Pandemic journal: Day 10

Monday, March 23, 8:58 AM

Day 10 of voluntary social distancing, Day 7 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 4 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: space 

I was slow getting up this morning so I only have half an hour before Erik has to get to work. But I’ve showered and done an IG Live video. I also (I’m sorry to report) played a couple of challenges in my fashion game, read news stories about the virus (the surgeon general is warning that it’s “going to get bad” this week, and meanwhile there are utterly enraging photos of crowds on Florida beaches for Spring Break, or thronging parks in LA), fantasized about a clean and well-organized apartment (instead of fantasizing about all the things I can’t have) and came up with a couple of immediate actions I can take toward that end, and then, half an hour later, continued fantasizing about the impossible things while playing solitaire. 

I’m going through this notebook a lot faster than I expected. I did order some new journals the other day but who knows when they’ll arrive or whether I’ll like them. In the meantime if this one really does run out I found a composition book in the closet, and I have some travel sketchbooks I could use, since goodness knows I’m not going out into the field to sketch (although I could, I suppose). I was telling Erik that if it really comes to that, I have endpapers in my cookbooks, and we have empty boxes! Erik said, of Owl’s prolific drawing, there are always the walls! But it will really feel like end times then. 

EL’s writing workshop yesterday was really good (and I was so glad to see her, SI, and even AF though we can barely be called acquaintances; I guess these are the kinds of times where it’s a good feeling just to see that people aren’t sick) and it was a great gift to have four hours to myself in the company of other women to write more extensively than just my regular journaling. It definitely also felt like a sort of endurance session but even that was welcome, since I haven’t had that kind of session since I don’t know when. It felt basically like I was just expanding on the themes I’ve been journaling about. Even as I was writing about things I was grieving, I found myself also wanting (but not bothering) to write some of the lovely things that have emerged to counteract these losses, and so even though the grief is so deep and so palpable right now, the gratitude is also this bright shimmery thread weaving through it, like: but look, but look, there’s this, hold onto it. 

I was tired after the workshop and had just a little time after it to check my messages before there was a storytime Zoom with one of the preschool parents. Owl more or less sat for that while I stayed nearby folding laundry. I got a call from a different preschool parent, with a question I could answer, so even though I don’t know this parent well I felt useful and was glad for that. I watched some Lucia di Lammermoor, played games, cut Owl’s nails. Erik did some creative work and cut his hair and started on a collaborative piece for Adam’s One Page Pieces. We had a long (hour and a half) video chat with the family and basically A and I yelled at Mommy to stop going to bed so late and start shopping for groceries in larger quantities. Erik made dinner. I planned a Zoom creative get-together for Sunday. (I also, yesterday, set up a Zoom get-together for my Meetup group.) I put Owl to bed and after I got into bed myself Erik and I kissed a bit but I felt so uncomfortable in my body that it didn’t go any further than that. Overall I just felt really tense and anxious and full of grief. But I could sleep, at least. 

Sending loving thoughts to the scientists working to protect, educate, and save others.