These days I’m often asked (from a distance, of course), where has the Rooney Bin been?

“Social distancing,” I reply. The Bin column was created about 19 years ago to cover social news on Florida’s First Coast. Sometimes I think it’s time to retire, but can’t seem to find a way to stop. Now it looks as if coronavirus has done it for me.

 I finally have time to clean the office, sort utensils in kitchen drawers, thoroughly clean house and other onerous chores. Apparently I work best with a deadline, because after about two months of COVID-19 quarantine, I’ve done little except whiting-out canceled events on my paper calendar, deleting emails and reading coronavirus jokes, such as: “they said a mask and gloves were enough to go to the grocery store; they lied, everybody else had clothes on.”

Many share my procrastination disorder and similar thoughts. Do I need to wear a mask to the grocery store—yes!—and to the mailbox?—probably not unless it’s at the post office. Will a simple scarf do? And, speaking of scarves, where does coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, MD., get all those beautiful scarves she wears at press conferences? But I digress.

One task I did complete was organizing our 2019 taxes for our accountant. Now taxes don’t have to be filed until July 15. Darn, I could have procrastinated longer. The April deadline for the 2020 census also has been pushed back. Speaking of the census, one result from an extended quarantine could be a population boom? And how does one control “social” distancing among hormone raging teenagers?

Occasional calls from old friends brighten my days. It’s nice to hear others suffer putting things off. A friend who moved from Utah to Pennsylvania two years ago admitted she hasn’t gotten around to unpacking boxes or updating her address book. Her excuse is she can’t find time to buy a new address book. Another buddy admitted, “I have actually found myself re-reading your old Christmas letters.” What? She saved them?

Although my spouse the Binmeister has been accompanying me on short walks, he has been working non-stop at home. His nerves are frayed as he tries to finish a project via conference calls and computer. He claims to be suffering from PTSD (post traumatic spreadsheet disorder.) When he isn’t working on spreadsheets, he cuts recipes out of the Wall Street Journal that he wants to prepare for dinner. They usually require a trip to the grocery store for exotic ingredients. It’s just a reason to get out of the house.

Final Word…What to have for dinner or for take-out has become the biggest topic of conversation at the Bin. Bogey Grille gets the prize for best sense of humor. Our to-go order was delivered to the car’s trunk by an agile young man, who returned to the restaurant skillfully using his foot to pull open the front door handle. When we arrived home, we found a bonus roll of toilet paper in addition to two sacks of delicious dinner items we ordered.

 Most evenings we sit at home drinking wine or gin and tonic. Both have benefits. As one email humorist pointed out: “if you keep a glass of wine in each hand, you can’t accidentally touch your face.” The gin contains alcohol which kills germs, and the tonic water contains quinine. It isn’t exactly hydroxychloroquine, but even if it doesn’t cure the virus we won’t care. As another email jokester said: “half of us are going to come out of quarantine as amazing cooks; the other half will have a drinking problem.”