• Jana

The Unexpected Relief of Seeing an Empty Refrigerator. Coronavirus Update - Day 53 and Counting...

When this quarantine started, all I wanted was to make sure I had enough food to feed my family, like everyone else. There were stories of people panic-buying all over the news and I was one of them. I have three refrigerators at my house, not by design, but rather by accident. I have one in my kitchen, of course, and a second one in the mudroom, right off the garage (both of those came with the house). The third one is in my garage, which I brought from the garage at my previous home. Before the quarantine, the two extra ones used to be fairly empty, except for some extra eggs, produce, and bottles of water. However, when the panic buying started in mid-March I jumped on that bandwagon and they all quickly filled up. I went every few weeks to the market, switching off between Ralphs and Trader Joes, with one big trip to Costco. No one could forget the sight of that over-filled basket on my blog post, nor my first experience wearing a mask, which now feels practically normal. That pattern went on for a while. Every time I went to the market I overbought and overbought, just in case the end of the world was coming. Panic has that effect on people, or it least it did on me. However, the more I went to the store, over time, the shorter the lines became and consequently, my panic started to abate. I could see the stores had plenty of food and I felt both safe and comfortable going, which led to less panic buying. It was a relief to lug only 10 bags of groceries home to unpack and put away, rather than 20. So slowly, the stockpile in my refrigerators started to decrease. I thought it might make me feel a bit panicked not to see as much food staring at me every time I open the refrigerator, but it has been just the opposite. I love opening the refrigerator and seeing all those empty shelves. Even my freezers are starting to look a little more sparse, which I never thought would happen. There is something both liberating and symbolic about it. I know that we are a long way off from being on the other side of this pandemic, but every little sign of improvement, like a refrigerator that isn't stuffed with food, feels hopeful and optimistic. There are so many people out there that have had to go without food, during this time. Hoarding, despite how instinctive it may feel, brings about not only anxiety but guilt. Now that my refrigerators are appearing more like they did before the onset of COVID 19, both of these emotions are slowly dissipating in me. I am due to go to the market in the next few days because I am low on quite a few items. With the feeling of panic still in the air surrounding this virus, the challenge will be to resist panic buying and hoarding. It feels almost primal and therefore difficult to stave off.


Our mudroom refrigerator was filled to capacity for nearly two months. It now looks like this.



Miles captured a Ladybug (which he later let go), in his Critter Container, this morning.



The ladybug provided hours of entertainment for him.



Less than 24 hours after yesterday's Catan catastrophe, we were back playing board games. Luckily, Bill Gates had school work to do, so it was just the three of us playing Sorry so it was smooth sailing.



Homeschooling on the dining room table.



Miles taking a break from his exhausting school day.



Lunch today was served al fresco.



Do you Look Like Your Dog matching game.....again!



We've moved from cooking to gardening.



The troops did some heavy-duty work today in the garden.



The quarantine ritual after dinner walk.



The final prize in the garden that Garin and Catherine dug up, just as it was getting dark.

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