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Published May 12, 2020

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT

You know you have been in quarantine too long, if...

By Ernie Williamson / The Bulletin

It appears I will be staying in place a while longer.

As of this writing, our governor is opening up the state, but he is recommending that people over 65 continue to stay home as much as possible. I can take a hint.

Since I also have an underlying illness that has left me in a wheelchair, I don’t need to be told twice.
I must admit that this stay-in-place routine is wearing thin. I have escaped Covid-19, but I have all the symptoms of quarantine fatigue.

The first sign of that occurred just last week. I was so desperate for something to do that I drove across town and waited in a long line just to sample a highly-publicized In-N-Out Burger. That passes for excitement these days.

Since there are no test kits or antibodies for quarantine fatigue, I feel it my duty to spell out the symptoms, with tongue firmly in cheek.

You know you have been in quarantine too long if …

• You are so anxious to hear other voices that you actually talk on your phone, not just text.
• You are so starved for a live sporting event that you stay up late to see who the Texans take in the second round of the NFL draft.

• You think Sanjay Gupta is your personal physician.

• You are dangerously low on those extra prescription pills you ordered “out of an abundance of caution.”

• You swear you will scream if you ever again hear the words “out of an abundance of caution” or “we are going to be laser-focused.”

• You sleep better in your recliner during the day than you do in your bed at night.

• You consider it a good day when “only” 430 people die from Covid-19 in New York.

• Your blood pressure no longer spikes during 500-point swings in the stock market.

• You hunger for things that you would never eat under normal circumstances (like an In-N-Out Burger).

• You aren’t only eating three squares a day, but grazing from the pantry. (Mondelez International, the maker of such brands as Oreo, belVita, Ritz, Triscuit and Wheat Thins, attributed a 19 percent increase in year-over-year profits to people snacking more at home because of Covid-19.)

• You get your daily outdoor activity by driving around to see which stores are complying with safety guidelines.

• You are wondering whether you have enough toilet paper after all.

• You are on a first-name basis with the Amazon delivery people.

• You welcome phone calls from those crazy relatives you politically disagreed with over Thanksgiving dinner.

• You see signs at businesses notifying customers that - for safety reasons - they accept cards, but not cash.

• You go to the “continue watching” section on Netflix and start watching a program that you had tried and rejected weeks ago.

• You talk to the cat and are disappointed it doesn’t talk back.

• You go for a haircut, and it seems like an adventure.

• You can’t think of a column idea so you make up a stupid list.

• You figure people are so bored they might even read it … and maybe smile.

(Ernie Williamson welcomes reader input. Please contact Ernie at williamsonernie@gmail.com. Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)