My Quarantine Life: Week 64

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It has now been over a year that I have been in isolation. Since losing my job in April, I have switched my grocery orders from delivery to curbside pickup to save money on delivery tip fees. I drive to the grocery store, park in a special parking space, and someone brings my groceries out and puts them in the trunk of my car all contact free.

As long as delivery and/or pickup options are available, I do not see myself ever going into a grocery store again. I am okay with that. With my disability, it has actually been a huge positive for me to use these services. I no longer have to worry about falling in the store (it’s happened before). I also do not have grocery store trips zapping all of my limited energy. I can use my energy for other things like work, the cats, and running.

I am scheduled for an in-person doctor appointment in July, as they have to do bloodwork. It will be my first in-person doctor appointment in a year. They have done all of my other doctor appointments this past year virtually. 

My life has changed dramatically as the result of the pandemic. The changes are all permanent. You can draw a line in the sand of the timeline of my life: before the pandemic and now. I do not foresee anything ever going back to how it was before.

I am extremely grateful that I was able to obtain the professional set of clippers last year. (If you remember there was a huge shortage of hair clippers early in the pandemic.) I have now been cutting my own hair for well over a year. I am not sure that I will ever feel comfortable or safe going back to a salon. There is no point, really. I am saving myself at least $50, if not more, by cutting it myself. 

Sure, it might be nice to have someone else cut it once or twice a year as a treat. It is challenging to cut the back of my head and neck. However, I am perfectly fine and self-sufficient taking care of my own hair now. I am keeping the buzz cut. It has helped me tremendously with my heat-induced MS symptoms. There are many other positives to this cut as well, which I have blogged about before.

Due to pandemic shortages, I have stopped using almost all disposable paper products and have changed everything over to cloth. Of course, that means my washing machine needs to be a workhorse. But I am also saving money by not needing disposable products. I am using cloth cleaning rags, cloth feminine hygiene pads, and cloth baby wipes for pee to cut down on toilet paper use (hard to get and expensive).

My dryer recently died. I am now going without a dryer as it is not a necessity and I do not have the money to replace it being unemployed. I am hanging clothes to dry indoors. We are not allowed to hang clothes outside to dry here. While lack of a dryer makes my life more challenging, it will hopefully also decrease my electric bill since it is no longer running and being used. In fact, I completely unplugged it.

I am okay wearing a mask 100% every single place I go. 

Yesterday, I had to have two workers in the basement to replace my hot water heater. They were surprised I was wearing a mask. One worker was fully vaccinated and the other worker stated he had COVID previously. I wore my mask and kept my distance out of their way. All of the doors and windows were open to allow ventilation. The work took just over two hours. 

I feel better wearing a mask. This pandemic is not over yet. It is reckless and premature to stop wearing a mask now. 

I am okay with not going anywhere. First, I didn’t go out much before the pandemic due to my multiple food allergies. It seems like I was always coming into contact with something and getting the skin allergic reaction. The only places I really went pre-pandemic were the coffee shop, the library, and the gym.

There is no point in going to the coffee shop when I can make coffee at home cheaper. Most of my friends have died in the pandemic, so there is no one to meet anyway.

As far as the library, I can use curbside pickup if I really need something. I have actually been listening to podcasts and audiobooks more instead.

There is no need for a treadmill at the gym. I run outside. When the weather does not cooperate to run outside, I either run in circles on my front porch or do my yoga DVD. I can get by without the gym. 

Other than that, there is no place I need to go.

I have a yard and a firepit. I can put my tent in my yard and roast marshmallows if I want.

I saw a neighbor outside last week who asked me if I get lonely? The answer is yes, I get lonely. However, most of my friends have died of COVID, so what am I going to do? I don’t really have anyone left to visit or socialize with. My socialization is now online. Online is the only way I have to meet new people. I have met some pretty amazing people online these past six months.

I am remote working as long as I can. The only place I really need to go is work. The two part-time jobs I found since I lost my full-time job in April are both remote jobs. I do not start working until later this month. However, I highly value the opportunity to work remotely, so you can be sure that I will work hard at both jobs. I want to retain the privilege to work from home as long as I possibly can.

The pandemic is not over. No one should be risking their life for their job. It’s not worth it. I’m even willing to take less pay to be able to work from home. My life is worth more than any job.

Yes, I am lonely still being in quarantine. However, I am so very happy. I get to be with the cats. I am alive and healthy.

When I get lonely and crave human connection, I can find it online. It’s a new world.

15 months into the pandemic and nothing has changed for me. I have still not been indoors with other humans except for when I have had to have service people in my house. My only goal is to survive the pandemic and be able to take care of the cats. 

I’m still here. I’m alive and well.

Buzzcut Pros & Cons

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I shaved off my pixie.

Yes, I did shave all my hair off. I am very happy with it. No one has really seen me to say anything about it. I am anticipating a bunch of negative feedback, since I got some pretty negative remarks when I had a pixie.

I have now had to shave my head twice, so the clippers have officially paid for themselves. Every single time I use them from here on out is money “saved” by not going to the salon. 

The first time I used the clippers, I went conservative. I had no clue what I was doing or getting myself into. If I did not like it, I wanted to be sure to leave enough length to be able to return to my pixie. So the first time I used the clippers, I primarily used the # 4 guard. I used the # 1 guard to clean up around my ears and the back of my neck.

Two weeks after that, my hair was growing and out of control. The second time I used the clippers, I decided to use the # 1 guard on my entire head. Part of the reasoning for this is so that I can hopefully go a month between haircuts instead of having to do it every other week.

In the past 3-4 weeks, I have officially buzzed my head twice. Given that I am at about the one month mark of having a shaved head, I figured I would share some pros and cons.

Pros:

  • I’m saving money. Look, I have been hemorrhaging money on food and supplies ever since this pandemic started. Trying to meet my basic needs has blown my budget all to hell. I have to save money somewhere. The only thing that could potentially be cut out of my budget short of turning off the lights or the water is to get rid of my salon bill. I typically spend $50 a month on my hair. The clippers were $60. Now that I have used the clippers twice, they have paid for themselves. That is now $50 per month I can put towards food. I apologize to my hairdresser, who I think is totally awesome. But this is one instance in which I am breaking up with you, and it totally is me, not you. My hairdresser did not do anything wrong. It’s just, you know, the pandemic killing my budget for the foreseeable future.

 

  • I feel cooler. My neurological disorder is exacerbated by heat. Shaving all my hair off is helping me to feel cooler. In fact, sometimes I feel chilled. I will deal with it. It’s much better than the “MS walk” – which is basically when the heat makes you stagger around like you’re drunk, except you’re not – you just lost all control of your body due to excessive heat and you walk like that for days on end. I wish I had thought to shave my head about 5 years ago when these neuro issues all started. I still get the MS walk, but it’s a little bit easier to keep myself cooler now with no hair, so I can prolong the time before the MS walk starts.

 

  • Showering is so much easier. In fact, I do not have to shower as often. It’s not as if my hair is sticking up in unnatural looking ways anymore when I get up in the morning. I can get in and out of the shower quickly. It saves both water and time.

 

  • Safety. Due to the pandemic, anytime I do leave my house, I shower when I return home. Granted, the only places I am going right now are outside to run and into my work office when no one else is there, but I feel safer showering once I return home to “clean” myself of any potential exposure I may have had while out. Since my hair no longer necessitates a morning shower, I can now shower at the end of the day (or any time of day) once I have returned home. This was especially helpful when I was on a walk the other day and not a single person outside was wearing a mask. I digress. The point is, I am no longer chained to the routine of a morning shower to tame my wayward hair. I can shower at any time of day. 

 

  • It goes with everything. I do not have to worry about a style. I just go, go, go. I feel like I have more freedom with less hair. I am in control of my head and my hair. I do not have to try to get an appointment, drive to a salon, sit there & wait. When it needs to be shaved, I just pick up the clippers and do it. 

 

  • Cleaning is easier. When I sweep, mop, or vacuum, there is less hair to clean up since I shaved it all off. Anyone who has long hair knows, it’s like you shed hair everywhere, and are constantly cleaning it up. I live with three (luckily short-haired) cats, so there is enough fur flying around. But honestly, when my hair was long, I had more human hair to clean up than cat hair. My house seems like it’s cleaner and easier to clean with less hair all over the place. 

 

  • If I die, I want to be cremated. There will be no viewing. Who cares if I have hair? You’re supposed to remember who I am as a person, not my hair. Besides, I already planned my memorial service, and you will have a playlist of 26.2 songs in the key of life to keep you busy. If you all stand around talking about how I shaved my head, I will come back and haunt you.

Cons:

  • I am now wearing hats when I go outside so I do not accidentally sunburn my head. I have a note on the door reminding me when I leave the house to wear my medical alert, a mask, and a hat. I feel like an astronaut on a spacewalk every time I leave my house.

 

  • I’m worried people won’t know I’m a girl. I had this worry when I got my pixie, and it ended up being unfounded. Everyone knew I was a girl when I had my pixie. But with a shaved head, I cannot even put a Hello Kitty bow in it anymore. That’s okay. One of my hats is pink. I’m still a girl, whether you think so or not.

 

  • Negative comments. I received many negative comments when I had my pixie (especially from men) saying I should grow my hair out again because it was unattractive. Apparently, only long hair is considered attractive on women. I’m a little scared of what people are going to say to me now that I have shaved my head. If they were mean about the pixie, I’m sure the negative comments will get worse. Let me tell you, that I am the one who has to live with the hair on my head, and I do not want to have to deal with long hair again. It is way too much hassle. I’m unsure if I will keep it shaved or return to a pixie, but I’m not growing it. Long hair is too much trouble. I am worried about being seen as unattractive with a buzzcut. I guess I don’t really need people to say it out loud to me and confirm my fears. 

Conclusions:

I am very happy I shaved my head. As with my pixie, I wish I had done this years ago. To be honest, my life would have been a whole lot easier when I was homeless if my head was shaved. The conundrum is that when you are homeless, you don’t have money for haircuts, so you just leave your hair long and stringy looking. The point is, a buzzcut is very versatile and gives me much more freedom than any other haircut I have had. 

I am unsure if I will continue to shave my head in the fall and winter once it gets cold. For now, this is the perfect summer haircut. It is helping me to stay cooler, and is totally working with my life at the moment. We all know life is changing every minute during the pandemic. I really like that I can shave my head myself and do not need to rely on someone else right now. 

I have no regrets over my buzzcut.