished this comment out of my spam :-\
      The most frustrating thing I find is the deliberately/defiantly ignorant ones who refuse to acknowledge the real dangers of this thing.
      They’re all angry and want to go back to work? Okay, let’s put them to work in hospitals as nursing aides and cleaning staff. Let them see first-hand the carnage this thing is causing. Unfortunately, that won’t work because it means they’d be exposed and infected themselves and then go home and spread it to others, but still…grrr!

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Fred Bailey says:

    As I often say in my own blog, “It is not the fear of dying so much as the fear of not living.”
    From another wobbly heart guy. Hang in there!

    Liked by 4 people

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