It’s hard to believe it’s been three weeks since I’ve started working from home thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak in our city. We are now at over 1,000 confirmed cases and over 50 deaths in our state alone. If you aren’t taking this seriously yet, it’s time to do so.

I had to actually check and confirm the date before publishing this post, because the days feel completely off-kilter and I have no idea what day of the week it is unless I check the calendar. To be honest, it’s hard to believe it’s been three weeks already. At the same time, it’s odd to look back at photos from a month ago and realize how different life was.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Apparently, as of today, I’ve been working from home for three weeks already. When this began, I just said that we would keep the kiddo home for two days and then see how things played out. Now, three weeks later, he hasn’t been at preschool a single day for the month of March.

I feel extremely lucky that I can work at home with a five year old in tow, but it certainly hasn’t been easy. I’ve been working long hours – and his face has been showing up on too many work video conferences – but we’re making it work. Not everyone can work from home, though, so I very much appreciate that I can, as frustrating as it can be much of the time.

2. We’ve been eating a ton of meals at home since I’ve been working at home. Along with that, I’ve done a really good job of eating vegetarian or vegan pretty much every breakfast and lunch during this quarantine lite. That often means coffee and a protein bar for breakfast and cereal or leftovers or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, but it’s been cheap and easy and meat free.

3. At the same time, we have been ordering take out and delivery a couple times a week, well more than average. We will definitely be blowing past our goal of no more than $1,000 a month on food and drink.

Our restaurants have been suffering in a big way, and I started up a Facebook group to support our local businesses. As a result, we have been purposefully blowing our food budget to support them. It’s been super tasty, though I have to admit that it feels pretty odd to be virtuous in spending a bunch of money on take out. So is real life right now.

4. Moriah checked in with me to see if I wanted to have a FaceTime chat because she knows I’m an extreme extrovert and am in dire need of people time. Unsurprisingly, she was absolutely right. I miss people.

She and I only got a few snippets of conversation in, but that’s because she offered to virtually babysit my kiddo. They had a good time hanging out and playing legos (virtually), and I got some uninterrupted work done. I am so thankful for my community right now.

5. My neighbor’s birthday was on Thursday, and on a whim I asked if she wanted to have a mini celebration in our front yards – from a social distance, of course.

She said yes, and we ended up having five different households come out and send some time drinking wine and enjoying the sunshine “together” – from at least six feet apart. We’ve all been craving community, and it was pretty dang wonderful to get to hang out, even in the limited fashion that is possible right now.

Exercise Update

Just like last week, I’ve taken a decent walk or two every day this week. I haven’t done it yet, but I think I will hop on the treadmill soon for an easy five or ten minute run to see how it goes on my heel.

How are things where you are at? What positives have you seen while hunkering down at home? Tell me the good.

11 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – COVID-19 Week 3)

  1. What a great idea, a socially distant hangout in the neighborhood:) We may try that with the few neighbors we know; they could always come over for a bonfire and stay sufficiently apart. We’re only a week into schools being closed here, which is hard to believe. My 6yo was thrilled about a month off from school initially, but after about one day of NTI at home, he started getting pretty bored. We’re doing fine, though. There are plenty of books in our house, plus tons of online resources that are wonderful for keeping some form of learning going. This whole thing would be a lot tougher without the Internet, I think.

    We used COVID-19 as our excuse to get carryout pizza this week, which felt decadent! The two employees there were extremely careful and it was sad to see the place empty.

    Thankful for much these days, but it’s amazing how the feel of things has shifted so dramatically in just a week or two. I cannot imagine being a healthcare worker at this time. Sending virtual hugs to you and the others in this community!

    1. It was so great. Started with just the two of us talking and then I figured we should make it a “party.”

  2. That’s a great picture. You can tell the grandkids all about it someday.
    We’ve been home for a week. It’s tough. Our home is small and it’s not set up for 2 people to work from home. My wife gets on a phone meeting and I can’t focus. Now, I see the value of a bigger home…
    Anyway, we’re doing okay.
    We’re spending more money on food too. The local businesses are hit really hard. I hope they get through this okay.
    Stay safe!

    1. Ha yes. We joked about how it would be her most memorable birthday, but it’s totally odd to realize how much we’re living history right now.

  3. What great ways to maintain social connections without compromising anyone’s safety! I don’t know which idea I like better: the neighborhood birthday party or the virtual babysitter.

  4. We’ve also been trying to support our local restaurants. Usually I protest when Adam wants to eat out more than once a week, but given that some of our favorite local eateries are facing a serious financial crisis, I’m all for spending a little more right now to help keep them in business. We’re going a little stir crazy with uncharacteristic March storms in LA, but I keep reminding myself that this is only temporary and soon enough we’ll be able to get outside for some running, hiking and biking.

  5. Well our schools just shut down this week, as of Monday. So our community is still trying to grapple with this new reality. I think we all are. It is great to see how other communities who have been at this for longer are dealing with it. Its amazing how much hope is out there when you look for it.

    That is a well attending birthday party! Cheers!

  6. Love the spontaneous bday party! I’ve been doing more one-on-one chats with friends at work (virtually of course) and there’s more of an attitude of “we’re all in this together,” which doesn’t often happen.

    We finally got a case out here 🙁 so we’re going to hunker down even more. We may break down at some point to get takeout, but with our small rural healthcare clinics already taxed, even that is feeling a little risky. Going to see if there are any farm pick-ups we could do.

  7. My son will be on his way to your beautiful state in early April. (He is a newly commissioned ensign in the Navy and will be stationed in Everett). I’m not sure which part of Washington you live in, but I’m sure he would welcome supporting restaurant deliveries. ;). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

  8. Hi Angela,

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve been keeping in social contact with others. Your habit of taking daily walks is a great way to maintain positive holistic health during these times of having to work from home.

    My family just returned revitalized from our picnic and walk up a nearby hill. We chanced upon a flock of fantails among the trees. A curious one flew over to check us out. All of a sudden, one of the fantails swooped after its intended snack over our heads. Somehow, the bug evaded death – the bird actually chirped in frustration before giving up.

    This experience shows that nature gives us a much needed respite, especially during these challenging times. Take care and stay positive.

  9. The treadmill. I have used the treadmill a lot more these last few weeks as we try to stick with our exercise routine and its really the only way I can deal with my over abundance of news and social media. We had a virtual cocktails on Friday with friends. It was nice. Im a bit torn about the going outside for walks. The National Trust here in the UK had to close their gardens this weekend. This was because “Many of our car parks for countryside and coastal locations will also have to close due to high demand. We urge people to stay local and observe social distancing. Please do not travel.” It seems everyone wanted to escape to nature which means none of it for everyone. The goal is to prevent as many people as possible from coming into contact with one another, I think. Unfortunately the parks may have to go too so people actually do that, at least here.

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