Along with bread yeast and freezers, bleach has been virtually unobtainium during the pandemic. Photo by Jennifer Bardsley

Along with bread yeast and freezers, bleach has been virtually unobtainium during the pandemic. Photo by Jennifer Bardsley

Pandemic brings the Adventure-O-Meter to an all-time low

From near-misses with crow poop to scoring bleach at the pharmacy, this is what passes for excitement.

My definition of the word “exciting” has changed a lot because of the pandemic, and that really stuck out to me one morning during my daily walk with my husband. Three blocks away from our house, I narrowly missed being pooped on by a crow.

“Whoa!” I said, dodging to the left. “That was a close one.” I looked at the bird droppings on the sidewalk that had splattered inches from my shoes. “Pretty exciting, right?” I asked.

My husband laughed. “I’m not sure I would call that exciting,” he said.

“Oh come on.” I readjusted my hat. “It’s like I’m Indiana Jones.” I kept walking. “That never would have happened to me at the gym. The pandemic has filled our world with thrilling adventures.”

My narrow miss with excrement was the highlight of my day, but not of my week. That honor came a few days later when I drove to the drugstore to pick up a prescription.

There I was, driving in my car, listening to the radio, air conditioner blasting — it was incredible. Even better, I was by myself. Yup. There was nobody else in the car with me. I could listen to music as loudly as I wanted to, and it didn’t matter which station. When I got to the pharmacy, I saw people I didn’t know. They were complete strangers! It was surreal.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that this was the highlight of my week, and I’ll admit, it was amazing. But no, something more heavenly was in store for me that day at the drugstore: I found bleach.

“Bleach, bleach, beautiful bleach,” the angels sang as I walked toward it. The disinfectant sat on the shelf like the Holy Grail. It bore an aura of mystery, because instead of Clorox, it was an unknown brand.

I looked over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t being followed, and then zeroed in on my prize. “Come to Mama,” I mumbled through my mask. I took it up to the pharmacist’s desk and bought it along with my prescription.

“Guess what?” I told my husband as soon as I came home. I didn’t even wait to make sure he was in between conference calls. “I finally found bleach.” I set it on the bathroom counter and danced around. “Now I can clean the mold off the shower walls.”

“That would be awesome,” he said. “Maybe after you’re done, I could paint them.”

“Yes!” My mind was already picking out the hue. “We could change the color from cream to vanilla.”

It doesn’t get much more thrilling than that, does it?

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal. Email her at

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