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  • Writer's pictureSharon Beck-Doran

Notes from the Pandemic


My husband decided to cut his own hair. It wasn’t the first time. He often tries to give himself a bang trim between cuts. I find out because he leaves hair clippings in the sink, or near the trash can. It’s a terrible idea. It doesn’t look better, but it makes him feel better. Since I have to look at him, I think he should be more considerate in this matter. This time he tried phasing it in, cutting a little each day over the span of 4 days, hoping I wouldn’t notice and give him shit about it. It wasn’t terrible, except for the oddly angled lines across the back of his head where he’d tried to blind scissor trim. I get it. My hair feels 10 feet long and the split ends are like I’m wearing a thatched roof on my head. My hair appointment has been rescheduled like 4 times now and I’m literally counting down the days until May 23rd, hoping that it will actually happen and bracing for the disappointment that is very possibly ahead. If missed hair appointments are the worst thing in my world right now, I’m pretty sure I’ve got it really good.

Early on, I was sure this quarantine thing would be fun. I anticipated getting a break from work, envisioned all the projects I would do and naps I would take, since window installs didn’t strike me as qualifying for the word “essential.” But it was quickly apparent that “essential” was going to be very loosely interpreted and that “business as usual” would become our new catch phrase. Except my measure tech decided (reasonably so) it wasn’t safe to be in and out of people’s homes, which left me to fill his shoes. First of all, I’m not the best person for this task, but I can do it. I’ve only had to reorder a few windows and created several hours of extra work to make a few of them fit. I’m super awkward and not confident (shocking, I know), which is compounded by the frequent un-spoken assumptions that a woman has just showed up to do a man’s job. And second, I made the mistake of taking my temperature around the end of March, which was holding around 99.4 for a solid two weeks. Not sick, just voluntarily stuck at home unable to run my business as usual. It felt very stressful. Also, I need people. More on this later. It went ok, though. My installers were able to work some. People who wanted to wait were rescheduled, and I still had time for walks in the park and lunch time naps.


Side note, I made this dress and a skirt from a pair of jeans. So there’s that. I also planted squash. Jury is still out on its survive through quarantine. Apparently, the whole packet of seeds in one 12-inch pot was a bad idea. My dad says pull them all out and use miracle grow, but I’m still concerned it might be too little too late.

Adam and I really enjoyed working together from home for at least the first few weeks. Our breaking point was when he convinced me that we should start a video blog on couples’ finance. I said more than once that this was a bad idea, but he was so excited and enthusiastic, I really bought into it. He thought it would be fun and light hearted. I thought it would be a reliving of some of the most difficult emotional work that we have done as a couple. We made a super cute intro video where he edited out most of what I thought was important. I’m a planner, logistics are my thing. I sketched out a rough outline of content and topics that I thought would be helpful to folks. Adam glanced at an hour’s worth of my creative genius and said, “Sure, fine.” I asked if we could chat about our first episode, plan what we would say. My first question, “Would you be willing to share X… about our financial journey.” His response, “This isn’t going to work.” And just like that our contrasting artistic visions had brought about mutual destruction. After five days of sulking and crying, we eventually talked it out enough that I could move on from my disappointment over a cancelled project I didn’t want to do in the first place.


More than anything, I think I just missed people. I know I’m somewhere in the 95-100% extroverted range, but living through semi-isolation has been rough, mostly on my husband. Adam is fine with quarantine. In fact, I think he could live this way for like ever. Except for me being fairly difficult to isolate with. Under normal circumstances I work from home some, visit job sites all over the city some and go to the office some. When I work in the office I get up from my desk and walk out of my office to talk to someone, roughly once an hour. I get very little done, but I really enjoy my day. By contrast, Adam gets into work mode and it wouldn’t matter if a parade of elephants walked through the living room, he wouldn’t look up from his lap top.

A month ago, things were pretty slow, so I decided to get a part time job delivering pizza a couple nights a week. I cannot tell you how much I loved being around people again. It was like a magic quenching for my lonesome soul. Except, a couple nights turned into 3 and all of a sudden people were ready to buy windows and my measure tech was still out (he’s supposed to be back this Tuesday, thank you, Jesus!). Good bye dreams of sewing projects, lunch naps and walks in the park. But hello people and some extra cash.

I thought I would write more during quarantine. I love to write. Also, thank you for reading this. I mean, I could journal to myself but it’s more extrovert-fulfilling when I feel like there’s someone out there listening. Apparently, I need to be stressed and exhausted to produce content. Who knew?

I’m not sure how long this thing will last or if we’ll ever get back to “normal.” I’ve been surprised by how dramatically different our experiences are. Some people have a lot of time, some have less. Some people are doing just fine financially, and some are completely destitute. All of us really want to get our hair cut. I think like any crisis it’s brought out some of the best and worst in us all. It’s not particularly surprising that some of us think it’s all a hoax, since the distrust of well, everything, started a long time ago. And it’s also not surprising that a lot of us have some pretty severe anxiety. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now. The not knowing makes a lot of people uneasy. Let’s be real, I was hanging on by a thread before all this happened, so no one should be shocked when I really crack up. At the end of the day I will likely survive. The sun will still rise and the world will still turn, and I will probably have a good chance of being alive and well.

When I was in Reno I asked my little nephew if he thought it would snow tomorrow. He said, “Well, as my mom says, either it will or it won’t.” Well said, young man. Well said.


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