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In our 32nd year of marriage, my spouse and I quarantined together (at home, for one week) after one of us tested positive for Covid-19.

My husband Johnny tested positive for Covid-19 on February 8, 2022, having been exposed to it at work. Fortunately his symptoms were mild and he did well quarantining at home. We’re both vaccinated and boosted and feeling lucky, and thankful for the science that has allowed us to experience Covid this way. A year ago, before vaccinations, we’d be looking at this differently.

In the house all day and feeling good, workaholic Johnny Hayes applied his relentless work ethic to domestic projects. (Disclaimer: I’m not complaining, just documenting.)

RODENT CONTROL: After naming it “Pickles,” he released a fat mouse from our have-a-heart trap, bringing the little beast ten feet into the backyard and offering it a second piece of cheese “for the road.” (I suspect Pickles will be a return customer.)

UTILITIES: He has enthusiastically replaced various batteries and tested each and every flashlight by shining it directly into my eyes. (Not complaining but still seeing spots.)

TIDYING: He discovered it’s easier to clean the refrigerator when there’s less stuff in it. Done. And apparently I use a lot of dishes. According to this person now following me around, I leave water glasses all over the house — “like the little girl in the movie ‘Signs.’” (He thinks we’ll be in good shape if we’re invaded by belligerent extra-terrestrials.)

APPLIANCE REPAIR: We have two washing machines for reasons that aren’t interesting. He took parts from one, put them in the other, and keeps testing his efforts. I’m not sure which machine works now but we’re caught up on laundry.

ENTERTAINMENT: Movies. Machine guns, screeching tires … left to his own devices (and as soon as I leave the room) it’s all murder and mayhem here. Or the opposite extreme, sappy love stories. He’s rewatching ‘While You Were Sleeping” as I type this.

FEEDING BACKYARD WILDLIFE: The birds and squirrels that normally eat seeds and peanuts on our deck are now being fed a more balanced diet of fresh fruits and veggies. (See “TIDYING” above.)

Of course the fact that he’s doing well is the only thing I care about. As he approaches retirement though, I’m realizing that this week is a preview. Stay tuned for  “Johnny Hayes: Rebel without a Job” (December 2022).

(Footnote: I don’t know why he named it Pickles.)

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