Well, here we are.
It’s been quite a
week month year so far, right? And to think, just a few months ago the upcoming election was providing the biggest mess on the nightly news. To recap–in my corner of the world–we’re dealing with a worldwide health pandemic, quarantines, a tornado, and the Tiger King.
I’m not really sure which definition of “quarantine” to use when speaking of our current situation. As a words person, I’ve checked the definition from several different sources, and the first option listed in Merriam-Webster states that quarantine means “a period of 40 days.” Today feels like Day 412, even though we’ve only truly been at this in Arkansas since around March 14. (That’s quite a while when I factor my own cooking into the equation.)
Oxford defines it as “a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed.” Other sources have made the distinction among three common terms–social distancing, quarantine, and isolation–with “isolation” being the most confining term of the three.
Still, I always thought of quarantine as being rather strict, possibly owing to the old books I used to read and movies I’ve watched about bygone centuries. People who were in quarantine seemed to be pretty isolated. (I always pictured a little prairie girl sitting in her bedroom practicing cursive on a slate and wistfully petting a kitten. Or something like that.) Because of that definition in my mind, it seems strange to me that people who refer to themselves as being “quarantined” go hiking and walking and…outside. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood, meaning that the current definition of “quarantine” is far less strict than “isolation.” It’s all a bit wordy.
That’s where we are. Most of us have been at home, picking a new room to visit each weekend for a short getaway. (I’ll be visiting the upstairs guest room myself.)
And then along came an EF-3 tornado. (A tornado on top of everything else was a bad idea.) Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but the damage was fairly extensive. Seeing a large tornado hitting your town on television is surreal and frightening enough when life is “normal.” (Author’s Note: My neighborhood was not hit, but many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. The community response has been swift and remarkable in helping those who lost so much.)
It feels as though everything has been upended in both literal and metaphorical storms around here. The mere fact that I have been in the kitchen should have been proof enough that strange things are afoot.
What do we do with all of this? I suppose we do the best we can do by following the guidelines and recommendations. I try to deal with it by using humor, although I find it in relatively short supply lately. However, I try to find something that makes me laugh every day.
Simply put, we do the best we can.
And we try not to watch Tiger King more than…three times (four, tops…I promise).