Pandemic journal: Day 6

Thursday, March 19, 8:02 AM

Day 6 of voluntary social distancing, Day 3 of mandatory shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: nourishment 

I set an alarm for this morning so I’d get some alone time before Owl woke up. I had an unpleasant dream in which I was at someone’s house and there were wild turkeys on the deck, and then the person’s dad sneaked up and shot one of the turkeys. I thought, what a badass, I’m excited to taste wild turkey! But later I saw the other turkeys were still there, vulnerable, not having flown away, and I realized this was a family unit and we’d just killed one of them in front of the others. The baby turkey was named Jeremy.

When I woke my muscles felt pleasantly mildly sore (from yesterday’s dance class plus walk; if this keeps up I’ll be in better shape than when this all started!) but still wanting movement, so I thought I’d play a song and do some gentle full-body stretching. But when I opened my dance playlist the music energized me, and I thought, I need to give this joy back to the world, so I tried my first IG Live (inspired by Debbie Allen’s dance class yesterday), and my friend saw it and said it made her smile. So now I’m warm, my heart rate is up, I had a tiny bit of interaction, and I feel happy. 

Yesterday I heard from three friends that they are finding it very difficult with their kids at home… it just occurred to me that this is a minimally difficult transition for E and me because E already WFH so much of the time, and I’ve been at home with Owl for years, so we have a system for balancing everything out and getting things done and staying sane, whereas other people might be building this from scratch under stressful circumstances. 

Our preschool teachers are doing circle time over Zoom today, which I’m excited about. 

Yesterday I told E I haven’t gotten much done, and I thought, even as he said it out loud: “You try to do a LOT of things in a day.” True. We talked about productivity systems he’s learned at work and I realized that much of what takes up my time is nebulous stuff like “stay in touch with friends” or “make the apartment nice and keep it clean”, where there’s no end point and no parameters for frequency of tasks or how long anything has to take or how ambitious/constrained the scope; for instance, keeping in touch could mean taking 2 minutes to send a text or it could mean a 2-hour video chat, and those are vastly different time and energy expenditures. I’ll have to think on this. 

Yesterday did go pretty smoothly, as predicted; I had my morning writing, followed by a long video chat with SD which started well though Owl was so noisy and involved that I was frazzled by the end of it; SD said “I can see your patience level just dropping”. But afterward E gave me a break and I had lunch alone with headphones on and then did Debbie Allen’s dance class while Owl watched. Afterward I fetched parcels and Owl watched me try on Warby Parker eyeglasses frames (a wash) and then we did a chaotic video chat with Y’s family. Owl started to melt down but LB texted me that she and F were walking by, so we went to the window and waved and blew kisses and made heart-hands at them, and that perked us both up momentarily. I decided to stave off further meltdown (for both of us) by putting Owl in the stroller and going on foot to get the CSF, a 3-mile round-trip. Owl and I were both so happy to be outside; they said it was so nice out and they liked the clouds. I had brought headphones to call people but after being cooped up indoors, the world itself felt so interesting and engaging, I didn’t even pick up my phone until I’d been walking for a good 20 min. Owl napped, I got our fish and crab, I smiled while social-distancing from passersby, and I felt way better. When we came back E was done with work. We had a Zoom chat with my family. And then dinner and shower and we all went to bed at a decent hour. 

I felt a bit guilty/unsure about taking such a long walk; the virus can stay airborne for 3 hours they say; is it the right thing to do, for us or others? 

Asian American parent and child

Sending loving thoughts to all the teachers who are working for their students from home, trying new methods for distance education, keeping the kids connected and learning and the parents from going insane!