Lockdown living (commentary by Melissa Martin)

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Lockdown living (commentary by Melissa Martin)
Many companies now have strict hand-washing policies as part of measures to contain the coronavirus.

The world is reopening and I need to return to social norms and hygiene habits prior to COVID-19. Life after lockdown requires diligence to return to previous routines and schedules.

First, I want to make a confession and come clean—soapy clean. Daily bathing during the shutdown didn’t happen until May when the weather warmed. No commute to the office allowed for less showering. My hubby and I stocked up on food and hunkered down with no visitors and no outings. Why on earth should a human shower every day if she’s not going anywhere to be exposed to the virus?

Shaving took a dive during the quarantine—including the tiny hairs under my nose and above my top lip. And the rogue hair that lives on the edge of my chin. Back to the razor. Argh!

“I’ve been so lonely!” my deodorant cried. Sorry armpits, but I didn’t need my antiperspirant during the pandemic isolation.

Yoga pants, I love you, but wearing you to the office is taboo. We’ll still be together on the weekends. Slouchy clothes, don’t be jealous of formal attire. Back to wearing a bra in public places. My pajamas retired themselves because I put too many daytime miles on them.

The days of wearing a ballcap to hide my gray hair is over. It’s been cut, colored, and styled by my hairdresser. Woo hoo! What a relief. And just who dubbed hair salons a non-essential business? Probably, a bald guy or Miley Cyrus.

Yes, I became hooked on YouTube gardening videos. So much so—that I planted asparagus. By the way, it takes 3 years to harvest the first crop of this green vegetable. Who knew?

Don’t judge me. I binge-watched all the episodes of the Schitt’s Creek series. I took a vacation from the news in June. And I slacked on cleaning the house.

Bad habit. I allowed my 120 pound canine to lounge on the end of the couch. My rationale—it’s an old ratty sofa that needs replaced. But, the problem will be keeping her off a new couch. Ugh.

I thought about baking a cake, but my spouse laughed so hard he almost wet his pants. It’s been boocoo years since I homemade a yummy treat. The feeling soon passed. My new cooking title is “Crockpot Queen.” Not to be confused with crackpot.

I saved money by not wearing makeup during the lockdown. My perfume took a sabbatical as well. Looking good and smelling good is back in style as the world reopens. Body odor outside the home is a no-no.

But, I reworked my flower beds, planted a pollinator paradise for butterflies, bees, and beneficial bugs, and repainted my watering cans and pots. And scooped the dog poo from the backyard. I planted extra tomato and green pepper plants in order to donate to local food pantries. The sunflower seeds will be harvested and stored to feed winter birds.

I’m wondering, is this what retirement will look like for me? Hmmm.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in U.S.

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