I asked her what she would be doing today. She said, oh, the usual. Looking for something to clean. Playing with the cats.
Though she also could also go out for a walk or swing by the grocery store.
Uh, yes, these two activities are permitted, as are visitors to Claire in her home, provided she writes down their names, including the nurse from the Chicago Department of Public Health who comes by every day at 8 a.m. to record Claire's temperature and ask her if she's having any symptoms.
What Claire may not do for one more day is work, take public transportation or enter any public place except for the supermarket where she could theoretically handle every piece of produce in the bins, including all the bagels, doughnuts and loaves of artesian French bread behind the sliding glass doors if she were so disposed, but don't even get me started on the illogic of it all.
Anyway, Claire shared with me some highlights of her stint in quarantine :
-The first weekend she was home some friends stopped by and brought her and Miguel a "Quarantine Basket" of wines, pasta, olive oil, and other fine fixings.
-She cleaned out every closet, drawer, and shelf in the house and filled a car full of stuff for the Salvation Army.
- Several times a day she made the cats work out by enticing them with a shoe string then pulling it around the house.
- She sent a care package with books, cards and music to the Partners In Health office in Boston. They told her they would give the package to someone who was flying to Sierra Leone with the hopes that they could get it to the Ebola workers still in Kono, the jungle area where Claire was stationed.
- One night her card club came over. When I asked Claire what card game they played she told me they like to play Cards Against Humanity. I didn't ask.
- One day she washed every pot, pan, and utensil in the house. Even the clean ones. Willingly.
- One day she cleaned out the pantry and threw away a boatload of stuff, including some beans she bought three apartments ago dated "best by April 2011."
"The very next day," she told me, "Miguel was cooking and needed some beans and here I'd just thrown some out, do you believe that?!"
"But Claire," I said, "those beans were 4 years outdated!"
She answered, cryptically,"But do beans ever really expire?"
- Last weekend Miguel sent out this invite on Facebook:
Impromptu Indiana Jones marathon at the Casa de Quarantine.
Come join Claire and I as we sit around in sweats and drink too much rum!
Ebola protective gear optional!
One guest arrived, which was sufficient to make the evening a success. But then, of course, how could an Indiana Jones Marathon not be a success?
- Every morning Claire has to take her temperature in the presence of the visiting public health nurse then every evening she's required to take it again and text it to the Health Department.
Yesterday her nurse noted that today would be her last day with Claire.
"Then I'll be finished with Ebola," the nurse said, "and it'll be on to measles."