Covid-19 Quarantine, Week Two, Still Alive – Marie Cooper

Actor’s Covid-19 Quarantine – Week Two – Still Alive

Reading Time: 7 minutes

I was an actor and writer before the coronapocolypse. What happened to the show must go on? This isn’t the show I auditioned for. Second week of Quarantine and even an introvert can start to fray at the edges if left indoors alone for too long…

Quarantine Day 8

Monday 30 March 2020 – Grocery Prayers

Still Alive for week 2 of the British Hunger Games. At the Queuing hour, of every day, we sit in a virtual circle, reciting the prayer of slots, as the page refreshes, refreshes, refreshes. If the Grocery God imparts his blessings upon us, then in three weeks we shall have food and some litter in which the cat can deposit his poops. It will be a hard 3 weeks, but the Grocery God sends us trials because he knows we have faith that our milk carton will cometh… Eventually. They will cometh… Won’t they?
I’ll have to brave outside again to forage for supplies in the meantime. Not looking forward to mingling with the ‘others’ wandering the wastelands.
Read a news article about how some companies are still sending people to work in the Islip plaguelands. Then accidentally clicked on the ad bar with my fiddly phone fingers. A funeral service page popped up. Cheesus! I know things are going to get worse and everything, but bad form Google Adwords. It’s like the Western, pioneer, undertaker displaying an empty coffin by the entrance to town as Covid Eastwood rides in.
Discovered that if I float frozen fruit in my gin, then I can use less ice, less tonic and get one of my five a day at the same time. Sonface pointed out that it was only a fraction of my 5-a day. So I drank more gin to ensure that I received my full portion of vitamins. Means I get through more gin though….Oh well!

Quarantine Day 9

Tuesday 31 March 2020 – Turnbull et al

Whilst I was out wandering the wastelands on the way to the supermarket, across the carpark, I spotted a row of stick insects queuing outside of Aldi. But no, silly me, my mistake! They were people. Lots of people, all in a row, standing in their designated standing spots. They were just far, far away. I think I have spent too much time looking at walls, monitors and screens (reference Turnbull et al and Father Ted, obviously).

Had a brief conversation with the washing machine about how I would give it all the time it needs to spin.I’ve spoken to a Henry before, but my washing machine doesn’t even have a face. If you think you are slightly mad, means you are not mad. That’s the way it works, isn’t it?

Things have got so bad now with ground coffee supplies that I’ve had to resort to Blueberry flavour. That was the last straw. It’s just a footstep onto a slippery slope all the way down to drinking… *cringes*… ‘instant coffee’. Not sure how much more of this I can take.

Quarantine Day 10

Wednesday 1 April 2020 – Spring Garden

A guy knocked on my door begging to trade (standing 2 meters apart obviously). I swapped a packet of toilet rolls for a painting of a vicar and a falling apart church. He assured me it would be worth something when Coronapocolypse is over. It’s a bit dreary and not to my taste to be honest, but I felt sorry for him. He seemed desparate to go.

Discovered that if I sit still on the floor on my beanbag, and binge watch a series for threes hours and only allow myself one 20 minute break to pee and/or make a G&T, I can get the full authentic, numb bum theatre experience in my own home. I might see if I can pursuade sonface to watch something with me and rattle sweet wrappers every five minutes for the full effect.

Government daily update yesterday evening said “We are not out of the woods yet, we are just in the woods”. Are you taking the piss Stephen? It’s been so long since I’ve been to ‘the woods’, I’m starting to forget what a ****ing tree looks like. And FYI Stephen, no one has used the term ‘green shoots’ since the 90s.

Bonus overnight weirdness…

Some crazy shit was going on out back at around 4am this morning. Woke up to a thunderous crash. Sounded like something had either jumped down onto and fallen off of, or rammed my recycling bin. Not just that, the noise it was making was the stuff of nightmares. I could hear it go off into the distance and then return and then off again, calling out as if it was some kind of animal giving birth to a cactus.

Searched Twitter and Facebook hoping someone might have mentioned seeing a deer trying to find it’s way out from the gardens…but no one else in the world mentioned it.

Sonface could find no evidence of anything strange this morning. Going to assume that it was a large, scared mammal that wondered too far into the city, and not all the terrifyingly, impossible things that my imagination can suggest when half asleep.

Quarantine Day 11

Thursday 2 April 2020 – Outside Faces

Sonface pulled me out of the house kicking and screaming yesterday, totally mitigating my… ‘don’t want to go outside alone’, excuse for avoiding the daily exercise quota. Walked for miles. Loved every minute of the quiet. Walked by streams, listened to birds, avoided ‘others’, took photos of things that looked like they had faces. I don’t mean like the cows, horses, squirrels and birds etc. I mean things that otherwise shouldn’t have a face… Glad all those animal things did have faces though, otherwise our walk would have been more than a little disturbing.

Cyclist said hello. I said hello back. Touching contact with a stranger. He won’t survive. Too friendly. The Whisperers and Negans will take him out when the zombies start turning.

Today I braved leaving the house all by myself… voluntarily. That’s twice in two days. Guess that could be interpreted as flipping the bird to the virus big time. Hope I’m not dead tomorrow. That’s not on my to-do list. Not yet, anyway.

Returned from a successful hunt. Even located “lady things” before a whole different apocolyspe is upon me. Felt like the Junk Lady from Labyrinth on the way home though. Carried food shopping, a 20L bag of compost and a pot of paint home all at once.

I was standing in the queue outside Roy’s of Wroxham, discussing excitedly with the woman behind me, about what wonders must lay within for the line to be so long, when a guy who was passing by, lost his shoe.

We both lol’d after he’d slipped it back on and rode away. He was trying to cycle in sparkly, high-heeled court shoes.  Totally embracing the ‘end of the world as we know it’ in style, if not practicality. It was worth leaving the house just for the bonus entertainment.

Quarantine Day 12

Friday 3 April 2020 – The Shows Must go on

Daily government updates are getting a bit samey. Some people have died. Some people haven’t. The rules we said yesterday and the day before and the day before still stand. Oh, and don’t go out and play in the sunshine at the weekend.

Incidentally, we (and when I say we, I mean I) may have to introduce guidelines for the kitchen whiteboard during these difficult times. It’s an important shopping list resource. Adding doodles and cartoons has, prior to today, been permitted. However, when I can’t write ‘Hand Soap’ on the board because a slice of cake has been drawn right in the middle of the list zone of the board, then stronger restrictions will need to be introduced. The board is there for a reason.

Next door had a lovely shepherd’s pie dinner tonight. They broadcast their daily live dinner, health updates and client details via loudspeaker and the medium of Alexa. Not very entertaining to be honest. Wish they could at least try to make it a bit spicier. There is a global pandemic on, and we are all getting a little bored. They announced a possible three-way, but it won’t work though, apparently.

Sonface was joking with squishy that she is now at the age where she isn’t just absorbing information, but also listening and understanding. She immediately said, ‘I didn’t understand that *thing* Nanny was watching’. Look, I did try to explain but she only saw me watching from the point that the Pharaoh turns into Elvis, so she was a bit lost. We are going to have to watch Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat again, from the beginning, tomorrow.

Quarantine Day 13

Saturday 4 April 2020 – Introverts Rise

Quarantine Day 13: A couple of days ago… or was it three?… or yesterday?… the government daily update said that “Social distancing is hard, I know it’s hard”. I shouted at the screen, simultaneously, with introverts all over the country, as they watched with me on their phones, tablets and laptops. “NO, IT’S NOT!” We still all have a massive pile of books to get through and are hoping we can fool the extroverts to keep this up, even when it’s safe.

I’ve started collecting toilet rolls. Don’t be judgey! I’m not stockpiling full ones. I’m hoarding the empty tubes to make compostable pots to sow my seeds in. Yes, it’s a thing.

Running low on supplies again already. I have no transport and can only carry so much at a time. Part of me thinks I should consider researching how to trap small mammals and birds. Part of me suspects I wouldn’t get past the ‘awwww tut, tut, tut, he’s sooooo cuuute, I’ll eat the next one’ stage. I suck at surviving apocolypses. In my defence, we never covered this in comprehensive school Home Economics.

There are now so many free plays, musicals and ballet performances etc being streamed for free online by arts organisations because of Covid-19, that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m likely to see more productions over the next few weeks, than I’ve been able to afford to see in my entire lifetime. The government is likely to have to pay introverts to leave home, now we’ve had a taste of the peace and calm of wondrous isolation.

Quarantine Day 14

Sunday 5 April 2020 – To the Cat Cave

Quarantine Day 14: We are being commended on how heroic we are for staying home, saving the NHS and saving lives. I’m not feeling it. Maybe tomorrow I should wear my pants over the top of my ‘day’ pyjamas for full effect.
Dreamt that I was at an audition for three plays at once. That’s it. Can’t remember much else, other than I was incredibly stressed and confused. I need to get back on the stage asap. I think it’s the only thing from the before-time that I appear to be pining for.
Decided to paint the office, which is looking a bit Fallout. Moved a cupboard, which started a cascade of moving things. Hoping that a rearrange, freshen up and declutter will get me in the right head space and motivate me to be more productive with my writing so I can get my damned play finished before I die. I have Coronapocolyse amounts of time to finish it and no excuses not to.
Extended my working table, put a nice candle on my desk, some incense… but I am well aware that this clear writing space realistically translates into a new catface chill out area and bed space.

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