Pandemic journal: Day 16

Sunday, March 29, 8:28 AM

Day 16 of voluntary social distancing, Day 13 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 10 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: space 

Owl’s awake and I told E he could have the morning before my virtual mini art retreat, so I’m going to hastily jot down notes from yesterday and then start cooking breakfast. 

-N got tested yesterday and is supposed to find out in a few days.

-I set up a Wednesday morning writing date with two friends. 

-E went for a run and discovered the cemetery has been closed to the public. 

-I did a long family Zoom with the parents and then with the sisters. It was really good to properly talk with the sisters; that’s so rare now, and it was even before this, because: kids.

-I tried setting up a SC chat but nobody came. 

-I had a call with CA; we talked for just over an hour. Covered some of the same ground as the sisters chat but of course it was very different because of it being with a different person. 

I’ve had multiple chats over the past few days where people have apologized for being a downer. How can anyone NOT be?! I told CA it would be even weirder if she were all cheerful; I told N that’s the point of our chats, to be a safe place for our feelings. My view — always, but especially right now — is that to pretend this isn’t ghastly is not only inauthentic to this experience, it’s unsustainable… I mean, if you don’t want to share difficult topics, or feel you can’t because you need to keep up your morale, that’s one thing, but if you do want to share, then you should. And anyway, aside from one chat where I explicitly invited the other person to vent, I haven’t had a single convo since this all began, where the only thing we talked about was downer topics. I’ve found all the convos remarkably leavened and balanced and nourishing. 

That said, E & I talked a bit last night after Owl fell asleep, and he said, I’ve been wondering if I should be planning for total economic collapse? I said, I dunno, if that happens won’t the world end in violence; should we be preparing to defend Owl and ourselves from marauders with weapons? He didn’t think it would come to that, and I hope the same, but that particular version of dystopia feels way more plausible than ever before.  

10 PM

Two things: 

(1) I have the sense that I don’t know where my time goes but actually I think a lot of it goes to these 2 things: checking in on people or what you might more generally call keeping in touch, and 

(2) Constant, back-burner-of-brain, reassessing and calculating and analyzing next steps; trying to anticipate and problem-solve for myself or others. I have the kind of brain that does that anyway at any time, but especially now, it’s on high alert and it can manifest even in little things like, this morning, running lower than I’d like on dried fruit and vanilla and therefore thinking of all the vendors I usually get these things from, and checking their websites to see if they will ship. That sort of thing. Minor, but it takes time and energy. 

Sending loving thoughts to those feeling fears and griefs they’re unable to share with others.