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At dinner last night, Joe announced that he forgot to brush his teeth. Two of my daughters are home, so after dinner, we all played Scrabble. So that’s one negative and one positive brought on by this new normal. It seems like that’s how it goes, day after day.

Wednesday, March 11
After talking at length about this April issue, everyone at SJ Magazine decided we could offer readers some sense of normalcy. We’d be a sign that our communities are ok. There’s a lot to love, and it’s still here.

Thursday, March 12
We all started to work from home, and FaceTime became our new tool. I’ve even had some FaceTime calls with friends and maybe we’ve had a glass of wine (or tequila) during those calls.

Later in the afternoon, we drove to NYC to pick up Marirose, whose classes were switched to online. She’s a senior in college, so we expect her commencement in May will be cancelled.

We drove up, Marirose got in the car, we drove back. Klein lives in New York too, but she decided to stay.

Friday, March 13
I went into the office to get the mail, and I wore leggings and sneakers. That’s never happened before. It was a big step for me when I relaxed our dress code a few months ago. Seems kind of silly now. I’d be happy if everyone could just come in, and we could have a normal workday.

Saturday, March 14
I empty our kitchen cabinets, clean and re-organize them. I feel in control of my kitchen.

Sunday, March 15
Klein decided to come home. We drove up, she got in the car, we drove back. It was rescue mission #2.

Monday, March 16
I went to the supermarket. You start to think your family is going to somehow suffer because you didn’t get chicken. Then you remind yourself that’s not true. But then you go check the hand sanitizer bin, and you start to worry all over again.

At 8 pm, restaurants are restricted to take-out only. I worry about how people who depend on tips will manage.

I also went on a walk with Marirose and Joe, and played Bananagrams with Klein. We’ve started conversations (negotiations?) about all the shows we should binge-watch.

Tuesday, March 17
So many events are cancelled we decided to take out the April calendar in this issue. That’s never happened before.

For the first time ever, Joe cooks dinner in a crockpot we’ve probably had for 4 years. (I don’t cook, FYI.) It filled the house with a really good aroma all day.

Wednesday, March 18
I spoke with Hilary Platt, one of last year’s Women of Excellence. She works with victims of domestic violence and she told me women – in South Jersey – are now at home with their abusers 24/7. She’s trying to let them know the police will still come to their aid if they call 911. She also said you can still get a restraining order even though courts are closed.
I now only watch the news once at night.

Thursday, March 19
My mom texted me first thing in the morning: “Another year to celebrate you.” I had forgotten today was the anniversary of the car accident where I should have died, but didn’t. I was reminded it was good to be alive.

The days float by and you try to keep busy and productive and calm. Sometimes you have to force the good moments to happen. You have to watch out for others and watch out for yourself, because it’s so easy to not have those good moments. I hope you find ways to fill your days with something positive. I hope we return to normal soon. It will be wonderful when we do.


Read more Wide Awake here.

March 29, 2020
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