There is much to be learned in the fallow period between two enthusiasm.

                                                                                                                       AUTHOR UNKNOWN

One of the realities of this “Fallow Period” of social distancing is that each day is almost exactly like the day before. Unless you look at the calendar on your computer, it is easy to lose a day here and there. Today is Friday. I know this because I looked at my computer.

Since there is risk in venturing out anywhere during this pandemic, a run to the grocery store requires careful planning. As our supplies dwindled, and the lockdown continued, my husband and I debated which day to make the run. Saturday is the normal shopping day in rural areas so that was not a good option. Too many people out and about. By Sunday, many of the items on my list might be gone. The store could receive a truckload of supplies on Monday, but these wouldn’t be put on the shelves until Monday night. Therefore Tuesday was the logical day. Monday would be too early, Wednesday possibly too late. So Tuesday it was. 

On Monday, in preparation for our outing, I made my grocery list, even categorizing my items—dairy, bread aisle, baking, fresh produce, deli, etc. My list when finished was a thing of beauty.

On Monday we also made our first protective masks. I don’t have a sewing machine so we went with an internet tutorial using hot glue, rubber bands, and coffee filters. After much clipping and fitting and knotting rubber bands, we slipped the masks on our faces and sent a selfie of us in viral combat gear to our daughter who lives in New York City. She was not impressed. We have two confirmed virus cases in our county. She lives with considerably more.

We arrived at the store before 8:00 a.m. I was embarrassed to be out in public in my weird mask, but most women shoppers, many of the store’s employees and some of the men were all wearing masks. The variety was impressive—craftsmen masks to protect against sawdust and paint fumes, paper disposable masks, one bandana knotted like an outlaw’s disguise. Several of the women had on quite attractive masks, carefully fitted and well made from pretty patterned cloth. Maybe this fallow period will result in a whole new industry.

I’m pleased to report that out of the thirty-two items on my shopping list, only seven were not available, including, as expected, toilet paper and paper towels. 

Living in a rural area has a few disadvantages, but as a place to pass this “fallow” time, the warmth and helpfulness of the people manning our local grocery store overshadows any problems. Thank you, my friends, for helping the rest of us keep going.


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