Can you imagine if, back when we first went into lockdown, we had been told exactly how this was going to progress? Like, oh no the kids aren’t taking a break from school — it’s over for the year, and everyone will be doing a weird online thing instead that involves daily Zoom meetings and not only will you have no differentiation between your work life (unless you are considered an essential worker, in which case your work will be a daily dice-roll involving an ever-less-comfortable series of company-required masks) and your home life but your kids won’t either. Businesses aren’t closed for this week and next, they’re going to be closed for months, and no one will really understand how things will re-open except it’s for sure going to involve a lot of worry and oppressive-feeling government regulations. While we are all taking solace from saying “when this is all over,” the truth is it won’t be over for a really long time and maybe ever and the only way life can move forward is if you either commit to self-quarantine for however many months/years it takes to get a vaccine or choose to run the risk of infection. Oh, also the federal leadership is going to be horrifyingly inept and pretty much the opposite of reassuring, which was probably the most predictable thing of all but still extremely shitty to experience.

It would have just been too much, really, and I suppose that’s why we all went on as long as we did believing that something was going to happen to make all of this go away. I know I did, anyway.

I’ve been wondering when I will see my mom and aunt again, and what it would feel like if we said fuck it, let’s just hope for the best and have a hand-washing-oriented visit, and one of them developed symptoms afterwards, and I was the cause? I’ve been worrying about my kids, who are so weirdly quiet and resigned during their school hours, and wondering what is this doing to their development.

I’ve been missing my before-life so much, and wishing I had been more grateful for what that really looked like, and all the things, big and small, that I was so easily able to do. I know life is not always going to be like it is right now, but neither will it go back to how it was. It’s going to be different and some or maybe a lot of it is going to require some major adjustments, and the best we can do is to keep going because there will still be so many things to be grateful for. But also it’s okay to just take a minute or a day to wallow in the acknowledgement that wow, this just all really fucking sucks.


15 Responses to “Deus ex machina, MIA”

  1. Deana Coyner on May 7th, 2020 12:11 pm

    How weird is it that you are not the first person to use. Deus ex machina in conversation that I follow today?

  2. Emily on May 7th, 2020 12:13 pm

    I’m in the NYC area. It sucks so much. I used to commute into the city for work and … Jesus how am I ever going to squeeze on a train again?
    Everywhere requires masks now. Sometimes I forget when I take the dogs for their early morning walk and I forget and people give me such a look.
    I dropped some groceries to my mom the other day and passed a … maybe 8 year old? Riding a bike with a mask and it made me cry.
    And the worst part is, in Cuomo’s press conference yesterday, he said the majority of new cases are coming from people who are staying home. Who, like me, probably just run out for groceries or another errand one or twice a week, or maybe got too close talking to a neighbor.
    I just can’t imagine this ending here, and that is the absolute freaking worst.

  3. Belle on May 7th, 2020 12:29 pm

    Exactly. I used to occasionally fear a nuclear war. Now I fear a silent and invisible one. I’ve lived 70 years but this is really not how I wanted to go out. And I sure hope my kids have a future ahead. Yes, it sucks, and I don’t sleep. Bah.

  4. Julie on May 7th, 2020 1:03 pm

    I needed this today, Linda! Feeling sorry for myself and for everyone. Didn’t see this coming of course and through a series of circumstances don’t have health insurance until June 1. Somehow I fear death less than having one hospitalization wipe out my entire 48 years worth of retirement savings (what’s left of it anyway!) Please keep the posts coming…they are a bright light during these bleak days.

  5. PETE J HAIDINYAK on May 7th, 2020 1:05 pm

    For three years now my life has been either spending time with my dad, who lived with me, or working on my house. Other than I now work from home my life hasn’t changed that much. Dad’s gone now and the house feels more empty than it should. My plans were to sell my house and then travel the country in my truck camper and find a place to retire. That’s looking difficult at this point. As my mother would say “At least you’ve got your health”

  6. PETE J HAIDINYAK on May 7th, 2020 1:06 pm

    Forgot to mention, no red states :-)

  7. sooboo on May 7th, 2020 1:09 pm

    You’re right that we’ve had to let it slowly sink in for our emotional health. I’ve been thinking about a dinner party, a concert, an art opening, nights out with friends back in January and February and it makes me so very sad knowing it might be literally a year or years before we can do that again. I wish I had enjoyed myself more. On New Years Eve I was in a crowded bar and at midnight they played I Wanna Be Sedated and we laughed. If we’d only known.

  8. Kim on May 7th, 2020 1:35 pm

    The funny (not that funny) part for me is before this, I would always joke I was a hermit in training. After two months of forced hermitism where the husband still has to go to work every day & all I have for company is two dogs & some chickens, I miss my coworkers & friends terribly. My god daughter is about to give birth for the first time, in Florida. My sister & most family are either there or in NY & I’m used to visiting all on a regular basis & who the hell knows when that can happen again. I’m SO grateful my Alaskan cruise happened last summer; I cannot imagine the disappointment of those planning to go this year.
    Yeah, I had a wallowy day today too.

  9. Jeannie on May 7th, 2020 4:33 pm

    Canadian here. While our federal government is doing ok for the most part, we still have the same insanity of closed businesses and schools and everything else you mentioned. We are “opening up” in a couple weeks but it’s clear that it’ll be a partial thing that has a lot more working from home / schooling from home and curtailment in all areas ahead. The thing that really hit home is that our province said yesterday that there will be no gatherings of more than 50 people until there’s a vaccine or treatment. Period. Which ok, great, that’s sensible but when you step back and realize just how much that will affect …. god, EVERYTHING … wow.

    The one thing I keep saying to my kids to keep us all sane is “I don’t know when it will end or what will happen before then …. I only know it will end, eventually.” And I know we all thought that was …. June. Later 2020. And trying to consider another 18 months of this is … mind blowing. And extremely sucky.

  10. Donna on May 7th, 2020 6:43 pm

    I miss movies. With extra buttery popcorn. And getting a manipedi. A facial. A massage.

  11. t on May 7th, 2020 11:21 pm

    I REALLY miss going to the library and my daughter and I getting a massive stack of books to read. I miss seeing my sisters and baby nephews. I miss walking down the city streets and not worrying, and I miss walking around without a mask on. I’m immune suppressed because of arthritis medication-my Dr. had me self quarantine a full ten days before our lockdown order here. Suuuuucks. The reality of this is all starting to sink in for my kid as well. She’s 13 and doing zoom hangouts and phone calls but it simply is not the same as having a sleepover with a group of friends. So yep. It sucks. It all sucks.

  12. C on May 8th, 2020 8:04 am

    The hardest part for me, right now, is with all the orders lifting, we all have to do our own risk assessment. We don’t have the data or info necessary to make the assessment, but we have to do it anyway. Do I send my kids back to daycare? Should I meet my friends in the park for a socially distant happy hour? What if that one thing I choose to do is what decimates my family? Meanwhile, my workload continues on as if the rest of the world isn’t crumbling. So, yeah- Happy Friday!

  13. Shawna on May 11th, 2020 5:55 am

    Canadian here too. Today retail stores in my province with a storefront that leads outside (not stores in malls, for example) can start doing curbside pickup. This seems pretty reasonable for where we’re at right now in our province and my city. My mind absolutely boggles when I see some states’ first actions were to open up hair and nail salons! While their numbers were already increasing! My biggest large-scale worry right now is the US’s actions causing all our progress to be for nothing as supply chains and other travel over the border brings more virus into our country.

    Yesterday we went to my mom’s to see her for Mother’s Day, but used liberal amounts of hand sanitizer and we stayed over six feet apart and upwind, and didn’t go into her house at all, just strolled around her garden and down the road a bit (she’s in the country so there’s lots of outdoor space and no one around). We felt confident that we posed less risk to her than her husband who is high-risk but still does the grocery shopping and goes out into public situations at least once or twice a week. Still, it was the first time we’ve seen her in two months, when normally we’d be visiting and having dinner together every weekend, and in that two months she’s had an operation and we couldn’t see her to provide comfort or support because the curve was still going up around here. This situation really does suck.

  14. Shawna on May 11th, 2020 5:56 am

    Whoops, meant to say we stayed downwind.

  15. Nine on May 11th, 2020 8:18 pm

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