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Coronavirus

Sheltering in Place: A Daily Itinerary for Our Shared Coronavirus Reality

A Dallas-focused schedule for the new, socially distant world.

Time has never felt more like an amorphous construct as it does now. The days have a way of melting together and, oh please, don’t ask me what the date is. If this sounds like you, then I’ve got a Dallas itinerary you can use to tick the days away. (Of course, personalize to suit your needs.)

8 a.m. Wake up, feel the shelter-in-place dread. Gulp Oak Cliff Coffee from a Noble Coyote coffee mug. Resolve to purchase Noble Coyote coffee and an Oak Cliff coffee mug online to even out the local coffee support tomorrow.  

9 a.m. Go for a walk. See way too many squirrels. They’re getting cocky, these squirrels. They think they’ve won the Human vs. Squirrels War because we are all hiding in our homes. They’re out there, high-pawing each other, not even respecting social distancing even a little—wow, that coffee is hitting me. Maybe it’s time to start drinking water. J.K. 

11 a.m. Marie Kondo the office supplies drawer that houses 42 Paper Mate Flair pens for the tenth time. Yes, Ms. Kondo, Paper Mate Flair pens do spark joy, and 42 pens is a very reasonable number. Use pens to begin meal-strategizing for the day. Been meaning to order a farm box from Homewood, but still feel a little nervous about it. What if Matt McCallister puts clippings from his Christmas tree in there and makes us turn them into a Christmas In March gastrique? Better plan: Just buy Homewood ready-made dinner instead, put it in the oven, dust flour on your face like the Rice Krispies Treats lady and pretend you made it yourself. 

Noon. Drive to TJ’s Seafood to pick up a pound of lump crabmeat and eight scallops to drop off for Dad so that Mom can make his birthday dinner. (Can you stick a candle in a scallop?) Impulse buy a pound of cocktail shrimp for myself. And cocktail sauce. And smoked salmon dip. And crackers. And Steel City Pops, since they’re next door. Of course, I get buttermilk. This ain’t my first Steel City Pops rodeo. 

2 p.m. What time is too late to take a nap? Feels like 4:30 p.m. is the latest time you can start a nap without consequences. Grab a square of leftover Zoli’s Luscher Grandma Pie from the fridge to mull this over. Decide that maybe 4:45 p.m. could still be OK. Just has to be before 5 p.m. It is determined: The Official Nap Start Time Deadline is 4:49 p.m. Remember that you’ve got an emergency Uncle Herky from Luscher’s Red Hots still frozen in your freezer (the way someone might freeze the top layer of a wedding cake). Break glass in case of emergency. Still doesn’t feel like it’s time to deploy that, but we’re certainly closer than we’ve ever been. 

3 p.m. Alarm goes off to pick up kids from school. Realize I’m about to be their teacher for the foreseeable future. Immediately fear for everyone’s future. Aaaaaaaand it’s time for a drink. Grab the deli container of leftover margaritas from that José delivery from my fridge. We live in a world where you can have José margaritas delivered to your home. This world is strange. But, it’s not completely terrible. Drink margarita straight from the deli container because nobody feels like cleaning another damn dish.   

3:15 p.m. Everything is FIIIIIIIIIIIINE.   

3:16 p.m. Marco Polo every person in my contacts that everything is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine! 

5 p.m. Really want to take a nap. But, the nap window has closed. And if we don’t follow the nap laws, the fabric of space and time will quickly deteriorate. 

6 p.m. Let’s make popovers! We’re gonna use that popover pan you haven’t used in two years! It’s gonna be great!  

6:30 p.m. The damn recipe said not to open the oven, so I didn’t frickin’ open the dang oven, and now the popovers are burnovers and I’m so mad. The eggs I used for that are like, “Really? Great job, Dude. Could have made us into scrambled eggs, but instead you made us into garbage. You’re garbage.” I’m garbage. And I’m out of eggs. I’m eggless garbage. 

7 p.m. Dinner is whatever shows up in this Amazon Fresh bag.  

7:01 p.m. Dinner is six tiny bottles of ketchup and makeup remover wipes… 

7:02 p.m. Found a leftover kolache stash in the fridge from Katherine Clapner—breakfast for dinner! (Alexa, play DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” everywhere.)  

7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Netflix and Haute Sweets.

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