GUILTY PLEASURE

Since we’ve all been stuck at home, I’ve been really cognizant of what I’m eating. Being aware of what I consume is helpful for two reasons. First, I’m hyper-aware of how much food I’m consuming. It’s not wise to go to get groceries every day now. The recommendation I’ve heard is to get one to two weeks worth of food, so you can limit your exposure to the outside. If I just ate without restraint or ate whenever I was bored, I’d go through my food supplies in half the time or less. So, before I consume any of my food, I ask myself if eating this is really necessary. Second, knowing what I eat helps me analyze what I’m consuming so that I can try to be a healthy eater during these isolated times. I easily could have relied on cheeseburgers, pizzas, and fried chicken for the last few weeks but I knew my physical health would have nose-dived. I’m already doing so much less exercise now, it’d awful if I followed that up by eating junk and fast food every day. As such, I try to have some fruit and vegetables every single day. Today was particularly good day for me as I had an orange and some stir-fry bok choy.

Now having said that, the one item of comfort food that I’ve allowed myself is french fries. Since I’ve stopped going to fast food places, there has been a craving building inside me, mostly for french fries. Those golden and crispy fries from the before times are still fresh in my memories. When all of this kicked off, I had half a bag of frozen shoe string french fries in my freezer. They were good for two servings of fries. Using my air-fryer toaster oven, I finished off that bag over two separate times. The one thing that my air-fryer really excels at is making french fries. Man, they were tasty!

On the day that I went on my TP run, I picked up a one kilogram bag of crinkle-cut frozen french fries. My weekend indulgence will be to air-fry up some of these. I am looking forward to it!

So, this is what our lives has become now. My weekend plans revolve around making frozen french fries at home.

TP RUN

Yesterday I was down to three rolls of toilet paper and I decided it was not wise to wait until I was completely out to go find some. As such, I went looking for toilet paper this afternoon. I’ll cut to the chase but I visited the following stores in this order: Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway, City Avenue Market, Pharmasave, and Save-On Foods. None had any toilet paper on their shelves.

I blame the idiots who began hoarding toilet paper in the beginning. It makes no sense to hoard toilet paper. We make an abundant amount of toilet paper domestically. Ironically, I can see from my window a paper mill that produces tons of tissue products in a month. There’s fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit in every large supermarket I’ve been in but for some reason toilet paper is the thing people have decided to make scarce. People could go buy enough toilet paper to last for two weeks and that would leave enough product for the rest of us. Instead, these morons are buying months of toilet paper at a time.

I was pretty bummed that going to five different stores didn’t yield any results, all the while increasing my chances of exposing myself to who knows what. I was about to give up for the day but I decided to try one last place. I sorta had a feeling that smaller stores would have lots more inventory because it seems like people have been flocking to the largest, warehouse-style stores instead. There’s a small convenience store about two blocks from my apartment. When I got there, it didn’t take me long to find that they had several packages of toilet paper available. I was limited to just one package of four rolls. It wasn’t ideal but better than nothing. Finding that package probably extended my toilet paper supply by another five to seven days, depending on how many poops on have.

I’ll probably have to go on another toilet paper run in a weeks time again but now I know that smaller store has some inventory.

COLD APRIL

It’s April now. What a month March was. The last thirty-one days have been long ones. There appear to be more long days ahead for April as well. The low temperature tomorrow is scheduled to be just one degree above freezing. I have mixed feelings about the chilly start to April. On one hand, it’d be more comfortable if it were a bit warmer but on the other, I’m thankful for the colder weather, because it might force some people to stay home. It’s so odd to think that potentially, the near freezing temperatures might actually save a few lives by keeping people indoors. How much easier would have all this been had it happened during blizzard season?

CLANDESTINE

I left my apartment tonight. I again had feelings of guilt and danger run through my head. I waited until 1:30am to leave. I had to take out my garbage and I wanted to get my mail because I knew my mortgage renewal was in my mailbox.

Normally, I would have taken out my garbage out more than a week ago but I decided to play it safe. Unfortunately, my garbage had some plastic wrap that been used in packaging raw beef and fish. That stuff always smells really quickly. My temporary solution was to take the full garbage bag and then place it inside another garbage bag. It was doubly-sealed at this point, so it stopped smelling. I then placed it in an empty corner of my kitchen, where it wouldn’t get in my way.

The primary goal of leaving my apartment tonight, however, was to get my mail, so I took advantage of that and just brought my garbage with me. I waited until almost 2am because there would less people around, lowering my chances of running into another person. To even further decrease my chances of being close to another human being, I took the stairs down.

Both the garbage room and mail room were empty. I tossed my garbage and threw out over a week’s worth of flyers and junk mail. There were two actual pieces of mail in my box: my latest paystub and my mortgage renewal letter. At this point, I had two choices of how to get back upstairs, the elevator and the stairs. The stairs would have been slightly safer but I was already dead tired and the prospect of going up 28 flights of stairs this late filled me with sadness. At this hour, the elevators would probably be empty. I took my chances with the elevator. As I expected, no one got on with me and I took it straight up to my floor.

I’ll spend a bit of tomorrow going over the mortgage renewal terms and I’ll begin contacting mortgage brokers. If there is the slightest silver lining in all of this craziness, it’s that my next mortgage should have very favourable terms for me.

DENTIST

April was going to be the month where I had to go into the dentist for my regular cleaning. That obviously is not going to happen. Dentist offices are closed across the country. Only under extreme dental emergencies can one see a dentist. Even then, a person must go to a dental clinic that has full personal protective equipment for the dentist and any hygienists. Most clinics do not have that. A cleaning is not a dental emergency, so my appointment will be postponed.

I suppose I am not alone. The world is essentially on-hold for countless events and appointments. Weddings, vacations, graduations, minor medical procedures, romantic dates, sports, etc. and the list goes on.

This usually isn’t the case but I look forward to the next time I can be in the dentist chair because that must mean the world would have returned some semblance of normalcy.

RAIN

It rained, at times heavily, for most of the day today. I was thankful for it. The rain probably kept more people inside than if it were sunny. For the people that were out, an umbrella automatically enforces social distancing, so that’s good too. If I could have it my way, it’d be rainy every day until all of this is over.

Tomorrow is Friday, which means another work week is over. I will have worked from home for two and a half weeks now. I think a lot of work from home records will have been broken before we see the end of this.

Starting this weekend, I need to figure out how to get some more exercise. I’ve been pretty stationary now for almost three weeks. I have some weights here in my apartment I feel like cardio would be better. The other option is to walk down the stairs in my building and then walk back up. That’s great cardio but I’d have to go outside my apartment. I could minimize the risk but going late at night, there would be little chance of seeing anyone else in the stairwells with me. How big of a risk would that be? The fact that I’m not sure how dangerous it would be to walk down and back up some stairs really highlights what a difficult world we live in currently.

Exercise or not, I am looking forward to the weekend.

THE OUTSIDE

I went outside today and I hadn’t even planned on it. I had a package from Amazon arriving today and I was sure it would go to the post office and not directly to my building. What a surprise it was when the intercom went off on my phone this morning and there was a postal worker on the other end. They were downstairs with my package. Without thinking, I said I’d be downstairs right away. Downstairs!?!?! That meant going outside. I hadn’t left my apartment in about five days.

I quickly got dressed. I should have washed my hands before leaving my apartment but I forgot. My apartment building is now limiting a maximum of two people in the elevator at one time. Luckily, no one else was with me on the way down. It felt almost surreal to be in the elevator, to be outside. I got down to the lobby and saw a postal van parked right outside. The postal worker was waiting for me. I stepped outside in to the fresh air for the first time in what seemed forever. It felt odd and it almost felt wrong to be there. I quickly grabbed my package and went right back upstairs. Again, I was lucky to not have to share the elevator with anyone.

Once I return to the safety of my apartment, I quickly washed my hands thoroughly, even though I had used my hoodie sleeve as a barrier for any handle, switch, and button I had to touch. It felt risky to even just step outside my building for less than a minute. Life is so different now.

I will need to go outside again fairly soon as I need to get some groceries. I hope it goes smoothly and without incident.

THE MIDNIGHT WALK

I’m hanging in there but I am definitely hankering for some fresh air at this point. I’ll probably go out on my balcony tomorrow but what I’d really like is a walk outside. I feel, however, a twang of guilt every time I go outside now. I came up with the idea of going for a walk between midnight and 4am. To be safe as possible, I’d avoid the elevator and take the stairs down. I’d avoid touching any door handles and use my sleeves to manipulate them. Once outside, I’d be alone on the street, free to get some fresh air.

It’s after midnight as I write this and from my window, I can’t see a single person on any of the streets visible. Hell, I’d be hard pressed to even find a car right now. Well, it’s something I’ll consider some more in the next few days.

THE WEEKEND

I didn’t leave my apartment all weekend. I’m probably one of many people who did the same as well. Some people don’t seem to have adhered to the program though. On Saturday afternoon, a beautiful and sunny one, I saw a group of young people, sitting on the grass just off the sidewalk. There were about four of them, sitting right next to each other, as if on a picnic. What were they doing? Do they all live together or did they eventually leave and then go back to their respective homes? The mind boggles.

Maybe it should come as no surprise, but my weekend wasn’t that exciting. I spent it cleaning, cooking, playing video games, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube. On the topic of podcasts, there are some that I’ve just started to listen to and there’s more than a year’s worth of weekly episodes to catch up on. In the “before times”, I’d maybe listen to four episodes on a weekend at best. In the last week, I was able to listen to nearly 30 episodes of one podcast and now I’m all caught up. Just started another one this weekend as well.

I cannot imagine how this would have played out had this pandemic happened in the pre-Internet days. People would be on the phone a lot more. Information would come from the TV and radio mainly. Part of me thinks that might have been better. There wouldn’t be idiots spreading misinformation or stupid conspiracy theories. The advent of the Internet means that morons have an incredible ability to contact other morons, whereby they all furiously masturbate over their wild stories and twisting of the real truth. How did we get here?

Well, Monday is the start of another week. Another weird week, where I pessimistically think there might not be a whole lot of good news. Good luck to everyone out there, stay safe, stay inside, and wash your damn hands.