Pandemic journal: Day 26

Wednesday, April 8, 7 AM

Day 26 of voluntary social distancing, Day 23 of mandatory shelter-in-place, Day 20 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: pleasure 

PH called me yesterday, which was enjoyable as I don’t think I’ve spoken to him directly since our 10-year high school reunion. We caught up and talked about the pandemic. One topic: not knowing how this will all end. I feel some interest in making a list of possible ends. 

  • Lockdown goes on too long and people revolt —> another round of SiP —> martial law
  • Stages of return, starting with survivors with immunity, ending with people who are most vulnerable
  • Lockdown lifts too early and many people die, including health care workers, while many others continue SiP
  • The above scenario, only in CA the SiP isn’t lifted and CA develops a different and more robust system of support so people don’t revolt and martial law doesn’t have to be declared
  • Devastation across Africa, the war-torn Middle East, Central and Latin America (unfortunately this can happen simultaneously with any of the US end games)
  • Devastation in the working-class communities of the US, devastation of Black and brown and indigenous populations
  • The above leads to revolt —> martial law, violence
  • The above leads to voter surges, massive transformation in the November election
  • The above has lasting ramifications for the work force and worker protections etc, availability of labor, who does labor, union bargaining power
  • The Pres and VP both get the virus and become incapacitated long enough for Pelosi to institute many policies that help people enough to change the nation’s social welfare system and culture (this seems optimistic about what she can accomplish)

I guess that’s enough for now. 

I didn’t get a chance to finish journaling yesterday morning. I tried to pay some attention to Owl instead of keeping my headphones in and continuing to write. I’m not sure if it improved their mood or our connection in any way. 

Regarding certain friends, I feel shitty on all counts. I’m doubting their friendship: a miserable feeling. I’m thinking they are so overwhelmed/tired that they’re already reaching out to me as much as they can, in which case I’m being super self-centered by wanting more: a shameful feeling. E pointed out that it’s not self-centered to dislike the situation: missing cherished friends during a scary and difficult time — even though I know their time is limited? That’s not wrong; it is, in fact, so human. And they would reassure me of that, if they had the bandwidth and knew I was feeling this way (they would already know, maybe, if they had the space to think about it). I don’t think they realize that they’re my best local friends. I mean I didn’t know that myself, until all this happened. I’d like to tell them, but I don’t know if I should. 

Posted to FB at 11:25 PM

Sheltering in place feels like: 

feverishly juggling a Zoom meeting with Owl asking me questions or showing me drawings,

A 4yo's ballpoint-pen drawing with adult colored-pencil coloring
Drawn by Owl, colored by me (on Owl’s instructions)

another Zoom coming up where I need to check whether Erik is available to watch Owl,

figuring out whether there’s a meal coming up that I need to eat before the next Zoom,

checking emails, 

checking social media, 

reading a horrifying/heartbreaking news story

making sure to stretch

remembering to pee

staying warm

worrying about 8 friends but only remembering to check in with 3 of them

trying to remember to tune into that interesting livestream someone told me about,

refreshing the grocery delivery window if there’s some food I want to get my hands on,

fielding articles and tech questions from family members, 

trying to remember if Owl has a preschool Zoom coming up in the next hour, 

jotting down that one more thought in my journal, 

checking texts, 

thinking of that thing I wanted to post on IG, 

Sous-vide brown egg in shell



slouching on the happy chair underneath a blanket,

noise-cancelling headphones on, 

spacing out on iPad games where all I have to worry about is planting crops or finding treasure chests, 

looking like I’m doing nothing but actually just escaping from feeling overstimulated/sad/blah

Sending loving thoughts to all the teachers, tutors, youth leaders — anyone separated from the young people they would normally be teaching and mentoring and caring for.