So, we all find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, which would have sounded strange to write a few months ago, but now sounds normal. If you read the details of the hotspots, which I haven’t done today, it sounds terrifying, because what people in New York and other places are suffering is a nightmare, and we don’t really know if every single city will become a hotspot eventually, or if our partial shutdown and stay-at-home orders will keep some areas merely warm.
Today I heard some advice on a nutrition podcast, someone discussing how she and her husband are staying sane at home with 4 year old twin boys. They have made a schedule for their kids, not so different from a pre-school schedule, but also a daily schedule for her and her husband. She said it removes some of the stress and keeps her on track with things she wants to do. So I’m trying it out for the first time, and this is writing time. It’s working in that I’m writing.
Yesterday I grocery shopped for the first time with a mask on, a dust mask I found in the basement, crumpled up in a bag with some paint supplies. At first it looked like I was the only one with a mask, but then I noticed that most of the elderly people had surgical masks. It was late and not many people were there, so that was good.
My wife teaches medicine and works at a clinic one day a week. I worry about that one day. Being a part timer they haven’t fitted her for an N95, since they are in short supply. She took one of our crappy dust masks this morning. Our daughter has started to sew cloth ones and I think she will send a couple.
You would think I’d use this time for all sorts of productive things, reading more, working with the activist groups I’m part of, photography projects, writing, but I found myself a little scattered the first couple weeks, online too much. I have to make sure I’m done with reading or listening to any news by the early evening, otherwise I go to bed too wound up and can’t sleep well (either not falling asleep, or waking up too early, mulling things over).
Perhaps the strangest thing about this global catastrophe, what feels like World Wide Katrina, is the isolation. Solidarity is crucial, but solidarity depends so much on proximity. Isolation kills solidarity by forcing us to become hyper-focused on our individual needs. I need to start calling more people on the phone just to check in.