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Day #10

March 23, 2020

So, I started keeping this little pandemic journal. I felt compelled for a couple of reasons. One, we are all in a sort of collective global twilight zone of uncertainty, helplessness, ever-changing rules and death, which is absolutely unique in all of our experiences. We are witness to the world unraveling on every imaginable front. This is truly a bizarre time. You could be terrified if you thought too much about it, or if you’d read too many apocalyptic end of times books. It really can seem surreal and scary and out of control. So, yes, this certainly is worthy of documenting.

And two, most of us are isolated in our homes, trying to make our way thoughtfully through the days, trying to figure out how to organize our time to be productive and healthy (both physically and emotionally). As I’ve said before, for some, that’s a more complicated task because they might have kids, might have older parents, might have jobs to maintain or other obligations. Retired me, I’m just short a few regular activities and suddenly having all this time at home, largely alone. It’s become this unique opportunity to really do something with all this new-found time. It’s been a work in progress as I balance the desire to keep up with the tsunami of breathtaking news every day, with the desire to stay sane and fulfilled with activities like exercise, writing, reading, the aforementioned exciting-new-projects, and household stuff (like cooking, shopping and cleaning.. esp now that we’ve told Miguel not to come until all this is over).

So I think it’s good to note what kinds of things I’m doing and the things I can’t do .. as a way to document this moment generally, and I think it’s good to be intentional about what I do do, and accountable so the days don’t just slip away.

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It’s funny.. we don’t know how long this is going to go on. Listening to the press briefing today, the president came out with this new idea that “the cure is worse than the problem” and wants to end this social distancing thing and get people out of their houses and back to work as a way to bring the economy back from the brink of collapse. I could write a thousand things about that, about how he’s focused more on the economy than on the health and wellbeing of the people of the country, and how his political future depends on a robust and growing economy, so damn everything else. I could write about how there’s a part of me that actually understands what he says about the cure/problem thing, and thinks there’s something to explore in that, but that’s not for me to worry about, not being a public health or economy expert.

But I’m more wanting to reflect on how so many of us were settling in for the long haul, expecting this situation to go on for a very long time, beginning to accept that “sheltering in place” or “staying at home” or “lockdown” was going to be a protracted reality and it was shaping up to be this rare opportunity to slow the heck down and reconnect with ourselves, or learn about ourselves, or at the very least reinvigorate some long-idle project or hobby or whatever.  I mean, I still have an item on my to-do list that says: set some goals for the long sequestration; make a daily plan.

And now it may be over before I even get started on any of that. Seriously, it’s only day #10 of self-isolation .. and I haven’t done anything spectacular yet!

 

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