“Quarantine Brain is Real!”

My favorite way to get through rough times? Look for some humor. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

My favorite is laughing at myself when I do stuff like trying to rinse off my feet in the tub – without double-checking that the shower knob is off! Unintentional baptism. Or trying to make morning coffee without actually putting the coffee beans into the coffee maker. Hot water just isn’t the same. I enjoy it even more when I can share my glitches, and someone else can have a laugh, too.

A friend told me she now calls these glitches her “quarantine brain”. Living in quarantine and all the related issues have created a lot of mental distractions, and so guess what? ‘Quarantine brain’ strikes. And it’s best just to laugh at ourselves.

Added to being in quarantine, here in Northern California we’re also back in ‘high fire danger’ season. Last count, there are four (or is it five?) major wildfires burning in the the north state. So my subconscious keeps reviewing “evacuation guidelines”- – just in case.

And that leads to my ‘quarantine brain’ moment for today:

I have a tiny kitchen, so I store my paper products in my garage. Today, I walked out to the garage to grab a roll of paper towels from the cabinet. But as soon as I saw my car, I stopped and mentally double-checked that I have plenty of gas in the gas tank “just in case” – yep, I’m good….

And then I looked around and tried to remember why I came into the garage. Was the laundry done? Nope. I could hear the washer. Did I need a new garbage bag? No. Hmmm…..Looking all around the garage….Paper Towels! That was it. And at that point, LOL!!! Quarantine Brain had struck again.

It can get funny, too, when you are ordering groceries online with quarantine brain. I can’t remember if I need mustard, or if I bought mustard last time. And if I don’t go to the kitchen and scoot things out of the way and check the back of the shelf…

Okay, yes, I have Four Large jars of mustard. Anyone need extra mustard? And let’s not talk about how much mayonnaise I have. Too funny.

As I mentioned, I have a tiny kitchen. So I also have a storage unit in the extra bedroom for canned goods. I just checked: It’s 16 steps from the kitchen to the storage unit. But do you know how many distracting things you can think of in those 16 steps? Yes. And there I am, standing in front of the storage unit, trying to remember what I came to get. Baked beans? tuna? crackers? Surely not one of the jars of mustard. Backtrack to the kitchen and realize I needed pickle relish for the hot dog. LOL!

These quarantine brain events remind me of a favorite joke:

The pastor was visiting Mrs. Johnson, a member of his church, who’d just celebrated her 80th birthday. “Mrs. Johnson,” he said, “Now that you’ve reached this milestone, it’s important for you to think about the hereafter.” “Oh, Pastor,” she replied, “I think about the hereafter all the time. I walk into the living room, and I think ‘What am I here after?’.”

Quarantine brain guarantees you are thinking about the ‘hereafter’ many times a day. 🙂

Then there is ‘work-related quarantine’ brain. Last Wednesday, I emailed a kind colleague, asking if she would send me two documents I wanted to review. Shortly after sending her the email, I realized that she had sent me the documents – two weeks earlier! And not only had I read them and put them in a clearly labeled file on my desktop, I’d even printed them for hard copy reference. Oh, good grief!

When I shared this with her, she laughed with me, and declared “Quarantine Brain is Real.” A colleague who will laugh with you at quarantine brain moments is priceless.

And that leads me to my conclusions about quarantine brain: Obviously this is the time to cut yourself and others some slack. We are all dealing with these quarantine brain moments the best that we can. Why not look for the humor in these moments, and restore your spirit with a good laugh?

This concept came alive for me when I saw this post on Facebook, by a lady with a webpage called “Pagan Humor”: “One day I’ll do amazing things. Today I’ll be satisfied if I manage not to spill food on my boobs.

And that’s about the size of it – no pun intended. Let’s look for the humor and joy in these quarantine brain moments, and spread the joy of being human.


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