All By Ourselves

Day 9 of quarantine and I’m starting to lose it a little bit.

Ecuador has declared a state of emergency. Borders are closed. Schools are closed. We aren’t allowed to leave our house except for food or medical supplies. Even then, it is limited to one person per household between the ages of 18-59. Odd numbered license plates permitted to circulate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Even numbered plates the remainder of the week. Grocery stores maxing out at a capacity of thirty people at a time – after which it operates on a one in, one out system – leading to long lines that wind down the block with people spaced six feet apart. You must wear a mask and gloves. And of course, a nationwide curfew. Heavy penalties including fines of up to $6k and jail time for violating any of these restrictions.

This is serious.

I haven’t so much as set foot outside the gates of my house, keeping busy with the kids and rearranging all our furniture. If we’re going to be here for awhile, might as well make it comfortable.

Because I don’t know what the future holds. Or how long this will last. And while most of the time, I’m okay. Sometimes I’m not. Like now. Late at night when everyone else has gone to bed. When I’ve read too many articles that scare the shit out of me. And I realize that this might go on for longer than I can handle.

Or even worse, when I think of the fact that someone I know might get sick and die. Maybe not even from the virus itself. But that the medical system will be too overburdened to care for them if they need it. Not enough ICU beds. Not enough ventilators. Not enough masks for the doctors and healthcare workers that are risking their lives every day.

I feel helpless.

Stuck in a place I cannot leave. With the intense desire to be doing more. As if doing more will somehow fix things. Problems and issues that eclipse what I couldn’t have even fathomed a mere month before this.

It’s so fucked.

And while the measures Ecuador has set in place are strict. I am grateful for them. That they are taking the situation seriously and implementing the same strategies that are working in other countries to protect the people. In spite of the fact that it is a developing nation that does not have access to the same resources as wealthier countries. Because this is a virus that does not and will not discriminate. A global pandemic we have not yet seen in this lifetime.

So I hug my babies extra tight. Focus on the positives. My sweet Mona on the verge of rolling over. Some solid neck control that tells me she might be sitting solo soon. A love of dancing already. My cute little wiggle worm that desperately wants to crawl. And my baby boy. Not such a baby anymore. Curiosity that knows no bounds. Mumbling quietly to himself as he imagines a vivid world in which his legos live. Singing Raffi at the top of his lungs. A constantly rotating wardrobe of everything from his wetsuit to a dragon to a handmade monster mask.

It’s what keeps me going.

That and my partner in crime. My husband who takes the morning shift so I can sleep in. Juggling a baby in one arm and a bouncy kid in the other. Making the supermarket runs so I don’t have to. Keeping the coffee pot full and all of us laughing. My rock when I need to unleash all the feels.

It’s been stressful. Especially being responsible for kids. Because I don’t want to fuck things up or be unprepared for them in this situation. They need me to be thinking ten steps ahead of all the things that could possibly happen in a world of unknowns. I just hope I’m doing it right. Whatever right is.

For now, we’re taking it one day at a time. As best we can. We have our game plan for tomorrow. And for Monday. And for Tuesday. Keeping all electronics charged. Laundry done. Gas tank filled. And a bathtub of water just in case.

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