A Writer’s Diary – Isolation – Day Twelve – Routines

BB1FF4B5-A150-4942-B7DB-C0717128B26CAs much as I dislike having a routine, I seem to be settling into one. I initially thought I would be living in the hotel alone during the isolation period. I stocked up on canned beans and vegetables, pasta, coffee, and chocolate bars. I only have a small microwave to heat items so my options for food selections were limited. I was surprised when two of the family members who run the hotel notified me they would be joining me in isolation. The family operates two hotel here in Loja, Ecuador. Their brother would be staying at the other one.

Isabel does the cooking. We share two meals per day breakfast at 8:30 and lunch around 2:30. Then every other day around 5:30 we have a language interchange. I help them with their English and they help me with my Spanish. I told Isabel two meals per day was enough for me so I do not know is she and Kerily prepare dinner.

On the alternative days we watch movies. I like films by the director Pedro Almodóvar and over the span of years have purchased most of his films via Apple’s iTunes. His films are in Spanish with English subtitles so everyone can understand. Neither of the women have had exposure to his films before, and I have not watched them all in anticipation perhaps of a time like the present. I purchased many expecting to watch them during my retirement, but my ten retired years have been filled with other things so I have not watched many of the movies.

The city is on a curfew from 2:00 pm until 5:00 am. Markets and banks are on restrict hours but are open during the week. The blood of Loja life is the mom and pop family stores which are closed. I believe the city will survive this crisis because of the strong family connections. No one will go hungry but so far 36 Ecuadorians have died and there are over 1600 cases of infection nationwide. This is most likely on the low end as many indigenous living in the remote mountain areas are likely not counted.

So I set the alarm clock each night to wake me for breakfast. I have not done this during the ten years of my retirement except for travel or appointments. Before the isolation and even now I wake up during the night and read or write but before I could sleep until whatever time I woke. Now, the alarm goes off at seven whether I’m ready or not. My day once again starts off with an alarm. That alarm will be the first thing to go when this crisis period is over. Twelve more days to go. Hopefully not longer.

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