Like the rest of you (I hope), I’ve been staying at home for the last seven weeks or so.
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.
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
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.
Snapped at kids twice. I
am so tired–slept well
but think all day long.
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.
Past ten. Three of my
kids still chatter. Will I bribe
them to wake at eight?
Five family mem-
bers vote the youngest kid off
our tiny island.
Challah dough rises
in kitchen. Children slow to
rise from their warm beds.
Married twenty years.
What blessing! (Even without our
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.
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)
Hello Costco. Thanks
for bread, TP, and walnuts and
Seeing full shelves of food
soothed my fearful heart. Feel
Wore bandana at
kosher store today. Worth it–
I scored marshmallows!
Youngest resists sleep,
would rather critique big
Power went out–thank
God school sessions were done for
the day already.
Home smells like #Shabbos.
So grateful we’re #SafeAtHome.
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.
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.
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.)
Today’s #haiku for #coronavirus: SMALL PLEASURES
Spoke with my sister.
Zoomed with a good friend alone at
home. Walked with husband.
Haiku: Chat w/My 10-year-old During “School”
No, your brother is
not stupid because he can’t
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.
This morning’s #haiku for #coronavirus: MORNING PERSON BLUES
Everyone else is
still sleeping, and I want to
work out. Must I wait?
AND THE ANSWER IS YES, FOLKS, BECAUSE MY IDEA OF A NICE INDOOR WORKOUT IN MY CURRENT MOOD INVOLVES LISTENING TO ALICE IN CHAINS AT THE SAME TIME.
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.
Aaaand I just got a rejection letter on a full request.
Yup. Definitely a “workout to Alice in Chains” morning.
On Shabbos, we prayed
& played boardgames at home &
coped with three tantrums.
My 12-year-old, want-
ing to sit outside and read,
cried when I said, “No.”
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.
PESACH IS COMING!!! SUPER EXCITED!!!
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.
Attended my first Zoom bris. Many happy tears shed. Mazal tov to my cousins.
Plenty dessert for
#Pesach. Matzah, grape juice too.
Who needs other food?
EREV PESACH 5780 , L.A.
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.
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!
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.)
a #haiku for #coronavirus: IRONY
Today will be zoo
day. We’ll admire other con-
fined creatures remotely.
The joy my 10 y o expressed
upon finding an overlooked bag of Pesadik Bissli
shelf of the Pesach cabinet
was so genuine
and so pure.
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.
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)! ❤
Does sleeping through last night’s earthquake make me more Californian, or less? #losangeles
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.”
Today’s #haiku for #coronavirus times:
My career might be
on hiatus, but at least I
have time for #chessed.
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…
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.”
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.
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”
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.
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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.
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.
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Thanks so much! You managed to comment, so you I guess you figured it out! I’m so glad that my little tweets spoke to you.
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!
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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?
Thanks for your good wishes! I’m not submitting the short story anywhere. I just wrote it for the fun of it. I’m not sure it’s good enough to go anywhere to be honest.
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[Picture me throwing both hands over my mouth and holding in all my cheerleading.]
[Now mumbling: “You don’t have to submit anything you don’t want to submit.”]
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.)