Sunday, March 15, 2020 10:44am

 

Dear U,

Where are you now?

Have you changed your mind?

Remember how just a few weeks ago, the idea of quarantining seems so “extreme” and abysmal. And now it feels like the right and considerate thing to do for everyone around us. And it feels kinda nice and cozy, and safe.

And we’re making the most of it..doing zoom virtual parties, social media posts have shifted to self-care and things to do at home while quarantining.

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After I wrote to you last here on Friday, I went to to two of my local grocery stores. (Advice: don’t go to the big stores, like Whole Foods, or heaven forbids Safeway, it’s a zoo. Go to your smaller local stores that may be a bit more expensive but it’ll be less chaotic and have more items in stock, and you’ll be supporting your local small businesses). It was definitely crowded and there was a mix of people, those who were buying a ton, prepping for lockdown, and those who were just there to pick up a few items as usual. Some of the usual shoppers were dismayed by the prep shoppers, calling us crazy and dismissing us as ridiculous.

I loaded up on nuts in the bulk bins, lotsa broccoli and carrots for my veggie stirfry, onions, avos, eggs, olive oil, tons of citrus fruits..

As I was checking out the clerk told me the president had just declared at noon (30 min ago) a national emergency, enforcing travel bans, etc.

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I guess that was probably the turning point.

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Pandemic Prep Expenses:

Monterey Market: $434 on tons of bulk bin items (mostly cashews, almonds, pistachios, all the nuts ) and produce that I think can last for up to 2-3 weeks if I keep them moist with a Vejibag, a cherimoya and some mangosteens

Berkeley Natural Grocery: $971 on more nuts, yogurt, granola, eggs, crackers, chips, tea, flowers, kombucha, condiments, Indian/Asian sauces for all the rice, some frozen pizzas and gluten free cookies (for P), lotsa dark chocolate, healthy snacks, bone broth

Lhasa Karnak (herb store): $94 on echinacea, tea, antibiotic wound spray (to substitute for hand sanitizer), oil of oregano, Rapid Immune Boost, Immunattack, and colloidal silver tincture

Farmer’s Market: $224 on 10 jars of bone broth from Abrothecary, local honey, tahini, coffee, tons of curly kale, broccoli and carrots, mandarins, pages, clementines (feels good to support the local farmers since this is their last week at the market, they said)

CVS: $24 on 3 bottles of handsoap, hibiclens, bactine and paper towels

Local Butcher Shop: $196 on 2 lbs of grass-fed and finished ground beef and sirloin steak, bone broth, frozen soup and pasture-raised eggs

(I’m not going to list all my Amazon buys)

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For someone who loves to go grocery shopping and has a tendency to overbuy (and likes to support local businesses) this has been a very joyful and somewhat meditative experience.

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I think I have a shopping addiction. And this pandemic is just an excuse to overbuy everything.

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I think I have enough food to last me for 4-6 months. That’s not a bad thing.

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I wouldn’t call this panic shopping. I’m not in a state of panic. It’s just “prep shopping.”

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Social distancing sounds so negative. Can we call it spacious solidarity instead? Let’s reframe.

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This feels like prepping for Burning Man, but slightly different. TheĀ  stakes are way higher in practicing radical self-reliance here.

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Friday and Saturday morning/early afternoon were devoted to foraging.

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I have no appetite while foraging. I notice I don’t need to eat until way later like 8 or 9 pm. Is this our ancestral survival genes kicking in?

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I am so into pouring all the nuts into jars and organizing them neatly in the shelf. I’m going OCD in the fridge organization. It feels so comforting to have all the bone broth on this shelf, the eggs here, the kombucha there..

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Friday I saw and didn’t grab the organic frozen broccoli, Saturday I came back and they’re all gone. I regret not buying them the day before.

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I decide to freeze half my fresh broccoli and carrots I got.

I google and youtube how to freeze broccoli. Oh jeez you have to brine it and blanch it first. So much work. I decide to go for it.

So I learned how to blanch my broccoli and carrots and even sucked out all the air of the ziploc bags with a straw.

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This reminds me of a vipassana retreat in that we’re isolating ourselves from the world. It’s time to be an island unto yourself, says the Buddha. The biggest difference is that we’re still talking and checking our phones like crazy.

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It’s weird to say that I’m enjoying this experience (if I don’t think about the deaths and suffering out there). Or maybe the word isn’t enjoying, but accepting with equanimity that life as we know it is totally not normal. There’s a part of me (probably the little girl who gets excited by newness) that likes the disruption. Nothing is taken for granted anymore. We have to begin to think differently. We have to adapt to the changing times, as rapidly as we can. We have to think beyond ourselves, everything we do affect each other.

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I have a confession: I took the last three bottles of handsoap at CVS. I should’ve left one at least. I wasn’t thinking..

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I have this obsession with organizing my pantry, all the jars of Tonnino tuna, jars of nuts, bags of snacks are perfectly lined. I can’t stop looking at “my work.”

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All of my writing here should be in my journal..

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In a span of a day, everyone is shifting..

We’re all thinking about how to connect virtually. How to make money virtually..Does this mean we should all be making online classes?

If we’re going to be on the screen more, this makes sense..

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I just read a tweet by tina_nguyen

How this WAS the week to practice as much social distancing as much as we can..

because it’s the week with the highest number of non identified