Shutting Down and Shutting In

When I was a child, we used to call older people who were not able to drive themselves places ‘shut-ins.’ What a horrible label for a person! Meals on Wheels and Bookmobiles were created people like them. How could they have no one to love and take care of them?

Fast forward 30 years, here I am focusing on all the things I’ll need to become a shut-in myself. Of course there is some unnatural fear of running out of toilet paper since there is some animalistic urge to hoard it. Is this really what our society has come to?

I am acutely aware we are literally living through history, but for me, it just doesn’t feel that way. That is, until I go to the grocery store and am met with aisles of empty shelves that until a week or so ago were fully stocked with all manner of paper products and cleaning supplies. The irony of having to walk through the entire to store to find nothing is not lost on me.

Watching event and event follow meeting after meeting in their retreat from our calendars, I see our world closing in. At some point I’ll run out of chores for my kids to do. Their iPads and Xbox games will lose their luster and they’ll just start to annoy one another… and me.

I get the sense this will change the face of business as usual forever. Will we want to go back to the offices when it is deemed cleared or will we cling tightly to our cozy nest of blankets on the couch? Will summer change how I feel about being a shut-in?

The seasons will inevitably change around us bringing full-on spring and then summer, regardless of how much we’ve worried or hoarded. Warmer days have always melted my winterized heart and brought be back to life. Will this be the same without the crowds of people on sidewalk cafes?

This is Day Two. I may end up creeping along The Yellow Wallpaper at the end of this, becoming the woman creeping behind the paper.

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