22 March 2020: Lockdown Day -4

22 March 2020:  Lockdown Day -4

It’s Day 57 of corona self-isolation.

Actually, it’s Sunday and we’ve gradually started staying home since the start of this week only, but it DOES feel like weeks already.

I’m not so scared of contracting the virus. Actually, then I (and inevitably my entire family) will be immune and we can go on about life as normal. But, just imagining a house with three sick kids (and being down myself) is enough to motivate me to rather practice complete social isolation. It’s not so much the kids getting sick. As a mom of three boys, I’ve dealt with sick kids often. It’s the sick husband I’m dead scared of. Imagine that.

I walk into the washroom and see the pile of dishes that couldn’t go in the dishwasher – or, more correctly, the ones that went in and came out dirty anyway. Better start washing those, as we won’t have clean pots, pans, or glasses soon.

I’ve asked my domestic lady to stay home and self-isolate five days ago. It’s too risky for her to travel to work with the taxis during these uncertain times. So, now I’m mom, home maker, work-from-homer, home-school-teacher, gardener, and cleaner.

Well, not as if I don’t know how to clean my own house. Of course I do. I do it every weekend and when my domestic lady is on leave. As well as (what feels like) every half hours from when she leaves at 16:00 during week days. But, to be honest, it’s way worse when we are all stuck at home and the kids don’t seem to stop eating. (I make a mental note to never complain about packing school lunch boxes again. Feeding them at home is definitely more work.)


I gather all the dishes. I find coffee mugs everywhere – under couches, outside, on the basin in the bathroom. All mine, I must admit.

Do I always leave my empty mugs out like this?

I gather all the empty glasses. And mop up the spills on the floors and carpets from where they fell over. Some broke. (Where do we keep the hand broom and dustpan?) My goodness. How many water glasses do my family members use in a day? Do they really take out a new glass every time they drink water? We should have a talk about that. I vaguely remember something about “rubbing up” the glasses to make them shiny. If I just rinse them under the running tap, would they not be clear? Will have to test that and see after this batch of 921 glasses I’m now going to wash.

I fill the sink, being mindful of the amount of water I’m using. It makes me think of everything we’ve been “scared” of lately. We’ve feared fires (and floods in other areas). We’ve feared running out of water. We’re still fearing running out of electricity. Now we’re fearing getting sick and spreading the dreaded corona virus to the elderly.

But never thought I’d fear running out of dishwasher tablets. I count the ones left in the bag. One per day, times 30-odd days per month times… how many? Should’ve bought tablets, instead of toilet paper. I can still rinse my bum in the bidet, or the basin or under the shower. But imagine not being able to use the dishwasher soon and having to wash dishes by hand every day.

I start scrubbing away.
It’s actually a pleasantly-surprisingly soothing task.
(Mental note to put my hand up for this one when we start dividing the household chores soon.)

I rummage through the washroom cupboard to find an old baby bottle brush to clean the taller glasses. (How does my domestic lady otherwise do this?!) I don’t find one, but make a plan to reach the bottoms easily. I move things around, in order to optimise my drying space. I fill the larger, stickiest bowls with scorching hot water and leave the lids of the jars and plastic ware floating inside to soak. I then stand back for a few moments to marvel at my ability to figure out all of these dish washing hacks by myself.

I want to brag to someone.

But my kids disappeared after I made them sit through an hour of home-schooling. (Mental note to voice my awe at all home-schooling moms when our paths cross again.) My husband went upstairs to shave. An hour ago. It’s amazing how husbands manage to find the time to just take some “me-time”. We can really learn from them. But, then again, a day only has 24 hours.

I turn on the kettle for a well-deserved cup of coffee. Then I realise that no-one has done laundry this week. Ugh. 

Mental note to increase my domestic lady’s wage when she’s finally back.