Ramona on Corona: No More PB&J


The second installment of a humor series for this difficult time

Today, for my Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!), I’m sharing the second installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way. Read on.

March 31, 2020…

I’m starting to not be myself during this pandemic. Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t take a shower yesterday. I have never not taken a shower every day. I got out of bed and jumped, well, slowly slithered one foot at a time into my athleisure-wear pant legs. My husband, K., had coughed a few times on waking, then took a quick shower thinking maybe these were the first signs of corona and he might need to get to a drive-thru test site post haste.

Having the same thought and not wanting to shower after him, fearing his potential corona-laden cough might aerosolize (new vocab word), I eschewed a shower, dressed, grabbed my toiletries and scooted downstairs. (I used to think people who didn’t shower every day were disgusting and selfish, especially if they used public transportation). I guess you could say I have now joined the rank (pun) and file.

I’m happy to report K. is feeling fine. No more coughing and we both showered today. So we’re inoffensive to everybody. Well, to nobody… because nobody’s around.

We’re morphing into an “every man for himself” ethos around here. I’m a little tired of being asked, “Wanna have lunch now?” When I know that means, “You want to make me a plate after you take out the sliced turkey, sliced muenster cheese and mustard, cut some tomato slices and garnish with raw baby carrots and cucumber spears?”

I’m afraid I might commit a domestic misdemeanor if he asks me to make him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich again. The last time he asked I said “Can’t you make it yourself?” and he replied, “I don’t know the ratio.”

We had a virtual birthday party for our youngest daughter last night (28) thanks to Zoom (FaceTime on steroids), connecting our cherished older daughter, son-in-law and two adorable granddaughters sheltering in their own places. We found last New Year’s Eve hats, blowers and confetti, placed two mini-American flags from last July 4th on the chocolate chip banana bread we made yesterday. On the count of three we did a coast-to-coast communal blow-out of the single white candle at its center and sang Happy Birthday. I didn’t cry. But I almost did.

K. and I meet to watch “Gov. Cuomo’s Neighborhood” every day. I bring my blankie. K.’s starting to suck his thumb. We love Gov. Cuomo. He’s become our best friend. And he likes us just the way we are, isolated and miserable. He’s comforting and has a positive attitude. He’s confident we will learn our lessons well:

  1. Always be prepared
  2. Play nicely with your friends on Zoom
  3. Wash your hands a lot
  4. Learn your testing place
  5. Wear your masks

Gov. Cuomo acts like a real human being. He is able to act like a governor at the same time. And a father and a son and a brother. This is possible if you have a heart that beats and a soul that feels. He says gathering his family together on Sundays and eating meatballs and spaghetti and talking and laughing and getting on each others’ nerves is in his DNA. I guess that came from his mother and father. How lucky is he? Some people don’t have DNA that directs them toward the common good. Their words and actions make you want to take another shower.

K. will come downstairs soon. We’ll take a walk in our yard, deeply breathing in the fresh air, picking up random sticks and branches that have fallen from the trees. We’ll gather as many as we can hold in our gloved hands and walk them down to the edge of the woods bordering our property. We’ll toss them in with the other brush and dried leaves, where after time, they will be indistinguishable from the earth they rest on.

How long will they survive on this planet?

Anybody’s guess.

Pam Goldman is a writer, therapist, wife, mother and (young) grandmother. Her work has been published in The New York Times and VIVA Magazine. She is completing her first book, titled LEFT.

This originally appeared on Medium.com