The New Normal with COVID19: Three Weeks Shelter in Place


It started with Lysol, hand sanitizer and hand soap. Then people began hoarding toilet paper…. Now, people are purchasing hair color and hair clippers off the shelves. I wonder what will be the next new thing to panic buy? With many of us still in Shelter in Place, some are worried about growing some extra hair, or perhaps, sprouting some gray. Most of our favorite salons have been closed, because they were deemed “non-essential.”  Also, trips to salon, usually require the customer and hair-dresser to be closer than six feet – unless they are going to get a hose down…

This week, will mark the beginning of three weeks, “Shelter in Place.”  I admit, it has been getting harder to not see my friends and family members. I’ve been doing more phone calls, more texting, a few video chats and …probably more eating chocolate and sugary items I shouldn’t be eating…

I did go see my daughter who only lives across town – but I did so with the appropriate social distance between us. She stood on her porch while I stood on the edge of the yard near the road. It was difficult to not hug or be near her, but I appreciated the opportunity to see her in person and talk with her. These days – you have to learn to really appreciate the little things. Right now – to protect our safety, we can’t get everything that we want.

My boyfriend and I really miss hanging with our third bestie in our little group… But because of my health conditions, we have had to take extra precautions. Nobody has been to our home and we wipe down any grocery item that enters our home, and open all packages outdoors, throwing away cardboard, papers and plastic outside in our trash container.

The governors and president are toying around with starting to reopen the economy or slowly lift restrictions on May 1… But nobody can say for sure. It all depends if we are “bending the curve,” in our number of cases and hopefully – sliding number of deaths… Although, most of us are beginning to accept, that even with a re-opening, things will not look exactly the same as they did before. The virus will not be completely gone until a vaccination is created. Scientists are also in the works of developing an antibodies test that will be able to tell who has had the virus or been exposed to it. This will determine who is safe and immune, and those who still won’t be safe. I have come to accept, that I will probably not be able to enter anywhere public or crowded for quite some time. If I ever do go anywhere public again, I will probably be wearing a mask or face covering of some sort, until it is safe again… I can’t take the chance of getting COVID because I have asthma, diabetes and Fibromyalgia.

I also fear we probably will not get to do our normal summer road trips like we have in the past. For now, I cannot feel safe staying in a hotel. Camping perhaps – but not staying in a hotel. And if I do decide to hang with any of  my friends later down the road – I probably will wear a mask…. But those type of visits will still be far and few in between. My social circle will have to be very small for awhile I am afraid. But it will be for the best.

At first, during all of this, I admit, my anxiety was pretty high. I still am not sleeping well at night because I am praying and worrying for all of those close to me. But when I am at home, I feel safe. I do miss our random visits to our favorite bookstores and restaurants. I miss movie night with our friend. I miss going out to lunch with the people in my church on Sundays. I also miss going to church. But again, staying at home has been a way to protect us all…. Thankfully, I have my boyfriend, two kitties, my comfy reading nook, and my friends and family, whom I have been staying in touch with daily through all of this.

I do know one thing I have learned through all of us… I think we as Americans are pretty spoiled. People in China were on lock-down for 76 days. I  myself along with some of my friends were already missing being able to leave our homes after about two weeks. It has been literally – the longest two weeks of my life for awhile. Just as I felt about five years ago, it is like my life has been put on pause. We are all waiting for it to be safe to regain some type of normalcy in our lives. We are all living in survival mode and doing all we can, to remain sane…




Published by Ariana R. Cherry

“Within the depths of our mind, we are battling the duel of light and darkness…good and evil…love and hate…” Between Light and Darkness is Ariana’s most recent collection of poetry… Cherry’s frequent message she delivers throughout her work is, “The journey through the darkness, back into the light.” Her hope is to let others know that they won’t be in that place of darkness for long – that they indeed can reach the light once again…She also wants her readers to know – that – it is okay if they find themselves in that bleak blackness…Sometimes we feel guilty for going to that dark place – but it is necessary to conquer the demons that battle our souls…. Other books that Cherry has written include "Only If" and "Twisted Paths Poetry." Her epic tale, “Only If,” won the “Reader’s Favorite Award” and a 5 star review…and her collection, “Twisted Paths Poetry,” received a 5 star review from Realistic Poetry International. She has been writing ever since she was a child. Some of her inspirations include Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, Stephen King, Emily Dickinson, Christopher Pike and Shel Silverstein. Ariana writes a variety of genres: inspirational, humorous and horror – although writing horror is one of her favorites…. She was 12 years old when she read Poe for the very first time – which inspired her epic poetry tale, “Only If.“ During other parts of her free time, she enjoys taking photos and creating art. Her “day-jobs” include working as a church administrative aide and reporting for a local newspaper.

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