Sunday, March 22, 2020

Surviving Coronavirus AKA Chasing My Tail

It's only been a week. We're a week into an usual shift to pull inward. Keep to ourselves. Flatten the curve. Be socially responsible by not being social. Well, I've had a bit of my own "come to Jesus" moments in that last 7-10 days, and they haven't been pretty.

Things about this pandemic that have been a challenge:
Staying off the news feeds. They could be the death of my psyche. With so much information available on an hourly basis (if you toggle, like I'm doing, between the NYT, NPR, and the Johns Hopkins virus tracker map), I'm chasing my tail. I never get enough (peace?) or the thing I'm truly looking for, which is: When will this be over? And, Can I guarantee no one I love will get sick or die? Answers to both are impossible.

Going outside. Logically, I know it's okay to go outside. It's fine. Fresh air is good, but for some reason, it's not as comforting as it should be. Not that I reasonably think anything bad could happen to me out in the open air. It just feels different. Solution? Go outside more.

Being creative to combat the stress. Artistic types are finding creative ways to do their art. So, what's up when you can't muster the enthusiasm to do your art? This is the first words I've written since the national emergency. I thought of a poem the other day but lost it in the dread to go into a grocery store. For the record, I have not stocked up on toilet paper.

Caring what others are doing to stay safe. This one is a biggy, because the directives of the White House, my city, and state, aren't universally being followed. Everyone has a different opinion about their freedom of movement. I can't control the behavior of anyone despite my decision to follow the recommendations. In fact, I can't control anything about these circumstances except my own response. I suppose I could put up a sign in my yard that says: Hey, follow the rules! But that wouldn't do any good either. My heart goes out to essential workers and people who can't afford to miss work. You need support, too.
My writing pal.

Upsides? There are a few:
Old friends are in touch. It has been nice to reconnect with many people this week. Hey, even though we're mostly on social media doesn't mean we're anymore likely to stay in touch. We see snippets of each others' lives from our posts but not the meaty stuff. This week, I'm having conversations that are more meaningful.

I appreciate my home more. So Much More! Frankly, because of my day job, I'm just not home that much. Yes, on weekends (in-between errands). But now I'm more thankful to have a nice place to live and a yard to walk around. I have a fridge and a washer/dryer and a garage that needs cleaning out. Rather than a burden, my overstuffed garage might actually get a makeover.

My pets love the company. My three cats have discovered ear-scratches are available anytime. Spoiled kitties.

My kid made cookies. For the first time in forever. Thank you, Ronnie. You're good to be cooped up with.

Let me know how you are doing.

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