March 19, 2020 Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Divorce & Family Law
By Attorney Lisa D. Stern, Esq.
I am a family law (divorce) attorney writing this article from my home office. Unlike most of you, I am not actually in quarantine, but on medical leave. Over the last two weeks I had two surgeries. My husband took this week off to “care” for me, however, due to COVID-19, his employer, the State of Michigan, has declared that all employees must work from home for the next 30 days.
My husband, like many others, suffers from general anxiety. However, the spread of COVID-19 has caused him to become acutely anxious, and at times, nearly incapacitated. In fact, upon return from college, my daughter asked me why I didn’t warn her that Dad was “full on crazy.” So, for my post-surgical care, I did the laundry, walked the dog and logged in more hours of Good Girls than any one person should. I forgot to add that because my husband didn’t want anyone entering the house, I was forced to cancel the housekeeper. In addition, as a shareholder in my law firm, while juggling recovery from my surgeries, cleaning the house, and keeping my husband from self-destructing, I also engaged in several telephonic emergency meetings to determine how to best keep our employees safe and my law firm on a sound financial footing.
Today is my last day of medical leave. This means that for the foreseeable future, my husband and I will be living together in self-imposed quarantine. I love my husband. He is my best friend, my biggest supporter, the father of my children … how are we going to survive this period of quarantine?
Is there a right/wrong way to be quarantined with your spouse? So many thoughts run through my mind. There is the obvious answer of “busy work.” Do I re-organize the linen closet? Do I take out all the dishes and wipe down the cabinet shelves? Do my husband and I spend the days looking longingly into each other’s eyes? Just kidding. What is the answer?
I recommend doing mindless activities together such as a 2000-piece puzzle, playing Twister or Scrabble. Just as each of my post-surgical directives indicated that “serious life decisions should not be made”, the instructions for COVID-19 should mirror that of post-surgery: DO NOT MAKE ANY MAJOR LIFE DECISIONS. Try to keep things in and around the house as simple, organized and enjoyable as possible. And if none of that works – call me. Remember, this too shall pass.