I’ve already forgotten what it was really like, back when Covid-19 seemed like a China thing, then seemed like a germaphobe thing, then suddenly became a holy shit this is really happening thing. I know at the beginning the news was coming in with such spooky rapidity it felt like actual sea changes were taking place every hour or so, I was driven to write here more often just to feel more ruddered to the now.

Now we’re in this long quiet held breath of a moment that’s been stretching on and on, which initially felt really scary — like standing on an emptied beach waiting for the approaching tsunami — but currently mostly feels … boringly anxious? Anxiously boring?

(I’m speaking for myself, to be clear. I know there are probably a lot of people who would really prefer to be occasionally bored.)

Our school district has been scrambling to get online learning in place and that is supposedly starting up next Monday (April 6). I’ll be interested to see if the kids complain more or less about having real assignments from their actual teachers instead of whatever vaguely educational nonsense I’ve been coming up with to keep them busy.

Keeping them on a schedule has been pretty important, not only so the adults can work but because Dylan in particular needs some structure to his day or things go sideways. The same is true for me, actually — so far, quarantine weekends have been some of the hardest times.

I did get out of the house during a break in the rain yesterday and went on a hike on a local hill, which felt remarkably normalizing until I got to the top and saw that the couple of scattered benches there are now covered in warning tape and signs. Truly surreal, I suppose every potential contamination point must be considered but a bench out in the middle of nature at the end of a grueling-ass trail?

That particular change felt weird and sad, but I’ve been trying to change my perspective on everything we’re all currently doing to limit our exposure to one another. It’s so difficult — even us hardcore introverts are missing our people terribly — but it’s so generous. It’s such a strange but caring thing we are all in the midst of.

Comments

7 Responses to “Strange but caring”

  1. Penne on April 3rd, 2020 11:06 am

    “Even us hardcore introverts are missing our people terribly” – my college aged sons are sheltered in place with other people and as much as I love quiet and peace and working from home alone, my heart is nearly crushed with anxiety and worry and just plain longing for them. The instagram-perfect posts of quarantined families happily working on puzzles or playing board games with their adult-ish children are killing me. My tribe is scattered and I can do nothing to care for them but send silly texts and random Amazon deliveries. Thanks for your daily writing. It helps.

  2. JudithNYC on April 3rd, 2020 11:33 am

    I worry about my grown sons. They are getting antsy and yesterday both were pining for fresh air. Very hard in a big city, running the risk of running into god knows how many more people just in their buildings. Wish they were young living with me. I would do anything to keep them inside.
    Yesterday I was feeling, while not bored, less worried and feeling that humans can adapt quickly to any situation. I have been at home for five weeks, gone out only once to the pharmacy where I was the only customer and where they were taking strict safety measures. The area where I live has the lower population density of New York City and I was feeling personally as safe as you can be in a city with almost 1600 dead from the virus.
    Then this morning the ambulances in my neighborhood started. I must have heard 10-15 since one woke me up at 7 am. It’s now 2 pm. Feels like a movie while I irrationally but cooly wonder if wind will carry the virus and how well-sealed my apartment is.

  3. Deb on April 3rd, 2020 11:55 am

    Your posts are a bright spot in my day. (No pressure!)

  4. Amy S Bridges on April 3rd, 2020 5:11 pm

    Yes PLEASE post every single day and don’t miss a day ever because I honestly love all your content pleeeeease don’t stop writing la la la everything’s FINE. I’M FINE.

  5. Sarah on April 4th, 2020 6:01 am

    I have nothing profound to say, but I wanted you to know that I’m a longtime follower and love how much you’re writing again. You always seem to beautifully put words to the feelings I’m having, and especially now it’s so reassuring to have these small moments of feeling seen. Thank you

  6. Shawna on April 6th, 2020 6:01 am

    Today is the day that my kids will be getting actual assignments online from their teachers. I’ve been letting them choose what to study for themselves the last couple of weeks and my daughter (14) has been working on a big book report that had been assigned before we stopped school, as well as various things that were mostly sent as suggestions by her teacher, but my son (11) has almost entirely opted for online math, physics, and coding, so I’m not sure how well he’ll take to other subjects like French, English and geography coming back.

  7. Lori O on April 6th, 2020 10:33 am

    Yep, I take the kids for walks in our suburban lake community to feel normal. It helps seeing people mowing their lawns and working on cars in the garage and whatnot, after being cooped in the house with just our family. And even though I knew playgrounds were off limits and wouldn’t allow my kids wo play on it, it was shocking to walk by our neighborhood park and see the yellow tape around everything. It made me sad, though it was easier for my 4-year-old who doesn’t quite understand germs to actually see a barrier on the playground equipment. Less for me to explain and she knew I wasn’t just making shit up, haha!

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