A blogger’s guide to enforced family unity! day 1

As the Government announces the closure of schools and colleges, I’m suddenly jolted into a dose of reality! As family rolls in from school and work, I’m considering what my next move should be. Up to now, I’d followed the news story of the dreaded Covid-19 with great interest, but, like all current crises, hadn’t given much thought to the prospect of it actually impacting my normally quiet, orderly life. I’m mentally making lists of things that, with foresight, I should have done before now. I read the HSE guidelines over and over again to make sure that we are taking every possible precaution. Every anti-bacterial soap and handwash that I have is placed on every available sink, and I’m lucky enough to have a couple of small hand sanitisers that are strategically placed inside every entry door, in case someone calls to the house.
I’m a weekly shopper, and apart from milk or maybe bread, I rarely brave the shops more than that. But my weekly shopping list is extensive, as is my family! At the first opportunity, I hit the supermarket. Stepping inside the door with trolley (after carefully wiping with an anti-bacterial disposable wipe) and shopping bags, I’m immediately struck by the frantic to-ing and fro-ing of what seems to be a million people. With a heavy heart, I brave the aisles. With as much determination as I can muster, I fill my trolley with anything that could conceivably be considered food for human and animal consumption (can’t forget the pets!), and other non-perishable goods that are usually on my list. An hour later, I’m still in line to pay for my goods. Finally, on the point of passing out, I’m cleared to leave the nightmare shop. With a perfunctory “Thanks” to the woe-begotten check- out server, I make my escape to the car and head for home. Half-way home, I realise I’m low on petrol, but nothing could persuade me to turn back. I’m exhausted. There’s no reprieve when I get home either. Normally, after a leisurely morning shopping trip, I indulge in a coffee before the tedious task of hauling in bags of spuds, six-pack bottles of water, pet food, and all things weighty from the boot of the car. Today, I’m in a rush to get everything into the fridge, and into cupboards in an effort to restore some type of order to my kitchen. As I’m a meal planner, I’ve no worries about feeding the flock. But as I work from home part time, my concern is for my own sanity! I’m considering every quiet corner of my home that I can reasonably escape to without causing offence.
After much consideration, I’m starting to see the ridiculous journey my thoughts have taken me on….after all, I love each and every one of my own gang and this imposed isolation will afford us an opportunity of really connecting as a unit, rather than the passing of ships in the night which has become the norm! Feeling much more cheery, I make a general inquiry to all about what it is they’d like to do. Facing blank stares makes my new-found confidence falter a bit, but I’m determined to make the most of this time together. So, we decide to play a game of cards that evening. Card playing is generally a Christmas time activity when it’s assoc-iated with good times, so it’s a good bet.
Just before I fall asleep for the night, I congratulate myself on a well-executed, successful plan that leaves me feeling more optimistic about our time together. But then I realise, it’s only the end of the first weekend. Mentally, I’m counting the bottles of hard liquor that’s available to me, deciding that I’m not wasting any of it on home-made hand sanitisers! Watch this space!