Tuesday, March 10, 2020


"I'm not panicked about the quarantine.  I'm panicked about the panic of the quarantine." 

That's what my sister texted earlier this evening after we both returned, in towns 68 miles apart, from the grocery store.

I had decided to stop into the supermarket on the way home from work today.  I was in need of cat food and thought it might be a good idea to pick up a few extra rolls of toilet paper and perhaps extra eggs.  I spoke with Jeen just before I entered the store.

"Toilet paper.  Hmmm, that's probably a good idea," she replied.  "I think I should go to the store and pick up some toilet paper.  And meatballs.  If we're going to be stuck at home we're going to need meatball subs."

Grabbing a cart I strolled through the produce section.  Raspberries, blackberries, and bananas were placed carefully in my cart.  A bag of spinach was thrown in before I made my way to grab some eggs.  Making my way toward the cat food aisle I felt a buzz on my watch alerting me to a text message.

There were 6 new messages- all of them from a group chat of my grade level team. 

A whole lot of things were being said but every text centered around the seemingly imminent closing of school sometime soon.  Each person in the group had a different piece of information to share--possible closings for a day so teachers can prep online learning-- iPads being sent home with younger students so they can be sure they connect to home wifi--other counties already making the call--

Every text meant more food in my cart.  Finally, I found myself in the frozen food aisle making a call to my sister. 

"What kind of meatballs should I buy?"

I'm not worried about getting sick.  I am not in a panic, but for about 30 minutes I was definitely in a bit of a panic over the panic that is sure to build in the next week.


  1. Oh I can feel the tension in your writing. And you state your own thinking so well throughout... it actually provides a little bit of reassurance. Hard to write about much else right now. Be well.

  2. It's hard not to try to imagine what might happen. The line "Every text meant more food in my cart." really struck me. There's so much talk and information flying around that it's hard to know what's real and what's hype or simply misinformation. My sister works in a school district that has closed until mid-March. So far there are no cases in my state, but it's only a matter of time.

  3. Oh boy, you're right about that. I was at the grocery store and it was eerie to see the empty shelves of paper towels and toilet paper.

  4. Yes. This is unprecedented. It’s hard not to be a little rattled.

  5. I love how you deal with this panic as you go through the grocery store and add more food as the texting gets more intense. I, today was panicked over the panic and received too many texts telling of school closings. Nothing like grocery shopping to ease that anxiety. I do need to buy more cat litter tomorrow.

  6. Why the toilet paper though? I envision it being used, a roll at a time, to barter with neighbors for other items of equal import once the supply line has dribbled to a halt.