We didn't have the normal amount of snowfall here in Pennsylvania this year and by normal I mean feet measured in snowblower "required" days. Instead, we had snowstorms measured by the shovels full...which were few and far between. And this lack of freezing cold weather and significant amounts of snow means the tick population was not decreased which indicates a rough...buggy..summer is on the way. Yippee.
Why should anything else be normal now after all that this year has brought so far?
The calendar pages turn the days into weeks...and months. It reminds me of groundhogs day.
Six feet apart or six feet below. That is the new motto to live by...the operative word being...LIVE.
I am thankful to be home with my husband at my side. This togetherness is a blessing as well as being very eye-opening at the same time. How clouded the days had become before...blurring out the small, significant details...now illuminated. I can't help but think the world needed a re-boot of sorts. And we are witness to it all.
Throughout the day, at any given time the streets around me are bare. Barren bare. On my usually congested busy street, there is rarely a car that drives by now. I live by a playground. You wouldn't know there are children in this town as there aren't any outdoors anywhere. No one is walking their dog. Taking a walk themself.
Nothing. There is only silence. A deafening silence only broken by the rhythmic pitter-patter of icy rain on my awnings or the howling wind blowing through the trees. The rains stop and the sun makes a brief appearance warming my office and the rains return.
Hopefully, soon the weather here will break, the virus will pass, and we will all be out in our yards enjoying the warmth of the sun. Natures cure for the blues.
Our schools have been closed permanently for the school year with studies at home now as part of the new norm. From elementary grades through college, at home, online studies are the only way classes are being held. It was mentioned that the students will move on to the next grade regardless. And sadly, all of the graduating classes will miss out on those traditional celebrations of a senior year and a graduation day...including Prom.
Students have been receiving meals daily from the school thankfully, although I am not sure how they were doing it. Hopefully, the free lunch program will once more continue throughout the summer months as it has years before.
Beginning this Sunday, everyone in PA will be required to wear a mask to go into any business. Workers and customers alike. The problem with that declaration is the problem of finding any masks to buy. N95 Mask sales are reserved for essential personnel and there aren't any general masks anywhere. I have made our masks to venture out into the grocery stores and each one is three-layers and I have been wearing three at a time. I know...breathing is fundamental and trying to breathe through nine layers of fabric and a scarf is FUN, FUN.
Our stores here are limiting the number of family members allowed in any business to only one...finally...so I am the girl standing in line, waiting to get in.
Walmart and Giant Market stores have implemented the "one in one out" rule of shopping with a limitation on how many customers can be in the store at any one time depending on the square footage. My poor aunt had to stand in line for twenty minutes outside in this weather all the way at the end of the sidewalk four stores away from the grocery store. Inside the stores, the floors have directional arrows placed to keep the flow of the customers in a certain direction away from others with workers at the end of each aisle pushing you along. You can go in one entrance now and out the other. Social Distancing. There are only two cashiers to check out EVERYONE which makes a complete bottleneck of standing customers bringing the conclusion of the fun shopping experience to a standstill. With people outside waiting to get in. NOT GOOD. Walmart here has used pallets to block off everything but Pharmacy and the Grocery aisles. No non-essential items can be sold...even if you sneak past the pallets and grab something. (shakes my head)
I wanted no part of that so I went to a different store. Here they had no limitations on the number of customers in the store. People came and went quickly. There were directional arrows on the floor but it not being a huge store you could move around without too many people in an aisle. There were three cashiers getting people checked out and on their way...quite happily I might add. I always thank them for being there. And yes, there were shelves that were bare of items. What bothered me shopping here was the high prices on everything. I have shopped here before all of this virus stuff so I know what the "regular" pricing was. It is now costing me twice as much if not more to grab a few basic groceries. I understand supply and demand but $15.98 for a small bottle of Tide laundry soap is gouging...not economics.
And so is $10.00 for a bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol branded now as Hand Sanitizer. As I rounded the aisle and saw the crates with the alcohol stacked in them I thought I hit the motherload. Alcohol in a store!! I wasn't wearing my glasses so I thought the sign read $1.00. I dropped my glasses from beneath my hoodie and saw it read $10.00 for a 16-ounce bottle.
I finished up my shopping and had to make one more stop before heading home. The Dollar Tree for shipping tape. Since I can't shop at Walmart for the tape because they feel it's non-essential and blocked it off from customers, I had to grab some there for my packages. I have been going through my vast collection of items and thinning my collections out selling off everything. I have so much to get rid of I am glad to have the time to do this now.
A few weeks ago I shared on social media a photo of my hand sanitizer collection. Well over 500 bottles at the time, almost 600 actually, and was met with many varying comments mostly negative. Shrugs. I am not the reason you cannot find sanitizer now. If you buy like I do every week from the store from every new monthly floorset of collections, you could have a huge stash too. We use sanitizer a lot and I share my collection with my family. So that reason and the fact that I love the cute labels is why I have/buy so much.
What I had been doing now was selling them off (below my cost at a loss for me)...allowing others to buy them and at only $2.99 shipping. (and no three weeks wait to get them) When it was determined that no sanitizer can be sold on the secondary market sites and sales would be stopped...unless you're a business selling at five times the cost or more...I started selling off my collection of tagged, new holders and gave the sanitizer away for free. So many people were messaging me that they couldn't get a bottle anywhere so this allowed so many to grab at least five at a time from me. And I have sent out a few care packages with soap and sanitizers for free. Now dropping my collection to 150 bottles or less.
Speaking of soap, thank goodness my collection of soaps is over 600 bottles because with all of the handwashing we're doing I am going through that quickly and you cannot find a bottle in a store to save your life. I am using the oldest up first of course and LOVING these scents and formulas all over again. Currently in the bathroom is the Holiday scent Iced Gingerbread...which smells absolutely delish. Gosh, I cannot wait for fall and holiday time at Bath and Body Works again. But first, we need to get this virus under some kind of control so businesses can once more resume.
Our state is not one that is opening up early. Our factories have been inspected and a few have closed since there have been numerous people becoming ill who work in them. Having worked in a factory setting myself at one time, I know there is no way to social distance yourself from others. I think some factories like Amazon employ over 800 people.
We are still on a stay at home order, with an 8 pm curfew. And if it can save lives, I am fine with that. And with quiet streets all day long...I suppose everyone else is too.