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Quarantine update & how we’re spending our CARES Act Checks

As we reach the point where we can almost begin to measure the quarantine period in months instead of weeks, any hope that this might pass quickly have completely disappeared. For now, this is our immediate future, and asking “how much longer” seems like a question that only a fortune cookie could answer. And so, we persist.

For those of us who are United States taxpayers, we started receiving our CARES Act checks this week, so in addition to sharing our updates, this week we also share how we’re spending those checks (or, not spending them).

Laura: I’m doing okay right now – I have good days and bad days. One of my biggest frustrations is that I feel like I don’t have the focus I used to have to be able to write and analyze data for hours. It feels so trivial to even mention it, because there are big and real and scary things that people are having to deal with right now, while I’m upset that I’m not getting as much writing/research done as I’d like. But, I think writing is one of my escapes, and I really miss being able to lose time while I write.

For the CARES Act check (I received mine via direct deposit last Wednesday). I am spreading it around (spending at the outdoors companies that are supporting pandemic relief efforts) that I need gear for my upcoming speed record attempts and ultra-distance triathlon. In the spirit of complete transparency, I started a list of things I needed as soon as I heard that we would be getting checks. On that list is bikepacking bags, cold-weather cycling gear, new running gloves, and a sweet new cycling wind-jacket. Whatever is left (around half, likely, I’ll put in my investment account.

Rose: On a call with a local mayor Monday I acknowledged that I didn’t quite expect to be in week five of remote work and it was getting to be a bit much. We had some large meetings that needed to take place this week and the additional burden of complying with new executive orders on public hearings and trying to be engaging with technology was added stress. We have a significant deadline at the beginning of June and the timeline is feeling tight with the extra curveballs. Other than a stressful work week I am generally fine.

With our CARES check, we moved half into one savings account that I use for racing expenses and half  to regular savings. We’re kind of using it to develop a cushion in case something happens.

Ellen: I’ve been fortunate enough to have sheltered in place for the last 5 weeks but an auto-immune flare is forcing me into a local clinic for a biopsy in two weeks.  In the big scheme of things, my issues are small in comparison to so many, so I’m keeping focused on practicing gratitude.  At the same time, I aim to utilize every calming/meditative technique in my arsenal to keep my anxiety levels to a manageable level between now and then. Continuing to keep myself busy has been my saving grace.

My husband and I are saving in order to help make up for the losses I’ve incurred in my art business these last couple of months. We are also using it to generously tip the shoppers who have been bringing us groceries

Jaymee: This week has been long for me. I wasn’t sure what day it was either Monday or Tuesday this week. But I also had a long weekend so I think Groundhog Day is the best way to describe how I am feeling right now. I did start doing a mediation with co-workers three days a week remotely and it has been an interesting experience. First, to get the perspective from others on mediation. Second, the connection we now have with the group of people that participate each time. I have not met any of them in person so while that is odd, it is just another thing that this stay home initiative has given me the opportunity to do things I probably wouldn’t do.

I am going to save half of the CARES money and the other half I will spending on home stuff. I want to get new blinds for my bedroom and living room, decorate my bathroom (as I take a bath almost daily now) and buy gardening tools/raised beds.

Monetta: This week seemed really long. Most days I didn’t know what day it was. I forgot my best friend’s birthday but luckily Facebook reminded me.  By Thursday I was really frustrated and angry and people not obeying social distancing but by Friday I calmed down. My hero of the week is a friend who buys groceries and refills my bottled water. Every time she goes for her family I send my list and money. I am so grateful to have her in my life. I again focused on small tasks and congratulated myself for each one. I rearranged my room to make a studio like space. I worked on making videos for my online yoga in classrooms training. I am offering this class as pay what you can for the duration of this crisis as a gift to the public. It is normally $150 but I want as many people as possible to benefit. This course is designed for parents and educators but can also be used for people looking to learn more about yoga. It includes: 6 lessons plans

  • learn how to teach the lessons
  • learn how to create your own lessons
  • learn tips for teaching children engaged
  • receive resources for creating your own lessons
  • lifetime access to videos
  • live calls with other participants
  • on demand assistance from the instructor
I am doing it in groups of 8. This group will run April 20-24. I will accepts students until April 20th 3pm AST or when all spots are full. Any questions can be directed to To finish on a plus side we haven’t had a confirmed case of covid-19 in my country for a week and 11 of the 15 cases reported have recovered. We do have several people in isolation awaiting test results. We run out of reagent on island so tests have to be done at the Caribbean lab and it takes longer to get results. I do not qualify for my country’s relief package and they stopped accepting applicants because they were overwhelmed. I have food to eat so I am happy.

Are you getting a CARES act check? If so, how do you plan to use it? How are you doing?

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