Patty Unleashed

Patty Unleashed: 3.25.20

I’ve been in the Florida Keys since the end of January. It’s a place where you lose track of time and don’t talk about current events. So I was a little caught off guard when Gov. Ron DeSantis popped up on the television recently. To be honest, I was mad. You see, I am one of the few people who still watch soap operas and admit it. As I was getting ready to see if Michael was going to finally find out about the baby switch on General Hospital, I learned about the coronavirus. It seemed like something I shouldn’t start thinking about because, as a hypochondriac, panic would set in. So I paid no attention to him.

The next day, as I settled in for another episode of GH, there he was again. What the hell? He was determined not to let me watch my show, and this time, he brought doctors with him. Yikes! He started talking about ‘social distancing’ and risk categories. I realized that since I turned 60 in January, I was in one of those categories! It was time for me to actually plug back in and find out what was going on in the world. Double yikes!

So Carey and I decided to come home. We packed up the car and started the cross-country drive to beat the coronavirus back to St. Louis. Off we went with our Clorox wipes, cleaning service station bathrooms (some of which had not been cleaned in a long time) as we made our way home. We washed our hands and attempted to be safe, but we knew that without being in a giant bubble, we really only could do so much. Along the way, I placed an order for groceries through Amazon Prime, feeling quite proud of myself for getting them delivered upon arrival.

We made it the 19 hours with a minimum number of spats over my husband’s driving (which, even after 36 years of marriage, still causes me to scream silently inside—well, out loud, too). As we unpacked, I smugly waited for my groceries. The delivery time passed. Then I got a text that they were running late. My husband offered to run and get a couple of things. No, they would be there soon. No groceries by the time we went to bed, but it said they were on the way. Huh. I woke up at 5:30 a.m., checked my e-mail, and noticed that, according to Amazon, I had successfully cancelled my order from Whole Foods. I sat straight up in bed, ready to call customer service and start screaming. Instead, I headed to Dierbergs, where I found a bunch of bleary-eyed women just like me shopping for their families as the staff tried to restock the shelves. Everyone exchanged smiles; we were in it together. Today, while I watched General Hospital, the coronavirus didn’t enter my mind. It was nice for those 60 minutes.

Keep your distance. Listen to the experts. And perhaps, if you are stuck at home, join me and become a proud soap opera watcher, at least until this passes.