By Deborah Sherwood

Deborah Sherwood; Courtesy of Deborah Sherwood

My voracious craving for news of the latest coronavirus statistics and updates has not proven beneficial to my general stress level. After witnessing the TV weatherman coughing, I decided it was time to curtail my obsession for awhile.

As a septuagenarian with a compromised immune system, I fall into the “Elderly and High Risk” category. My consolation is that I am not alone in this club; we have several million members. Our next meeting is…oh, wait. Never mind.

Since I have always been a bit of a hermit, I am well trained for extended seclusion. In the interest of extreme vigilance of this highly contagious pathogen, I have added a few new social distancing precautions to my list, like not sharing an elevator with another person or going to a grocery store.

Amazon Prime and I are longtime buddies, however. Any hour of the day or night, while comfortably clad in my jammies and fuzzy pink slippers, I am able to casually peruse an infinite assortment of electronics, jewelry, household goods, and various objects that can make my life more pleasant. This is a tremendous benefit for someone who is becoming even more acclimated to voluntary isolation. That brings me to my dilemma of how to obtain groceries without leaving home.

As with the solution to most modern problems: there’s an app for that. It’s called INSTACART.

I simply set up an account, choose a store, and begin a pleasant virtual stroll through the aisles. Do I want bread? Click. How about milk? Click. Apples, Bananas, Lettuce, Onions? Click. I deserve a package of Mallomars for being housebound. Click. My personal shopper quickly filled my cart, whisked me through checkout, bagged my items, and sent me a text confirming the charges for groceries, delivery, and service fees – plus a tip for the courier.

I met the driver at the entrance to my building. While I stood the required minimum six feet away, she placed four bags in my old reliable navy blue Bed, Bath and Beyond VersaCart.

Health experts warned that the virus can live on plastic and cardboard for hours and even days. Continuing with my aggressive germ warfare, I looked like a contortionist as I unloaded my groceries, juggling each item between two disinfectant wipes, while wearing a pair of Nitrile gloves (purchased online), then spritzing each item with 93% Isopropyl alcohol.

My hiatus from incessant news bulletins has left me with plenty of time to indulge in any activity I choose, like completing a 1000 piece puzzle map of Europe. Plus, I get to find out how long it takes six green bananas from my Instacart purchase to ripen.

Deborah Jones Sherwood happily resides at River Park in Southwest, DC.

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