The Novel(ty of) Coronavirus

The newness, the freshness, the intensity of the unknown!

It’s wearing pretty thin.

Like, three weeks ago, when quarantine first became a thing, it seemed like an okay idea. Just hang out at home, watch TV, get some cleaning done, maybe reorganize your closet, FaceTime your pals. All while helping everyone else stay healthy? Not much downside.

Now? Less than a month later, it’s kind of annoying—for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, I miss the outdoors. I miss boppin’ around without fear of fielding a stink eye every other block. I miss the adventures that made our move to the PNW so special! I miss any excuse to wear real pants beyond my current rotation of sweats and leggings. 

Speaking of leggings, I miss working in an office. Pre-COVID, I enjoyed WFH one day a week. It *was a Facebook-wide routine designed to discourage filling Monday to Friday with meetings. But when that one day became three days, then a week, then three weeks, I realized I need the office. I need other people’s energy to power through the workday.

And on the topic of energy, I really miss our gym. Home workouts are fun and effective in their own right, but I need weights. I need pulleys. I need levers. I need a space where my dogs don’t assume any approach toward the floor is an invitation to play.

Most of all, I miss planning my life around everything above. It’s one thing to have free time when it’s sporadic. When you can squeeze in an episode of some show before dinner, or walk the dogs during that last bit of daylight after work. But when all you have is time, when you have entire days of NOTHING, it’s hard to feel a sense of purpose. 

I live out of my planner, especially its to-dos! So having literally zero errands to run or calls to make has really thrown me for a loop. I’ve resorted to documenting Zoom dates and online shopping checklists just to fill the pages. Granted, I’m incredibly grateful to have those Zoom dates and the means to online shop.

I just think the reality of this being the new (however temporary) normal is starting to take its toll. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t! I’m not going to sit here and act like my mental health is great, that passing the time is easy, productive and/or fun.

But I’m gonna keep doing it. We all are. Because it’s the one thing we can do—the one thing we must do—to keep others safe and healthy. This isn’t about me or you or the friends we wish we could hang out with. It’s about the friends with asthma, diabetes and heart conditions. It’s about our family members over the age of 60.

It’s about literally saving lives.

This is going to be a thing for the next couple of months, whether we like it or not. Because you can’t rush a virus. You can’t give it a day by which it has to disappear. It will adhere to its own timeline. It will run its own course. 

And we’re going to do everything we can to stop that spread.

Because yeah, I miss all of those things. But none of that compares to the possibility of losing someone I love to a virus we could potentially contain.

So if you’re still socializing—if you’re still going out, interacting with groups of people, thinking you’re immune or invincible or not affected by a virus that is already very likely in your vicinity—you’re part of a fatal problem.

You may not be spreading the virus (which, if you are, you won’t know for another two weeks, so try to keep tabs on everyone you see in the meantime), but you’re definitely spreading two separate messages:

  • It’s okay for people to go out. If you’re out and healthy and doing fine so far, others can and should do the same.
  • Meaning you (and the many others you’ve influenced) couldn’t give two shits about the health and safety of anyone—friends and family included.

And honestly, the longer people continue to ignore these stay-at-home orders, the longer we’ll be stuck in quarantine. Until the right people can be sure everyone has hunkered down long enough to know they’re healthy, it’s impossible to tell whether or not the virus has been contained.

So stay the fuck home. Binge Netflix, order some jigsaw puzzles, schedule a billion Zoom dates with the people you wish you could see in person. It will make more of a difference than you realize.

And whenever the time comes for us to emerge from our caves and soak in that sweet, sunny vitamin D, the reunions will be 100% worth the wait. I promise.

—-

Let this help you pass the time.

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