in Checking In

COVID-19 life

It’s October 6th, day whatever of our home quarantine thanks to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus and President Trump’s utterly abysmal failure to confront it early on. We’ve been essentially holed up since March going out only for essential shopping, medical appointments, takeout or curbside food, and little else. My company shuttered its downtown Raleigh office in favor of an everyone-work-from-home model. I haven’t hugged my mom or dad in over seven months.

We do get out for exercise every weekend possible. Kelly and I have put a few hundred miles on our bikes riding the greenways. But I still won’t go into an office building or an enclosed space for any longer than necessary.

We’ve learned so much about COVID-19 since those early days. Poorly-ventilated spaces are the worst, particularly if they’re crowded. Outdoor activity is safest. Experts roll their eyes at the photos of people at beaches used to illustrate pandemic news stories, as those scenarios are among the safest.

Yet, here in North Carolina Governor Cooper is about to open businesses even wider than before, this in spite of cases continuing to peak here. I know Gov. Cooper’s got to balance the science with the business needs but there’s no way I’m going to spend an hour in a restaurant full of people not wearing masks, regardless of whether they’re spaced apart or not. Not gonna happen.

Japan has done an excellent job of conveying the best way to fight this pandemic. I smack my head at the U.S. Government’s incompetency to do the same.

As for me, I’ve been trying to put my energy into my day job, trying to keep my nerves steady from being around my family 24/7 for months on end, and spending other time “doomscrolling” to find out what fresh hell has been unleashed upon us. Doomscrolling is a perfect word that was coined this year to describe the feeling of helplessness many feel. And it’s an emotional toll on you, the feeling of powerlessness. I end my work day and don’t have energy for much else. I may retreat to my bed to read a book but that’s about it. Just keeping it together takes some serious effort.

While I haven’t written much here during this time (blogging is among the things I’ve just not been motivated to do), I have been keeping a near-daily video diary of what life has been like in Shelter-In-Place Land. I hope it informs my mindset when I look back on it in the future. I am still not sharing it with the public, sorry!

I spent some time yesterday sorting through photos from this year. I was amazed that our beach vacation to North Topsail Island was in July. It seemed simultaneously like yesterday and so long ago. Time has lost its meaning when you stare at the same four walls day in and day out. I looked back with fondness at our trip to the beach over New Year’s, while we were all blissfully unaware of what we would soon face.

But we will get there again. It may still be months away, or a year away, but we will get to a point where society is safe again. I try to keep focused on that light at the end of the tunnel. My spot on the couch is not the most exciting, but staying in a holding pattern is the absolute best way to come out of this safely. I suppose I can hang on.