Random Thoughts this Week

A set of random thoughts this week reflecting my life in the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • A recent grocery-shopping trip really brought home the emotional impact of social distancing.   My trip to the grocery store was after the “wear a face mask when out” guidelines.   This new guideline is in addition to the “stay 6 feet apart”.   In the grocery store, when I wanted to get near a shelf to pick up something or turned a corner… not only did someone pull physically away from me, but now I couldn’t even see if they were smiling hello. OK, I was probably doing it as well…. but the pulling away and no smiling connection really took a toll on me emotionally. I felt like I had leprosy – a huge feeling of rejection settled in and I left the store quite emotionally shaken! Wow. Yes, I am really contemplating the curbside pick-up or delivery options now.

 

  • New learning – I don’t play well with others. I hate the “pyramid” games and the “give out your security questions answers” games that are proliferating in this stay-at-home time. You know these games. The “send a whatever to the top name and then forward this note to your 20 closest friends”. Or the “tell us more about yourself”, like the street where you grew up and your mother’s maiden name.   But one game recently did catch my attention – list 10 jobs you’ve had, but one is not true. At first I wondered, “Do I even have 10 jobs in my past?” I worked for one company for 32 years.   Then I wondered, “What was my unusual job?”   Hmm, this wouldn’t give out any security question clues!

 

Here’s some of the paid jobs I’ve had in my life: babysitter for deaf child, Burger King cashier, route coder for a freight company, parts coding for military equipment, waste treatment facility worker, manufacturing line team leader, time management analyst, new product start-up leader, cold-water laundry detergent developer, consumer researcher & data analyst, shampoo package designer, spa treatments designer, beauty care product designer, technology story-teller. Which do you think is the most unusual? What was your most unusual job?

 

  • My life seems to revolve around eating these days! I’ve been planning and then executing a 2-week dinner schedule. I’d never planned dinners that much, but with limited grocery shopping and limited restaurants to fall back on, I’ve had to think ahead more. I’ve done pantry and freezer “surfing” – which has unearthed some things we had forgotten about. I’ve enjoyed the creativity involved in pantry cooking! I’ve gone through a bunch of old Rachel Ray cooking magazines and looked on-line for recipe ideas. Not that I follow any recipe directly; I tend to up the veggies and spice levels. Beyond the dinner planning, I spend time almost daily thinking about how I’m using up leftovers creatively for lunch. So far there have been over 5 new dinner recipes tried and quite a few interesting rice/quinoa bowls for lunch.   I do think some of this new cooking habit will stick.   I do look forward to when I can enjoy grocery shopping and restaurant dining again.

 

  • I’ve joined the “make a mask” brigade. Let’s be clear – I am not a seamstress. Yes, I own a sewing machine, but I do think my mom has used it more than I ever did. My mom attempted to teach me to sew when I was 10 and I vaguely recall how to thread a sewing machine and make a bobbin. I looked at YouTube videos and it took 4 different types of (failed) masks to find one that I could do without cursing. Who knew there were so many different approaches! I’ve ordered masks on-line, but who knows when they will get delivered. So my not-very-even, made-at-home masks will suffice for now.

 

Life during this pandemic does have its interesting moments.

26 thoughts on “Random Thoughts this Week

  1. My visits to the grocery stores leave me feeling so exhausted. It’s like you have to view everyone as a possible suspect and also be constantly aware of what you’re doing. Then you come back and have to keep this separated and clean them up before you store them!!

    Well done on trying to make masks. I think I’m going to do the same. The store bought ones leave me suffocated.

    About the games and tags, I’ve politely told people to spare me from them!!
    Take care, Pat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Corinne, I agree – that feeling like everyone might be a carrier makes you scared to interact with anyone! But you don’t know who they might have interacted with… and they might not even know if they are a carrier. It is draining. But masks are becoming more and more the norm here as many places have made them mandatory to enter. So at least there is that safety net.

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  2. Hi Pat,
    Love your “random thoughts”…the grocery experience is not one I enjoy now. I try very hard to plan and get a delivery. I ended up in Walmart this week as Dan broke the coffee pot (and life without morning coffee is NOT an option) and what a bizarre experience. The store is trying hard to accommodate social distancing but the patrons are not very cooperative. And lots have no masks. What’s up with that? One way aisles, marked or not, seem to only be a suggestion. I actually had a person reach over my shoulder and grab a can off a shelf in front of me. Yikes!
    We are doing our part; not only do I not want to get sick, I don’t want to be responsible for other’s illness either. This early opening worries me; our governor seems more interested in the economy and restarting the business environment. That and patting himself on the back with one hand and hiding nursing home data with the other. Disheartening.
    My brother is just finishing weeks of volunteering as ER doc at the Javitts Ctr in NYC. This disease is no joke and certainly no hoax. I don’t understand how people can prioritize the way they do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, The more I hear about how things in Florida are, the more I think we might stay in Ohio a bit longer. A number of stores here are limiting people in them, making masks mandatory. I do worry about a second burst of cases… everywhere that’s opening back up quickly. We are still getting close to 1000 new cases a day… but, at least the hospitals are able to keep up with the need. I know, it’s not a hoax, and many people do not get the concept of exponential growth. 🙂

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  3. Hello Pat. I totally get that grocery store experience. Not being able to see smiles is very disconcerting to me. I try to use more verbal cues now–saying hello to other shoppers and being sure to say, “Excuse me” as I pull back. Your job history got me to thinking. I’ve been a babysitter, a clerk in a sheet music store, a shoe salesperson, an administrative assistant for a sewage treatment plan consultant, a Mary Kay consultant, a WW leader, an assistant in a marketing firm, an administrative assistant for a mining and drilling company, and an executive for a health insurance company for the past 21 years. That’s nine. Maybe if I think hard, I can come up with one more. I worked for a temp agency for a while, and I did an unpaid internship with a local television station. Do either of those count? Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Take care and stay safe! Keep smiling, even if we can’t see it behind the mask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie – I think both those count as jobs… so you’ve got 11! (Not counting jobs like mom.) I chuckled at your Smile Behind the Mask comment. I think we’ll get more used to them…in our state many stores are making it mandatory to enter. That’s how they are getting to open back up.

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  4. Hi Pat, I also hate those Facebook ‘games’, and when I was ‘nominated’ once, I refused to play. We’re also having fun in the kitchen, and making dishes with random ingredients, and trying to use up all the fresh food before going shopping again! I don’t think I’ve ever had a strange job, all of them have been quite ‘normal’, but who knows what the future holds! Thanks for your post, I really enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl, I have not yet approached the making dishes with random ingredients. Although, there have been a few “what is this and when did we buy it” moments as I dug through the pantry.

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  5. Hi Pat – not many people are wearing masks her in Western Australia (in the countryside anyway) I see the occasional glove or mask wearer and it still seems strange and a bit like overkill when we’re not getting any new cases. I completely understand all the lockdown precautions, but after two months, I’m getting a bit stir crazy and will be glad when they ease up a bit. I’m still really missing my kids and grandgirls – the novelty of video chats wore off a long time ago!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leanne, It is quite different here, unfortunately. We are still seeing about 1000 new cases a day in our state. They are planning to “open things up” a bit this week, but many places will have restrictions – 25% capacity, must wear masks. It’s a very different world and I too am a bit stir crazy!

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  6. I got caught up in the nominate threads – which I usually tend not to do – and then let them drift off. We’ve been planning meals more closely, but other than that? Not a huge amount of difference. We don’t have to wear masks, but we do have to socially distance, of course. With only a handful of new cases in my state over the last week they’re beginning to relax restrictions a tad. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, Our relaxing of restrictions is also by state. And they are all over the board on what relaxing restrictions looks like! Some states have joined forces with others to make it a little cohesive. I actually live 6 miles away from another state, and yes, they are joined in approach, along with 4 others in the midwest of the US. It will be interesting to see how different “opening up” approaches work in different states.

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  7. HI Pat, I got caught up in one of the FB ‘nominate a friend to post seven photos in seven days’! I’m not a fan of these and so I didn’t carry on the thread. I also saw many posts from people telling others not to include them in this type of activity. I suppose it suits some people and not others. We live in an apartment and most people have still been very friendly yet keeping their distance – only 2 people in an elevator at any given time etc. I haven’t actually been out into the world wearing a mask as most of my time has been spent at home or a quick walk/run by the beach. It is a little similar though to reactions from people when they see Muslim women wearing their head coverings, I think. We see someone in a mask and feel a little threatened perhaps. I’ve not had close contact with anyone apart from my husband for the last two months. Difficult times but thank you for sharing at #MLSTL and have a lovely week. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, It’s interesting to hear how my Australian blogging friends are dealing with this virus. I know you’re probably aware, but our number of cases and deaths are significantly higher. I know several people who have friends or family members who have died. Luckily, no-one I know has even had the virus. Masks are now “highly recommended”, and some stores/offices have said to enter you must have one on. I’m not sure how the next few weeks will play out. Many states are reopening things and there is some belief that we will have a second wave of cases because of that. It’s a very different world right now.

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  8. OK…my most unusual job…measuring men’s inseams and hemming their jeans at purchase. I was only 16 and made $1.65 per hour. It was a store called “JUST PANTS” at the mall. Not one of my top ten!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had a similar experience at the grocery store. I made a mask with a bandana and rubber bands. I found that I really couldn’t breathe through it and it made my glasses fog up. It was not a pleasant experience and I have defaulted to grocery store pickup. I have also been cooking more. Since my husband is home, we go through more food and I am more conscious about leftovers for lunch. My husband used to eat most breakfasts and lunches at work, so I just had myself to worry about for lunch and I am happy with a yogurt or a bagged salad. Now I keep thinking, where did all the food go? I refuse to participate in those
    Facebook games and have found myself staying off of Facebook more often. I also can not deal with the political stuff and rather than find myself hating my there is no virus believer Trump supporter cousins I just avoid it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, I am so glad I’m not alone with that shopping experience. I have not gone to pick-up yet, or delivery. I know many folks have. I tried the bandana thing at first as well… and it just did not work well for me. The home-made mask was much better. And yeah, I’m thinking I need to shop again already… I’ve gone through a lot of freezer and pantry stuff. And now, they rumor a meat shortage is coming. Maybe I’ll have to ask my vegan friend for some recipes! Yes… my life seems to revolve around food and cooking right now.

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  10. Your experience in the store makes me sad, because I love to shop, er, I did, love to shop. I am glad you mentioned youtube videos because it made me realize that I could do that to help me relearn how to thread my new sewing machine! You never know what will inspire you in someone else’s writing. I am not sure I hve had an unusual job but spent my youth folding pizza boxes, grinding cheese and occasionally making pizza dough at my parents bar. Also, I am glad you mentioned those scams on Facebook. Some of us (me) would not be so skeptical and would fall into the trap. I haven’t, but your help me think twice when I see them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, you must make awesome pizza now. Hubby has tried multiple times to make a good pizza dough… we buy it now. Yes, you can buy ready to go dough at some stores. On the sewing machine, I was actually surprised that I could recall how to thread it and even make a bobbin! I guess it’s kinda like riding a bike.

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  11. I also hate those stupid Facebook games and the digital chain letters through Messenger. Even if I have nothing to do, those don’t appeal to me at all. What are people thinking? I made 8 masks to donate and ran out of elastic. Try finding more. Crazy. Now I wish I’d kept three of them for us, although Tim is the only one who really goes out. We’re doing better at meal planning but it’s starting to lack originality especially with Tim doing a lot of the cooking. And with my gluten free father, we have to avoid or alter many recipes. I’m ready for this to be over!!! 🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve also made 8 masks so far. I did order some on-line… and waiting to see when they come. A few “friends” on facebook as making them for people. Keep you ears and eyes out, you may know someone who can give you a couple. As far as recipes, I’m doing most of the cooking and trying to do something new each week. So far I’m 2 for 4…. meaning 2 might be made again but 2 will definitely not! LOL.

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  12. My husband and I get so mad when we see people outside, including people with babies, who are not wearing masks. And the ones who are wearing a mask need some instructions to follow. There have been people who wear them under their nose, around their neck, on top of their head, and even in their hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer, I know how frustrating it is to see masks worn incorrectly. There’s some various meme’s going around Facebook right now… so maybe folks will get the message…. over the nose and mouth! I know they are not comfortable and I personally feel like it puts up a barrier, but the transfer of this virus is slowed dramatically if everyone complies. And that’s more important.

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  13. In your research did you come across how to put on, wear and take off a mask? That’s the most important part of wearing a mask and a part that I think is missing. I have quite strong opinions about lay people wearing masks and so did not jump on the make masks band wagon. I could sew up a lot of them but I won’t.
    Most unusual job — that is easy! I set spikes on a CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) tie gang. It was an education to be one of only 2 females in an all male crew of guys from Newfoundland who spoke a different kind of Canadian than me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bernie, Since I wore masks at work, I know how… but Consumer Reports has a good description of how – to put it on and leave it on! Yes, many people do not wear them appropriately… and it’s hard to tell them that, as they think they are. Our area has now “highly recommended” them and a few grocery stores will not let you in without one.

      What a neat job! In my manufacturing job, I was one of 2 women in the plant for 2 years. We hired our first female line technician while I worked there and she was put on my team. So I understand what it’s like to be a lone female at work.

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