How my wife and I are surviving the pandemic lockdown

I’m finding that coming up for ideas for this blog is not all that simple.

Sometimes, people make it easy for me, such as when someone on another site where I post,, called me a bunch of names, which gave me the idea to write about name-calling. (In fact, I received a number of compliments about that post, but I really don’t want to write about that for fear of being called narcissistic, or maybe it’s too late for that.)

So I asked my wife if she had any ideas, and after a minute she said I should write about how people don’t kill their spouses after having to hunker down with them for months on end. OK, I figured, I’ll give it a shot.

Since we’re both still alive, and neither one of is in jail, we must be doing something right. So what’s out secret?

Well, we take a daily walk, which gets us out of the house for a while. We usually walk very early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. This is much easier for her than for me because, while she is a morning person, I am not, having spent the bulk of my journalism career working nights and sleeping late. So now that I am retired, and, for the sake of marital bliss, I force my ever-growing carcass out of bed around 7 a.m. every day.

The exercise we get from walking is great, but it really hasn’t helped me shed much of my pandemic poundage.

We live in a rural area, and we found a paved path that’s about two miles long and provides a pleasant environment, complete with rabbits, squirrels, birds and not too many people.

Of the people we do see, only a handful of them wear masks, but the path is wide enough for us to socially distance, so it’s really not a problem. And the people, many of whom we are starting to recognize, generally, are friendly. If they don’t wave, they either wish us a “good morning,” or respond to our good wishes with a smile or nod. Others just walk by without even acknowledging us. Oh well, their loss.

According to my pedometer, the walk usually takes about 43 or 44 minutes. Add the 10 or 12 minutes it takes to drive from our house to the path, then another 10 or 12 to drive back home, and we’ve used up about an hour of our day. Now, all we have to do is to figure out what to do with the remaining 10 to 12 hours before we go to bed.

When we return home, she usually paints or works on a jigsaw puzzle, for which I have no patience, while I sit at my computer either working on this blog or other posts. Fortunately, I’m a news junky, so I use up another couple of hours reading about the events of the day. By then it’s usually time for lunch and more news, this time on TV.

My preferred news stations are MSNBC and CNN, although, lately, CNN has been showing quite a few more commercials than it used to. I understand that it must be expensive to operate an all-news station, what with sending people all over the world, but it’s still annoying. So I spend some more of my time complaining about that to my wife, who appreciates it no end. And while she hasn’t killed me yet, her heavy sighs are getting more and more common.

She’s also not into the news as much I am, but she sits near me as I watch, spending much of that time on her ipad looking at who knows what.

After a couple of more hours, she heads upstairs to do her exercises and whatever, and I’m back on my computer, usually writing the next day’s post.

Then she comes down, and that’s when things really get exciting. Normally, we don’t watch a lot of TV, but we’re watching more than we did pre-pandemic. We have become fans of mainly British murder mysteries. We have gone through entire series, including, are you ready? Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Miss Fisher, Murdoch Mysteries (Canadian), Endeavor, Midsommer Murders, Father Brown and Lewis, to name a few.

I also watch shows including the original “The Adventures of Superman” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” usually while she’s making dinner, unless it’s my turn to cook, which, apparently, isn’t often enough. More heavy sighs, but no murder.

Other shows we watch together include “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert and “Last Week Tonight,” starring John Oliver. Occasionally, we’ll throw in a “Late Night,” with Seth Meyers.

While our evenings usually are pretty non-eventful, something strange happened the other night. We were sitting there watching some gruesome murder, trying to figure out who did it, when I hear giggling coming from my right, which is very unusual, because my wife usually doesn’t find murder funny.

Now, I haven’t had a haircut in a good (or bad) four or five months, and my wife says my hair always looks like it does when I just wake up. For some reason, it suddenly hit her how funny my mop-head looks. I thought this is it, she’s lost it. Well, at least she can still laugh…and she still hasn’t killed me.

Usually, after we’re done with TV, she heads up to bed, where she reads or does a crossword puzzle for a while, and I go back to my computer to check my email and scan the news one more time, just to be sure  the world is still there, which, these days, it barely is.

So there you have it. That’s how we spend our days without killing each other. And up until I wrote this, I didn’t realize just how exciting our life really is.

Thank you pandemic.

Published by Mike Sturman

I am a retired journalist with nearly 30 years in the field, during which time I was a reporter and held numerous editor positions at local newspapers and a number of magazines. After I retired, I was a sub in my local school district, then did PR for that district. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, and as for my politics, that's simple: I'm a liberal Democrat. I'm married, and my wife recently retired after 25 years as a teacher. We have one daughter, who has earned her PhD and works at a UC. Through this blog, I hope to pass on some interesting thoughts and ideas, entertain with some lighthearted posts and generally quell my pandemic-induced boredom.

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