Coronovirus – Cabin Fever!

I live in Virginia. I have been staying home, in happy self-quarantine, for three weeks now, since my earlier than planned return from the Land of Sunshine. I have been okay with that. I like my house, I like ordering groceries on-line, and the weather has been warm enough for backyard campfires and cook outs. I have had no urge whatsoever to leave. Until yesterday.

Yesterday the Virginia Governor made a public decree. Because people were not following his recommendation to not gather in groups during this pandemic, he did what any normal parent would do with his rebellious children. He sent us all to our rooms.

“Effective IMMEDIATELY ! All non-essential travel will CEASE!” We are allowed to leave our homes to exercise, get food, seek medical treatment, and work (providing we have a note from our boss defining our jobs as essential.) Everybody else, STAY HOME.

This mandate is in effect till JUNE 10! Oh, boy!

While I agree whole- heartedly with his decision, something awoke deep inside of me. I think it is called Cabin Fever!

Some people get it when they are snowed in during a nasty Michigan blizzard, risking their lives on icy roads to escape the Cabin Fever wall climbing clutches. Others get it at the mere suggestion of being quarantined. I thought I was immune to this but, alas, I am not.

We had a grocery order ready for pickup yesterday afternoon and I decided to ride along. On the way we stopped at the storage lot and unloaded a few baskets of summer clothing from the trailer. May is warm here and we will need those summer things before the quarantine is lifted.

It was fun to see the trees blooming and my pretty city in the spring-time. I haven’t been out to see it since before Christmas. And today, I wanted to do it again. There isn’t really anywhere to GO; stores, parks and beaches are all closed. I just wanted to go for a drive.

There is a big difference between CHOOSING to stay home and being MADE to stay home. I feel a little bit like a teenager in class detention; I wasn’t the one acting up but everyone gets punished for it.

I’m not sure what the cure is for Cabin Fever. I am pretty much a homebody and usually have no trouble entertaining myself. I may be writing more before the June 10 quarantine is lifted!

COVID19 – Quarantine Buns

My husband and I entered self-quarantine one week ago today, because we had left an area in Florida where there were growing numbers of community acquired cases of Corona virus. Our home is comfortable and we have food in the freezer so nobody is in a panic at our house.

Temperatures were in the unseasonable high eighties yesterday and the weather demanded summer-like food. My frozen burger patties were slated to be grilled when I realized I didn’t have any buns. Under normal circumstances this would have been resolved by a quick trip to the local grocery store, but we are in quarantine. Fortunately I have ingredients and decided to try my hand at making hamburger buns.

I googled several recipes for these buns, finally deciding on one where I could use my bread maker to do the kneading. I loaded the wet ingredients into the hopper, followed by the dry, topping it off with my yeast, turned the machine to a dough setting and left for a three mile bike ride. When I returned, I gently lifted the dough, rolled it into 1/2 inch thickness and cut uniform circles with a drinking glass.

These little rounds rested on a sprayed cookie sheet for an hour where they doubled in size before being baked for @15 minutes in a preheated oven. Once cooled, I broke them apart, sliced them in half, and enjoyed our burgers.

The buns have a slightly denser texture than the flimsy, low cost buns I usually buy. They taste more like fancy, artisan buns. I guess they are!

As we are all locked down, this is a great time to experiment and try new things. You may just discover something you love!

Watching COVID19 – Fleeing Florida

My husband and I spent the winter in Florida this year. We packed up our little 16 ft travel trailer and headed south shortly after Christmas. Virginia winters are chilly, sometimes there is even snow. We chose to escape winter for many reasons, one being the lure of summer-like temperatures.

First stop was a six week stay at a private campground in Florida City, the gateway to the Keys. Our Florida State Park pass gave us access to all of the State Parks in the Keys and we visited many of them, bicycling around the parks as well as the local communities. We soaked up sun, swam in the waters, and hung out enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather. At the private campground, we participated in many activities, made friends, and were very sad to leave when our time was done.

From there, we headed north for a two week stay at Jonathon Dickinson State Park by the Atlantic Ocean. Florida’s state parks are in high demand, despite their limit of two week stays. We were fortunate to get in at all, as reservations must be made 11 months ahead. We logged miles on our bicycles on the park’s many trails and enjoyed campfires and nature. Our time ended and we moved to a private resort in Ft. Myers for the final month of our trip.

By then, we were starting to see news stories about a killer virus in China. Then reports started targeting cases in Florida, all travel and cruise related. Florida takes the COVID19 virus very seriously and nightly news reports stated how many cases were identified, where they were contracted, where the people were recovering (hospital, nursing facility, or their homes) and how many cases were being monitored for development. We kept a social distance from folks we met and didn’t participate in any group activities. Florida’s first COVID19 death occurred in a local hospital.

Our daughter back in Virginia was very concerned, especially as the news reported more and more cases of COVID19 across many states. She wanted us home!

We, however, were enjoying the 85 degree sunshine and were reluctant to trade that for 50 degree drizzle in Virginia. Besides, our campsite was paid until the first of April, with no refunds. We figured we weren’t in any danger to just stay in place.

There were only a few cases of travel-related COVID19 in our area when my husband surprised me by asking me to write out a 4 week menu for the two of us using only shelf stable foods. I don’t usually cook with shelf stable food, and figured we could eventually use it for our hurricane supplies. I didn’t think we had any reason for concern. We then purchased this food and stored it in a big plastic bin in our van. His reasoning was that we might be quarantined in the campground for a month and this way we would be prepared. I keep a pantry at home, but certainly didn’t pack food for a 12 week trip in our little trailer. We tend to visit the grocery store every couple of days, picking up milk, bread, meat, and whatever else that is running low. The shelves were full, the store relatively empty, and we gathered our lengthy list with no problems.


One week ago today we were the lone mini golf players at the resort’s golf course, arguing with our daughter by phone, trying to convince her that we were fine as she was trying to convince us that we were not. We had plans to meet friends at a restaurant the following day, but that evening Florida announced its first community acquired case of COVID19 in our area.

We prayed for direction and peace. Odds are, this wasn’t a huge threat to us, and prepared to make the 45 minute drive to see our friends. As I was getting ready, not thinking about anything except applying make up and fixing my hair, the voice of God spoke to my spirit. Clearly, I heard, “It’s time. It’s time to go home.” and a peace flooded over me. I told my husband it was time to go home and he agreed that we would leave in the morning.

We headed out to meet our friends, and on the way I developed a raging sore throat. It was almost instantaneous. With only three miles to go, we cancelled, turned around, and headed back. My husband made one stop at a drug store to buy a numbing throat spray for me, and we quickly packed up our campsite and started the drive back at 2:30 pm.

On the road we learned that three more community acquired cases had been identified in our area. This is no longer a virus limited to those who caught it while traveling over seas; it is now real, it is a pandemic, and it is in our backyard!

Because we were coming from an active community acquired area, we began practicing self quarantine while on the trip home. Usually we stop and eat at restaurants, use the public facilities and take stretch breaks. This trip was different. We used the facilities in our trailer for bathroom and meals, avoiding people as much as possible. My husband used disposable gloves for pumping gas and copious amounts of hand cleaner.

We are home now, our trailer is unpacked and returned to storage, and we have settled in for a two week isolation. Every day on the news, we see stricter regulations from our government and watch more and more businesses close. Our daughter is working from home and her computer equipment is spread over our dining room table. My husband is working on the kitchen table, filing our taxes and watching the stock market tank. I am spending lots of time in my home office, reading the Bible, writing and praying.

Every day we see more and more reports of deaths from this virus, accelerating numbers of cases and growing restrictions. We were fortunate to arrive home before domestic travel bans are implemented for civilians and military families. We hear the ever expanding time lines of projections when this siege will end.

We join the rest of the world watching COVID19.