Pandemic journal: Day 22

Saturday, April 4, 7:51 AM

Day 22 of voluntary social distancing, Day 19 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 16 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: partnering 

It’s an ominous morning when I wake with “Carmina Burana” in my head. My back still feels painful and tight. I know I need time to recover but I also don’t want to have to start from square one again when it comes to dance! I did a minute or so of stretching before I sat down here, rolling my neck and shoulders and ankles around, extending my arms, 5 pelvic lists to each side which I think may have helped (although they also felt like a lot in my current state).

I’m very anxious about N because yesterday I was reading that the currently most (?) used test has a very high rate of false negatives, and I still haven’t gotten a response to my most recent text. I’m reminding myself that this isn’t atypical, but I keep imagining N took a sudden turn for the worse and is now in the hospital and they’re all frantic. I am also aware that even under regular circumstances I’m the sort of person who catastrophizes when my nearest and dearest don’t respond to contact within the usual range… and while I never thought it comforting to know that disaster was statistically unlikely, it must have offered some comfort — because it’s awful now that I can’t assume that people are healthy, or that their loved ones aren’t dying, or that they’re not having a mental health crisis or a job loss or whatever.

I keep thinking of Mrs Weasley’s clock!

The three of us, E and Owl and me, are temperamentally well suited for the work of staying home (even aside from being well-resourced). While there’s much we enjoy about going out and seeing people, the prospect of unlimited time at home is a kind of treat for all of us individually — which is not the same as it being a treat for all 3 of us stuck here together! — as we all relish long stretches of quiet creative time, puttering, or processing. Indeed, for me as an HSP, not going out dramatically reduces the overstimulation I typically experience every day, and now that so much is being brought to me (so to speak) — friends on video chat, dance classes — and there’s no guilt/self-consciousness around not going out or taking Owl out, I have to say this time is beneficial for me in very real ways. Moreover, I don’t feel (as I usually do) that I’m buckling under a low amount of stress; instead I feel like I’m holding up well compared to others, and that’s new! 

I mentioned yesterday that I’d restocked a bunch of groceries… well, we’ve been eating a lot of beans and greens and rice, or greens and rice with canned fish (it’s a great thing to have a kid who loves sardines!). You can’t call it deprivation on any level — not when it’s Rancho Gordo beans cooked with bacon and onion and garlic, Eatwell greens, and koshihikari rice E blends with other grains or lentils!!! — and it’s felt quite good and healthy and nourishing, for the most part. Sometimes I crave something different (like chicken legs, or creamy sauces). Sometimes I’ve misjudged my needs and ended up super hangry. But I like that we’re not just relying on higher food chain items (like meat or dairy) when we cook. I’ve been so grateful for the food; it all tastes so much better and more interesting than it used to; the other day I roasted radishes and they seemed such a treat; the same thing happened last week with beets. I’m hoping these changes won’t just evaporate next week as soon as we get our big order with all the meats and things… I’ve been enjoying the making do and appreciating what we have. (Which is, maybe, the most privileged thing I could possibly say — that “making do” is an enjoyable novelty rather than an inescapable reality!)

I did a fair bit of work yesterday on preschool committee stuff, and even though I don’t think it’ll make a difference to the big picture, it still felt like I was doing something instead of just letting the grownups handle things.

E shaved my sides and though it’s certainly not KC’s work, he did a great job and it perks me up considerably every time I see or touch it. 

38yo Asian American person with short hair, shaved sides, and black-framed glasses

In the evening I attended Kin’s 15 minute live set for a KSW event, and posted my first 3 blog entries.

Oh. Sobering news: Y says her friend’s relative, a nurse administrator in NY, is on a ventilator and not doing well. And she lives in a multigenerational household so they’ve all been exposed as well. It’s some comfort perhaps that there are more reports coming in that the Bay Area is indeed flattening the curve… but I also saw a meme yesterday that if we aren’t all following the same restrictions it’s like having a peeing section in the swimming pool. 

I’ve been reading Dr Aron’s new book. While it’s been validating and affirming, I’ve also been really put off by her language and/or assumptions: that couples are heterosexual, that mothers have borne their children, that mothers are doing the bulk of the childcare (this is often accurate but we needn’t act like it’s a given!), that just knowing one needs help is somehow going to make that help materialize. No doubt I feel more strongly about this on account of reading during a pandemic! Still, this is the first book I’ve read since this all started so there’s some satisfaction in that.

I feel like I’m doing very little to keep anyone in good spirits but someone said yesterday in SC that they appreciated the space I make, and people have said that for my mini art retreat too, and for preschool socials. 

Sending loving thoughts to the childcare providers who are still working, as well as those who can’t.