Pandemic journal: Day 38

Monday, April 20, 7:43 AM

Day 38 of voluntary social distancing, Day 35 of county shelter-in-place, Day 32 of statewide shelter-in-place

No theme, this week

I’ve been up since 7, groggy and unwilling, but I did a floor warmup (first one posted or even taken as a video; it came out ok), watched it while thinking I should really do a second one or at least stretch out my legs because my hamstrings are SO tight, but I didn’t. I checked social media, email, shared a comic, shared a video, played a game, and heated some barley and now it’s been almost an hour and I’m only just getting started. But that’s a luxury in itself and I’m trying not to feel bad about it. Yesterday in our mending circle SD said now that there is absolutely no reason she needs to get up early she’s noticing how guilty she used to make herself feel about that. I’m trying not to berate myself for anything these days, first because that takes mental and emotional energy I can’t spare, but second because it’s gentleness and tenderness that will get us through now, not criticism and abuse. Or so I’m convinced. 

I did have a hard time, last night, being patient and kind with Owl. Apparently when I went for a walk in the evening they cried and said they missed me, which is unexpected. But when it was bedtime I was so tired I couldn’t stand any more demands or even playfulness. I just wanted them to need nothing from me, which is unfair and unkind, but it is how I felt. I’ve been trying to tell myself that maybe we’ll find my style of parenting to be especially good during the teenage years (since it feels pretty inadequate now!)?! I don’t know. I don’t know. Who cares, really. It’s not unreasonable to be a less than perfect, even less than good, parent at this time. And we’re still, I think, good, because we can afford enough time and money and space to be. I’m really worried about, well, everyone in poverty, but especially families, because to try and be with a kid(s) right now while there’s no space at home and not enough toys/activities and not enough food and the parent(s) are also worried about not having work or having to go out to work?!

Meme: "Um, is everything okay? I mean, other than, you know, everything?" Greydiantgender: How we greet friends now

I do wonder about the lasting effects of this on all of us. They’re saying now that a vaccine could take years (the speed record for development of any vaccine is 4 years) and that we could be enduring recurring phases of social distancing through 2022 at least. There’s going to be nothing like a clean end to this, most likely… only gradual lifting (with relapses) and changed habits, shifts between uncertainty and slightly less uncertainty as info comes in, continued grief and coping. Everyone who’s suffering acutely will likely continue to do so, which breaks my heart. Perhaps some will find some sort of reprieve; others will break and maybe take people down with them. (I wonder whether crime rates have changed.) For those of us with more resources, we’ll either find ways to stay healthy or we’ll all get lonelier and more isolated. Etc. All this has already been happening, but it’s very grim to think we’ll be continuing to deal with this immediately for maybe many more months, and then deal with the secondary effects for years. It’s very sobering. And that fucker-in-chief is still promising unethical things. He’s done so much harm in his life. So much.

Now that we are immediately safe and so is everyone we know (as far as we know), the tenor of my news-reading has changed, as it no longer seems quite as acute to know about the symptoms or keep up with the local orders in a to-the-minute kind of way. It’s a leveling-off of our urgency. But the news coming in now has a different tone; there are more survivor stories, more research (it seems the virus affects asthmatics way less than anyone expected, but vascular conditions way more, and it can affect all different parts of the body too; one Broadway actor has had his leg amputated), more and updated models of future waves and spikes as social distancing is lifted… my stomach for bad news has vanished so I haven’t kept up with what’s happening in other countries or even other states. I barely even know what’s happening in SoCal… the Bay Area is very much its own little world right now. 

Hand-written sign in the window of Wellspring Pharmacy, Oakland, commenting on their business receiving no bailout money
In the window of Wellspring Pharmacy, Oakland, CA

Besides stretching my hamstrings I also need to stretch my hands from all this iPad use and writing! My fingertips are sore from yesterday’s mending, from I guess so tightly gripping the needle to get it through the ottoman… honestly I wouldn’t have thought that would be so impactful but I guess I was at it for about 2 hours. I still have a little more to finish, but I don’t think I can get to it. 

I am really, really sleepy. And I only have 10 more minutes to write. Michelle Obama is doing a storytime this morning. 

Sending loving thoughts to everyone who is finding their resources stretched thin — or whose resources have disappeared.