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You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 109: “My Coronavirus Story Part 4: The New Sort-of Kind-of Not-Quite Normal,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
The week after the office I worked at closed, the city of San Antonio went on lockdown. Thus, I had to adjust to not only working at home, but also to being at home nearly all of the time. I am a bit of a homebody, so being stuck at home wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was still annoying to not be able to go anywhere.
One of the first things I did was to designate the dinner table as my home office in a feeble effort to keep some division between my home and work life. For the most part, it worked fairly well, since my dining room table had not been getting much use anyway. The only problem that came up was that I quickly learned how uncomfortable it was to be sitting on my unpadded wooden dining room chairs for several hours. I eventually abandoned the dining room table for a cubbyhole in the apartment, which, while offering less desk space, did have an office chair that was much more comfortable to sit in.
Like most folks, I didn’t own any masks when the pandemic started hitting home. I figured that if nothing else, I would have to eventually go to the grocery store, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some masks and be a responsible member of the community. Additional motivation was provided by the fact that I have a few boxes checked off on my ‘if you catch this, you’re in deep trouble’ bingo card.
After doing some searching, I ordered some masks online from independent makers, but I needed something to tide me over while those got made and shipped. My first attempt was the ‘cut up an old t-shirt’ method. That ended up being a spectacular failure because I have a big head topped with a mass of thick curly hair. Even working with a size double-XL shirt, I was unable to get it completely around my 23 and a half inch melon. I’m also not the best with scissors, so there’s a pretty strong chance that I cut the pattern the wrong way. I eventually found a bandana from high school that worked until I bought a roll of shop towels and made my own with staples and rubber bands. Eventually the masks I ordered did arrive, and yes they did have animal prints on them.
Naturally, I have to mention the toilet paper thing. Holy cats, if I live to be a hundred years old I will never understand what the hey that business was all about. Fortunately for me, I live alone and my digestive system is fairly regular, so I don’t use too much, I don’t think. That said, I didn’t want to be caught off guard, so I started keeping track of how long certain things, like toilet paper, lasted. Originally, I was concerned with how long a roll of toilet paper, a bottle of hand soap, and a tank full of gasoline would last. Gasoline wouldn’t have come to mind, but San Antonio flipped its collective lid back in 2017 and caused a shortage after Hurricane Harvey out of self-induced hysteria. I was pleased to discover that a roll of toilet paper and a twelve-ounce bottle of hand soap each lasted about three weeks. I was also happy to discover I was getting two months to a tank of gas in my Honda CR-V because I was only driving to the grocery store. At one point I did have to hunt for toilet paper for a friend who was running low. Lucky for her, I was fortunate enough to find some and save the day.
A nice habit that I picked up during this time was walking to the nearby dollar store to pick up things in between my main grocery store trips. At first, the pleasant weather of late March and April made for some nice afternoon walks, but as the Texas summer started to do its thing, those trips got pushed further and further into the evening until eventually I would wait until after sundown to head out.
Of course, once I was done with work, I had to do something for entertainment, so I’ve been watching movies from my DVD and Blu-ray collection, and even picking up a few new ones to while the evenings away. I’ve actually been keeping track of what I’ve been watching, and I’m up to about eighty movies so far, not counting repeated viewings of Casino and Goodfellas. I’ve also gone through all the original cast Star Trek and the first series of Batman movies. I think I’ll try Star Wars next, but I’m not sure how far I want to go with those. I recently reactivated my NetFlix account and have enjoyed the new shows that my friends have been talking about, like BNA, Beastars, and Warrior Nun.
Except for going to the grocery store or to restaurants and fast food joints for take-out, I spend all my time at home. As I’m sure many of you will also attest, the days began to blur together. Weekends suddenly became meaningless, because there was nothing happening to look forward to. No comic cons, no camping trips, no local theme park visits, no casino trips, not even a trip to the mall. Instead, Saturdays and Sundays became the days that I didn’t sign into my work laptop…yippee.
And, as fate would have it, not long after I got settled into that new normal, it was thrown out of the window after I got laid off. If you’d like to hear the gory details, you can go back two episodes. Suddenly, instead of sitting at my work laptop hunting for trouble tickets to work on, the better part of my day was now filled with absolutely nothing!
This has been 300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz, the next episode will be posted after I mail back my work laptop. Subscribe via your favorite app, and visit Eduardo Soliz dot com for more wonderfully weird words written by me! As always, I thank you for listening!
Be Good, Take Care, and God Bless.