Six-foot Social Distance in the new norm of Quarantine. Six feet away kept one safe.

However, coupled with our enforced homestay, from mid-March to Memorial Day, was a home remodel gone wild. Six feet away, on the other side of our lot line.

It was difficult to remain sane.

Though we were healthy and safe inside our home, we were tortured insane by the dawn-to-dusk noise next door. Incessant machined-sanding, painting, sanding, and re-painting. Apparently, no work crew member had a shop during COVID-19 times.

All work was done on the job site, in the open garage with its door up.

The keening and calamitous noise was broadcast throughout the neighborhood, up the slope and down the slope of our hillside community. Megaphoned for all of the households to enjoy—or not. Other households could shut their windows, but our home was only six feet away so that cacophony was unavoidable.

We’d initially welcomed a new neighbor, a single woman who seemed lively and beckoning, unlike the 90+-year-old former inhabitant who’d been a hermit. Now my husband and I were as an artifact of coronavirus homestay. Everyone on the cul-de-sad, including the new homeowner, expected a nine-month remodel so that she could enjoy the holidays in her new abode. There was a nice, communicative project manager who arrived at 7:00 each morning and did not leave the job site until 5:00. Not one instance of loud music or swearing. Politeness and oversight reigned.

But, alas all safeguards were off January 1, 2020.

2020 did not whisper. It soared. Into the stratosphere, the noise level went. No responsible adult was onsite. Not the owner, not a project manager. Just a constant stream of ungoverned worker bees, who filed in like ants and left beaucoup tracks. Dust flew everywhere, causing my half-ass asthma to whip into overdrive, abated by abundant rain.

We endured five months in the antipathy of peace. No joy, no relief.

We spent 15 months total with a porta-potty for the subcontractors six feet distant from our master bathroom. Bombs away, Baby –