April 22, 2020. My seventh blog post in the Coronatimes
None of my blog entries are meant to undercut anyone’s experience during this pandemic. The hardships are real. To me, nothing is more tearful than hearing stories about how our brothers and sisters losing their fight with COVID-19 are alone in their final moments. Nurses and other frontline healthcare professionals are connecting these patients with their families via phone or FaceTime to say their goodbyes at the end of a lonely battle.
You also have hard-working people who have had the financial rug pulled out from under them. Their needs are immediate and dire. They must find ways to feed their families, pay rent, pay loan payments, pay for phone service, pay for health insurance, ad nauseam. Then you have essential workers, who I know are happy to be working or feel moved to be working, but put their lives and the lives of everyone they go home to in danger on a daily basis.
But in this quick moment of levity and insight, and this has to be said, who has it harder than the women (and men) sheltered at home who normally have other people come in to clean their house? During ordinary times, they hire and pay people to dust, sweep, scrub and mop their quarantine holes, but now they have all of these official looking bottles and supplies on a shelf and it’s been years since they’ve done more than just buy them. Why does my cleaning lady need so many? Surely they all do the same thing.
Which cleaner is for the bathroom sink versus the toilet? Do I spray the dusting spray on the furniture or on the cloth? Is bleach safe to use on countertops? Excuse my eye roll, but if you’ve read the blog, you know I clean my own house. I had a lady that came in to clean for a few months fifteen years ago, but I have real issues with paying for something I can do myself fairly painlessly and thus she was gone. I’ve found if I tell myself that cleaning is self-satisfying and relaxing, then I can stomach it for a few hours.
A few months back I was talking to a couple of friends about the fact that I had taken a day off work to clean my house, but had conducted a meeting via phone while I was mopping the floors. They both looked at me like I had lost my mind. “You mop your floors?” one asked. I shook my head yes. The other then asked, “With like a mop and a bucket of water?” Again, yes. Complete with Pine Sol and vinegar, I go to town every couple of weeks. The mere concept shook them to the core. “I haven’t cleaned my own house in years.” one said while the other shook her head in understanding.
I picture them now during this pandemic trying to remember which end of the mop to use and wondering what the bucket water temperature should be and carefully reading the directions to figure out how much cleaner to pour in. HINT: No one reads the directions, it’s by feel. Clean is clean, doesn’t matter how much or how little you use. (See blog entry on vacuuming)
I respect these women very much and am absolutely not making fun of them, but these are the things I think about during the long days. I’ve heard so many people say they were “made for self-quarantine” because blah, blah, blah, but I call bullshit. No one is better suited for self-quarantine than long-time self house cleaners. My wallet of cobwebs has placed me squarely in the middle of this “made for self-quarantine” category. Little did I know that I’ve been pandemic prepping for decades. All those years of wishing someone else were cleaning my house, being a little jealous of my friends that have someone doing it for them, but then begrudgingly doing it myself, are finally paying off.
Now get out of my way, I’m mopping here. 🙂
I’m sending good vibes and thoughts to all the frontline workers, essential workers, unemployed workers, people who are doing their best to stay at home and help where they can, but mostly to the victims of this terrible virus. God Speed.