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Northbound on the Jersey Turnpike,
My car speeds through the rain.
More rain, I think to myself. Just
like the Carolinas, just like Virginia,
just like Maryland and Delaware.
State after state, rain, rain, rain.

I wondered that if I didn’t stop for a
bathroom or a food break could
I count my driving day as day one.
According to Connecticut law
two weeks quarantine was required
after visiting a hot zone.

I visited a southern beach. My visit
was after Labor Day. The beach
was empty. I had the place to
myself and my accommodations
were cheap. Nonetheless, I paid
in quarantine time upon my return.

Leaving the turnpike, crossing
the George Washington bridge
was easy. The rain had finally,
stopped. Up Route 9 to the
Saw Mill then to the Cross
County then to the Hutch then
to six-eighty-four, easy.

The hard part was when I
arrived at home. Quarantine
Continued. I checked my fridge.
Nothing to eat. I pulled my
smart phone from my pocket.
I ordered my food to be delivered.

The next five days consisted
of working from home all day,
ordering food delivered from
restaurants, ordering grocery
deliveries, eating breakfast,
eating lunch, eating dinner,

mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon.
snacks. evening snacks, midnight.
snacks. ordering deliveries of bottles
of wine, writing, reading, writing,
ordering more food, more wine,
working, eating, working, drinking.

After day five I called a timeout.
I looked at the state law on online
I found that at this point if I tested
negative, I could end my quarantine.
I showered and shaved for the first
time in five days and put on fresh clothes.

I awoke my car from its five day nap,
cranked it up and headed down to
the test center that I’d found online.
I arrived, stayed in the car, called
the number listed on the big sign
displayed in the parking area.

It wasn’t long before someone
tapped on my car window, gave
me a clipboard with a form
attached and asked me to
complete it. I did, gave it back.
they left, returned —swab in hand.

After returning home, I changed
into my workout attire and walked
on the treadmill for half an hour.
i finished work and fixed dinner,
chopped salad and baked salmon.
I drank a bottle of sparkling water.

Day six and seven I repeated what
I started on day five. In addition
to eating fish and chopped salads
and exercise, I resumed a hobby
that I started but put aside due
to not having time for it in the past.

By the end of day seven, my coin
collection book was half-full.
I had several boxes of old coins
left but I was excited. I poured
myself a big glass of sparkling
water with lime to celebrate.

Day eight started early for me.
mediation first, treadmill, shower
and dress for work -at home,
treadmill for lunch, back to work.
My cell phone rang, it was the clinic,
my test results were negative.

Quarantine. Over.

(c) 2020, Jerry T Johnson

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