During my six weeks (and counting!) confinement to our NYC apartment, I’ve been online and Zooming every day. Each morning I roll back my living room carpet halfway to create a mini-dance floor. I’m taking wonderful dance and Zumba classes online with my favorite Equinox instructors. There’s Danzatone, Latin Grooves and Zumba every single day! I’m staying in shape (possibly keeping my sanity a bit longer) AND supporting all of my dance teachers who are out of work. I’ve even learned a new tech skill – paying and/or donating via PayPal.
On Thursdays, I often participate in a Women’s Empowerment Zoom call in which we all share coronavirus stories and try to support each other. That call lasts 45 minutes, but it could probably continue through midnight with all of the tales of woe: being out of work, businesses going under, loans not going through, failure to support the arts and all of the causes near and dear to most of our hearts.
After Zooming, the rest of my day tends to go downhill. Consumed with cleaning, grocery scavenging and sanitizing, my back is aching most days. I’m starting to feel irritable about the little things. For example, I can’t seem to buy enough beverages for three people living together 24/7. Before the coronavirus, I used to need two 24 packs of Poland Spring water to last for two weeks. With three of us at home, I figured that 72 bottles of Poland Spring ought to be enough (in addition to a frightening amount of Diet soda, Fiji and various brands and flavors of sparkling water). But I was wrong. We ran out of bottled water. I’m now up to buying 4 packs of Poland Spring (96 bottles!) Hopefully, that will be enough. I’ve run out of storage space in the fridge and linen closet, so some of the water and sodas sit on top of the wine cooler in our living room.
My fridge is so overstocked with food and drinks that every time I open the door, something inevitably falls out, spills, or drips into the fruit and veggie drawers. Today I HAD to clean both of those bottom drawers in my refrigerator or risk contracting a different disease from the mess. Very icky and tedious….
My husband imagines that the way to my heart is to keep buying more cleaning supplies. He’s befriended the manager of Morton Williams and now I have more cleaning products than I know what to do with: Lestoil, Mr. Clean, Lysol Bleach Multi-Purpose Cleaner, lavender scented, “non-toxic,” Method All-Purpose Cleaner in addition to a precious third can of Lysol Spray and a variety of wipes. What I really need is someone to help teach me how to use all of these products and join me on their hands and knees…
One of my formerly-friendly neighbors has become paranoid. As my husband and I leave our apartment, suitably attired in masks, our neighbor holds out one hand as a stop sign. She’s about to walk into the elevator with her 18 year-old daughter.
Wait!” She barks like a police officer. “You need to take the next one.”
After our neighbor disappeared into the elevator, my husband and I looked at each other dumbfounded. At the moment, there is no rule dictating that only one tenant is allowed in the elevator. As far as I know, neighbors don’t have the right to order each other back into their doorways. But it’s the coronavirus quarantine so we decided to let it go.
There IS a new rule requiring all tenants to wear face masks in the elevator. Until today there was a quaint, handwritten sign posted in the lobby and elevator, saying everyone must wear masks in the elevator at all times, “with no acceptions.” Too funny to last! Now there’s a more formal, typewritten sign from the managing agent complete with the correct spelling.
I’ve saved the best news for last. Somehow Samantha has miraculously managed to lose 10 pounds in the past six weeks without going to Equinox or seeing her trainer. Her brother Matt says it’s because I’ve been watching her every bite, but that’s not true. While Samantha has rarely left our apartment (except to get extra diet soda), our daughter has been eating gigantic open sandwiches, alternately piled with tuna, turkey, prosciutto and chicken salad. Weekend dinners have included pizza and generous portions of baked ziti.
To my daughter’s credit, she has been diligently exercising, probably twice as much as usual. She rides an exercise bike for an hour, walks 9 flights of stairs and does floor exercises. Samantha has also been energetically assisting me with housework: vacuuming, laundry, cleaning her bathroom and kitchen, filling and emptying the dishwasher. Missing from the equation is eating out with friends and noshing on too many snacks at rehearsals.
Samantha is now wearing old clothes pulled from the back of her closet, stuff that hasn’t fit her for years. Now some of those jeans and t-shirts are too big, and look like pajamas. Each day is a new fashion adventure modeling ever-smaller sizes. Samantha looks sensational. We have all been admiring her newly svelte silhouette.
She is looking forward to finally wearing a new bikini, if we’re ever able to go to the beach this summer. In the meantime, she is all dressed up with nowhere to go.