Two things I read recently:

Instead of seeing social distancing and travel bans as panic, see them as acts of mass cooperation intended to protect the collective whole.


Don’t change your behavior to avoid being infected. Assume you are infected, and change your behavior to avoid transmitting.

The first one is more soothing than the second, but both provided me with a perspective shift that is helping me feel more anchored.

Surely it’s the inability to really believe this is all happening that is driving some of the behaviors we’re still seeing. I will be the first to say that I should have taken this more seriously sooner, but it’s officially become mind-boggling to me how many folks who don’t need to be around a bunch of other people are doing so. Like, at least stop posting photos of your “social distancing party” on Facebook. YOU GUYS THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

It’s possible I am more annoyed that people are out socializing because I am feeling increasingly restless, rather than righteously judgmental about my own commitment to quarantine.

There’s a real contrariness to having to stay home. As a true introvert I love being home and have the weird little couch-nest to prove it, but not being able to leave changes a lot of those familiar feelings of comfort to a sense of being stifled.

Going for walks helps, as does exercise. Barre3 has a lot of great online classes, Blogilates, PopSugar Fitness, and Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube are personal faves, and I’m planning to try out the Peloton app now that it’s free for 3 months. I have a little pile of workout stuff — bands, small weights, a kettlebell — that I haul out when I’m watching TV at night and do floor exercises.

It’s also important to take a news break, which I know is a giant no duh but boy is it hard to just put down the damn phone. Things are changing so quickly I have this worry that if I don’t constantly check in something major will happen and … well, then what? The logic doesn’t play out, but it’s there all the same.

In happier news, the weeping cherry tree in our front yard is just starting to flower. I somewhat associate this tree with being in rehab, because the year I was in Serenity Lane I missed the bloom. It’s short but dramatic, just a gorgeous display of fuschia-pink petals that drape gracefully downward like falling firework sparks.

I’m glad to be here to see it, this year. Maybe I can think about that when I’m wishing for a return to the hustle and bustle of normal life: it’s not all bad, being asked to slow down. It goes against everything our society has become, but maybe something new will emerge from all of this, and maybe that is something to hope for instead of fear.


8 Responses to “Day … whatever”

  1. Marn on March 18th, 2020 9:26 am

    My daughter is just weeks out of chemo so I am profoundly grateful to everyone who talks about and observes social distancing.

    Since most of the COVID 19 stories are bad, here’s a happy one. All the nursing homes here in Quebec are under complete lockdown. Even the in-house gatherings such as bingo, crafts and card game are forbidden. In one local home a 90-year-old woman was doing really poorly from the social isolation and had stopped eating.

    In a moment of inspiration, the nursing home manager turned to a local animal shelter. The shelter had a Bengal mix cat they despaired of homing because he talked endlessly and was a bottomless pit of need.

    Stanley is now the nursing home’s mascot. An animal has been saved, the residents have an insanely sociable cat to amuse them. And the 90-year-old has started eating again. Unfortunately the news story is in French, but at least you get to see Stanley :)

  2. Pat Birnie on March 18th, 2020 10:33 am

    I’m so happy to see you posting Linda. Checking in from Canada where we have reacted a bit quicker, so hoping our downturn will be sooner. The most frustrating part is watching stupid people stock up on stupid things. Best was an older couple will a fully loaded cart topped off with many cans of Spam – that’s what will kill you folks, not the virus! Best coping strategy – turn off the news and focus on the positive. I’ve been continuing to run and hike as always as well as use my basement gym. I really think I’d go crazy if I couldn’t be active!

  3. Kim on March 18th, 2020 10:35 am

    Thank you. Always love to read your writing, and being able to do so provides a little normalcy in this very not-normal time. Wishing you and yours all the best. (And thanks to Marn for the sweet nursing home story, above!)

  4. Elizabeth_K on March 18th, 2020 10:46 am

    Thanks for posting, and for quarantining, and for holding off on the Social Distancing party I KNOW you were dying to have …

  5. Kim on March 18th, 2020 10:54 am

    Why yes, as an introvert, I always thought this would be ideal. Of course when there’s no choice, it’s an entirely different matter. I’m working, watching some shows, reading and trying not to eat all the carbs in the house while also avoiding giving out Milk Bones to the beggars every time they see me pass the kitchen.

  6. sooboo on March 18th, 2020 1:45 pm

    I like the idea that we should act like we’re all carriers. It activates the do-gooder in me as opposed to the fearful animal who bought panic bought 7 jars of salsa.

    Still doing Betty Rocker videos that I think you introduced me to years ago. I have my husband doing them too. I dug a hula hoop out of the closet and have been doing that which is pretty fun. I Facetimed happy hour yesterday with three friends. I’ve been watching a lot of 80’s movies for some reason. The nostalgia is calming.

    Tomorrow my house becomes a virtual classroom as my husband teaches art for h.s. and college. The first class is figure drawing and he’s planning a lesson on hermits.

  7. anne nahm on March 19th, 2020 7:59 am


  8. scott hagg on March 19th, 2020 11:20 am

    As usual: Very well written.

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