Sunday 22 & Monday 23 March
The hypochondria is real! Or is it?
Yesterday, Sunday, I felt positively under the weather; tired and achy. I tried for an afternoon nap, hoping that would help refresh me, but failed completely and ended up dosing up on paracetamol and having a super-early night in bed. I was so cold in bed and when I finally slept I dreamed about viruses, which were white and shaped like sycamore leaves, scattered in my sheets and hidden under my pillow.
I felt better this morning but concerned: how would I cope if I actually developed symptoms of coronavirus? I at least need to make sure I have supplies because, while I’m sure there are people who would be happy to pick up bits and pieces for me, there’s nobody I could ask to do a big shop and stock me up with everything I need for extended confinement.
So, first thing this morning I loaded up with shopping bags and drove out to the supermarket. I deliberately left early because I was determined that I wasn’t going to share the elevator from the underground car park with anybody, so if I wanted to buy more than I could carry in one go I would have to get there early enough to find one of the outdoor parking spaces. Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened and from half an hour before the store opened I was waiting with lots of other early-birds who, for the most part, respected the minimum safe distance and were dotted around the store entrance and car park in a very loose queue. There were, of course, a few people who passed too closely by others and notably, they were all wearing face masks and gloves, as though they felt invincible in their protective gear and nobody else mattered.
When the store opened, the staff, also wearing masks and gloves, did their best to direct everyone into the store in an orderly fashion. Gloves, hand sanitiser and paper towels were prominently situated at the entrance and staff were ensuring everyone had gloves on before they went in. Once inside, however, most people disregarded any sort of separation as they blocked aisles and pushed past each other. I hate supermarkets at the best of times but this was hell! I would be waiting patiently for shoppers in the aisle to finish and move on and others would just walk right past me and crowd the aisle even more! I ended up leaving my trolley behind so I could duck and dive in avoidance more efficiently. There were some things on my list that I couldn’t find but decided weren’t worth the hassle. I just wanted to get out of there and get home.
Once at the checkout, minimum separation was once again enforced by staff and I was able to pay and get out relatively easily, then I had the challenge of steering my heavy, fully-loaded trolley out to the car and unloading the contents into my boot without chipping the paintwork.
I am now stocked up with enough supplies to last me at least a week, hopefully a fortnight, and I won’t have to go through that again any time soon. It just doesn’t make sense that, during this crisis, the supermarket isn’t doing home deliveries! I have been ordering my shopping online for years in order to avoid going into a physical store, yet now in the midst of pandemic, the home delivery service is suspended and I’m having to battle legions of selfish and inconsiderate, potentially germ-infested people, in a physical layout that I’m so unfamiliar with that I struggle to locate even the basics.
Another thing I don’t understand is the attitude of a neighbour as I was carrying my bags up to my apartment. He said “you know, if you want to go out more you could just buy half that, then you can go out again to buy the other half”. I almost screamed back at him “but I don’t want to go out again! I didn’t even want to go out once!”. Too many people clearly still don’t understand the whole point of quarantine. Thank goodness I can now just hunker down inside my home and not risk any contact with them.