Social Distancing Day 3

The theme for today has been establishing some sense of normalcy. Personally, it has been easy to swing between two extremes: we are all going to die, and wheee! it’s stay-cation time. Of course, neither of these are true. 80% of COVID-19 cases seem to be “mild”, where “mild” means symptoms of a bad flu for 1-2 weeks. The world is not going to end as a result of the coronavirus (one hopes, though perhaps it will spur some much needed socio-economic reform). If it were, I would be encouraging everyone to go out with a bang, and lots of raucous partying accompanied by good food and better drink.

On the other hand, this isn’t vacation time for me. I’m lucky enough to have a job that is largely unaffected by having to stay at home for weeks (or even months). That means that I can expect to have a steady paycheck coming in each month, and also that I have to keep on working, as normally as I can manage.

So today has been an attempt to split the difference between the extremes, trying to settle down for a less-than-ideal, but not-terrible few weeks, and trying to make the most of the situation. After another late start (which needs to stop happening), a large part of the day went into cleaning the apartment, both shared spaces and my own room. Yes, it took a global pandemic to get us to deep clean the apartment, insert lazy millennial joke here.

We celebrated a clean apartment with gin and tonics on the balcony. It had been a day of depressing drizzle with a few minutes of sun in the late afternoon, so we wanted to make use of the lack of rain, even though the sky was packed with ominous clouds. Of course, it started raining again before we were even a third of the way done with our drinks. But by sunset the clouds had miraculously disappeared and we had some clear blue skies by the time it was dark. This all seems like an extended metaphor for our current situation and a portent of things to come. It feels like we are in the calm before the storm. Everything seems quiet, especially for those of us already stocked up and staying home, but in a few weeks healthcare systems in the United States are likely to overwhelmed the way Italy is now. There will be a lot of deaths, and yet, most of us will survive and live to tell the tale. This is a crisis, but not yet a catastrophe.

But as I said, today was an attempt at something akin to normalcy. We made dinner (and by we, I mean one of my roommates, she would like you to know that her cooking is excellent and that she is a paragon of style), made and drank cocktails, I contributed my Netflix account to watch an episode of The Witcher. The cats are very happy to have extra attention all the time, though my vacuuming in the afternoon was a little unsettling. I’ve decided that I will be having afternoon tea, with yes, actual tea and a cookie (biscuit for you Brits) while our stock of girl scout cookies last.

Not much work and no exercise today. I think it’s best to avoid our apartment gym for the time being, even though it seems to be both cleaned regularly and barely used at the moment. But with the weather getting warmer and me living next to state-protected natural lands, I’m hoping to sprinkle in long walks with body weight exercises at home. Who knows, this might be the push to actually take up running.

Tomorrow is a Saturday, but honestly, the weekend has little meaning when you’ve spent half the week at home, and the other half preparing to be at home. But I do have a stack of comics to work through, not too quickly. There may be an attempt to replenish groceries at some point. We’re stocked up on toilet paper, no it’s not an excessive amount. But I am glad to be going to bed tonight feeling calmer and clearer than I have in a few days, I hope you will too. And as always, stay safe, stay sane, and take care of each other.

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