Pandemic journal: Day 2

Sunday, March 15, 10:14 AM

Day 2 of voluntary social distancing 

I went yesterday to school to fetch the laundry, running into SS who was there retrieving forms — we greeted each other warmly while maintaining distance — and I didn’t go out again that day even to take out trash or anything. And today will likely be the same. 

So far I haven’t felt too isolated, but of course we do sometimes have weekends where we just stay in; it feels more companionable to me, now, because everyone’s in the same boat. Yesterday I had a good, long meeting with E to plan our time/lifestyle for the next three weeks (or longer); there was a flurry of preschool emails; there was a text in my RIE moms’ group chat and then an email thread; I waved at L next door and exchanged a smile though I didn’t offer help (I’ll plan to put a note in her mailbox); I chatted w/CK and AGB and with the family although I think the parents might be ignoring all the virus-related stuff we send. Everyone is still reasonably upbeat, but we’re ~10 days behind Italy in the disease-spread curve, and theirs hasn’t even peaked yet. It is, as I said yesterday, impossible to imagine what things will look like in a few days and a few days after that and again after that. And Hubei is finally on the other side of their curve, but there are still deaths every day, and it’s been more than two months since their outbreak was reported in the WaPo (I only know this because WaPo sent out an informational email yesterday saying they’d first reported on it January 8). So, our self-imposed quarantine may go past the current end date of preschool’s closure (April 5), but could go on for another month or more after that, in which case I can only hope the government will massively step up with aid, else people will die of starvation if not COVID-19. There are so many logistical questions with all of this… like, if this really goes on longer than a few weeks, will the food bank stay open? But how can they close? I guess I’ll be kept in the loop about that [because of the volunteer group I help organize]. And as the leader of a group that sends people to the food bank, I take my responsibility seriously. Perhaps I should send out another message to warn people over 70 that it’s particularly advisable that they stay home? I’ll need to rustle up my most convincing stats. 

Meanwhile, I had been thinking about whether to call N because I’m always afraid I’m being a bother, but when I woke up I felt like — especially after texting with J and hearing some of what her hospital is gearing up for — fuck it, now is not the time to pull away from friends. So I sent her a text saying, hey, talk later? She called me just now, about half an hour ago while I was composing my letter to my Meetup group, and I kind of got passed back and forth between her and W as the kids made noise in the background (or foreground), but we checked in with each other, and also confirmed a desire to keep checking in, and that feels good. 

That evening: video hangout with C & A, in lieu of our originally-scheduled dinner meetup. We laughed a lot and said let’s keep laughing; that will get us through this.