My Quarantine Diary, Part 1

Like the rest of you (I hope), I’ve been staying at home for the last seven weeks or so.

diary girl hand journal

Photo by Pixabay on

I’m not getting much work done, but I’ve been tweeting a lot, and I realized today that many of these tweets–particularly the poems I write–read like diary entries. Looking back at the last several weeks of tweets, I can see the story of my quarantine. Maybe some of these episodes will remind you of yours?

I’d love it if you commented with a poem about your own quarantine, thus far.

The last “normal” day:

I’m trying to stay chipper in the face of the news. The rain here in L.A. held off till I finished my outstanding run/workout in the park. And now the much-needed rain is here! I received a job lead. We had a great time at the Getty yesterday on Shushan Purim. Baruch Hashem.

Mar 16

Things feel relatively mostly normal at the moment. The usual musings of “How do writers who write so well punctuate so badly?” and “Oooh, this is so much better if I switch that hyphen to a semicolon!” #editing

Mar 18

My tiny home is

full of humans but I long

for an hour alone.

My last run:

Running this quiet

morning, forgot till passing

neighbors at 6 feet.

Mar 18

Snapped at kids twice. I

am so tired–slept well

but think all day long.

Mar 18

Thing I learned about myself today: I need to #sing, loud. Got in the car w/husband for 30 min to park where there’s a view and sang to the radio, very loud. I feel human again.

Mar 18

Past ten. Three of my

kids still chatter. Will I bribe

them to wake at eight?

Mar 19

Five family mem-

bers vote the youngest kid off

our tiny island.

Mar 20

Challah dough rises

in kitchen. Children slow to

rise from their warm beds.

Mar 22

Married twenty years.

What blessing! (Even without our

scheduled getaway.)

Mar 22

For the 1st time in years, I want to buy flour 2 wks before turning over my kitchen for Pesach, & there’s still no flour in the store. I will hold onto my last 3-ish cups so I can make a home-made challah for next Shabbos (store-bought I can find plenty). No baking fun w/kids.

Mar 24

I have never loved Costco before like I loved it today. Also, I don’t remember so happily waiting in a line for 45 minutes to get in someplace since the last time I attended a movie on opening day, over 20 years ago.

(later that day)

2 haiku:

Hello Costco. Thanks

for bread, TP, and walnuts and

social distancing.


Seeing full shelves of food

soothed my fearful heart. Feel

calmer already.

Mar 25

Wore bandana at

kosher store today. Worth it–

I scored marshmallows!

Mar 26

Youngest resists sleep,

would rather critique big

brothers’ dish-washing.

Mar 26

Power went out–thank

God school sessions were done for

the day already.

Mar 27

Home smells like #Shabbos.

So grateful we’re #SafeAtHome.

Tonight, l’chaim!

Mar 28

Former carpool parent of two of my kids reportedly in bad shape due to Covid-19. He’s about my husband’s age. Very shaken up this Motzaei Shabbos. Otherwise, very refreshed by a cozy Shabbos w/just my family, totally at home.

Mar 29

Not a haiku, but a poem:

Today, the husband of my daughter’s

Pre-1A teacher died.

My daughter is 12 now &

telling her is not urgent.

I haven’t decided to when to tell her or

if I should tell her at all.

She hardly remembers that teacher;

in fact it was a hard year.

But I cried.

Mar 31

I used to hate the smell of ammonia, but the combo of coronavirus and Pesach coming is turning into a scent I adore.

(I also keep thinking about how apparently they used to sell “ammonia cokes” at drugstore counters in Baltimore in the ’50s and ’60s according to my mom.)

Mar 31

Today’s #haiku for #coronavirus: SMALL PLEASURES

Spoke with my sister.

Zoomed with a good friend alone at

home. Walked with husband.

Mar 31

Haiku: Chat w/My 10-year-old During “School”


No, your brother is

not stupid because he can’t

attach video.

Mar 31

It is a strange state of events when people’s posts about how they have most of their #Passover cleaning done &/or are already cooking #Pesach food reassure me rather than annoy.

Apr 1

This morning’s #haiku for #coronavirus: MORNING PERSON BLUES


Everyone else is

still sleeping, and I want to

work out. Must I wait?



Apr 1

I woke up this morning contemplating how different this quarantine/social distancing experience would be if it had happened 25 or 30 years ago.

Hardly anyone had cell phones.

Many people were still paying big bucks for long-distance calls.

No Zoom.

No streaming.

No ebooks.

Apr 1

Aaaand I just got a rejection letter on a full request.

Yup. Definitely a “workout to Alice in Chains” morning.

Apr 4

On Shabbos, we prayed

& played boardgames at home &

coped with three tantrums.

Apr 4

My 12-year-old, want-

ing to sit outside and read,

cried when I said, “No.”

Apr 5

As tempting as it is to hang out here in my (finally) quiet home, I must sleep in order to spend all day tomorrow turning over the kitchen.


Apr 5

Since we aren’t having any guests for yom tov, it will be our first seder in many years without my husband’s extended family. Thus, it’s the first time in many years I won’t have someone who actually left Egypt at our seder table.

Apr 6

Attended my first Zoom bris. Many happy tears shed. Mazal tov to my cousins.

Apr 7

Plenty dessert for

#Pesach. Matzah, grape juice too.

Who needs other food?

Apr 8


A #poem for #Passover2020


Our apartment smells of meatballs, &

my daughters wear new, matching dresses.

The menfolk sport freshly trimmed hair

with their old suits.

There will be no guests

but plenty of love



a few giggles.


Chag sameach!

Apr 8

My husband and daughter are singing “Echad MiYodeya” in the kitchen as they dry dishes. It’s getting super Pesach-y around here. Just an hour and a half till candlelighting!

Apr 11

A #haiku for #Pesach during #coronavirus-related social distancing.


Our seders had no

guests but went longer. No frills

but many thrills. Joy!


(Also, Kid #1 & Kid #3 had a full-on machlokes l’shem shamayim on Night #1. Wowza.)

Apr 13

a #haiku for #coronavirus: IRONY


Today will be zoo

day. We’ll admire other con-

fined creatures remotely.

Apr 13

The joy my 10 y o expressed

just now

upon finding an overlooked bag of Pesadik Bissli

on the


shelf of the Pesach cabinet

was so genuine

and so pure.

Apr 19

I have turned into a person who checks obituaries daily. I just got furloughed from one of my editing jobs (the  consistent one). I don’t have the privacy or headspace to write under quarantine (we are a family of six in a tiny apartment). I’m not sure I recognize myself anymore.

Apr 21

One of my writing students just got engaged to one of my first grade students from nearly two decades ago, and I am floating on a cloud (when I’m not running through the apartment shrieking from joy)! ❤

Apr 22

Does sleeping through last night’s earthquake make me more Californian, or less? #losangeles

Apr 22

Inspired by my kids yesterday, I wrote a letter to my MIL in Hebrew today. (My Hebrew spelling & conjugation are awful.) In it, I confessed, “I write Hebrew like a little girl.”


My daughter, aged 12, upon me telling her of my confession.


“Yes. Yes, you do.”

Apr 23

Today’s #haiku for #coronavirus times:


My career might be

on hiatus, but at least I

have time for #chessed.

Apr 23

I avoided news all day…and then made the mistake of clicking on something and now my rage is so potent I might not be able to sleep for another hour. Grrr…

Apr 24

2 #haiku for #TweetYourShabbat


Challah baking and

chummus smooth. Potato starch

brownies next. Save flour!


Chickens for roasting

might need to thaw more. Good thing

#Shabbat’s coming “late.”

Apr 24

God works in mysterious ways. We often get ice cream for #roshchodesh. I didn’t plan on snagging any today b/c of quarantine even tho. it’s HOT here in L.A.

My lovely Filipina neighbor just dropped ice cream w/a hechsher at our door. It’s not a big thing, but it’s a BIG thing.

Apr 26

A #haiku for #Sunday:

Laundry sprayed and sort-

ed. Dishes come next. Shabbat

seems so far away.

10 thoughts on “My Quarantine Diary, Part 1

  1. You don’t often listen to Alice in Chains, do you?

    My quarantine diary is both more dramatic and less dramatic. I returned to work last week, though, being a defense contractor.

    Book sales were…disappointing. I expected them to be better, since everyone’s at home, right? Can a pirate-hunting kid compete with Netflix?

    More to say – a lot more, later, bli neder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alice in Chains is the music I listen to when I’m angry and cynical and in that kind of blue mood where efforts to cheer me up making me angry instead of cheerful. B”H, I have been working out to a nice mix with Nissim Black and A-Wa and Benny Friedman and all sorts of wholesome stuff lately. 😉

      Looking forward to hear what else you have to say.


  2. I love this. How do I get onto this wordpress so I can comment on it. Every word tells so much about you, and your family and what’s important to you. It’s beauty unfolding – brought me to tears but also made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mazal tov on your anniversary! I’m glad you seem to be coping OK with quarantine. To be honest, much of my social life happened online even before coronavirus, as did job hunting (I’ve been unemployed for most of the last year), so my life hasn’t changed as dramatically as some people’s.

    I’m not going to write a poem, but we’re having a difficult quarantine here, because Mum is having chemotherapy and has reduced immunity. To be honest, I’ve been more worried about her than coronavirus in general. Dad and I are being super-protective about not letting her out of the house. I’m also worried about my long-distance girlfriend, who has been alone in her apartment in New York for weeks. We Skype every day except Shabbos and Yom Tov, but it’s hard. It was also weird not having my sister and brother-in-law over for Pesach, although we’ve Zoomed and had some socially-distanced conversations where they stood on our drive and we spoke to them from the doorway.

    I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and I did a lot of Pesach preparation, so I haven’t had as much time for writing as I would have liked, although I managed to write a whole short story and have gone back to my novel. In the UK we’re allowed out for exercise once a day, so I try to walk or run most days. My depression support group has started doing a weekly Zoom meeting that I’ve been “going” to, although I find group video meetings difficult without being completely sure why. I’m also trying to find a Skype therapist within my budget, which is also difficult.

    Looking forward to part 2 of your diary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All that stuff about your mom would worry me, too. I feel very blessed that my mom’s health is bli ayin hara not affected very life-threatening and that she lives with my brother–I can only imagine what the extra concern of having to take care of her and having her immunocompromised would be like. May Hashem keep your mother healthy and keep your girlfriend well, too.

      I love so many of your other activities and coping strategies, though! I’m so glad to hear you are keeping busy despite the unemployment, etc. And I hope you find a Skype therapist soon…and one you can afford!

      Are you revising the short story or already submitting it?


    • I didn’t actually mean it in a quality sense. Well, maybe a bit in a quality sense. More, I wouldn’t know where to submit for a story of this type, and I’m not sure I can cope with the practicalities of submission. (I guess I’m not good at coping with rejection.)


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