Somehow the coronavirus has inspired me to blog again after a two or so year long hiatus. I guess it’s the fact that all this physical social distancing stuff is making me crave online connections. Plus, I’ve always been obsessed with the apocalypse and here it is on our doorstep–at least it feels that way here in Northwest Washington State.
For me, it got real last Friday (the 6th) when I walked into a restaurant at lunch with my coworkers and a TV news report was on announcing that all classes at UW were moving online as of Monday. I remember thinking that I would probably remember that moment forever as the one where I knew this coronavirus stuff really was going to change everything. It’s kind of like how all of us old enough to remember 911 have that moment etched in our psyches when we found out about the attacks.
We proceeded to eat lunch and discussed canceling our big fundraiser dinner scheduled for the 28th. Our events gal was resistant, but sent the text to the venue asking for new dates anyway. I went out on the town more that weekend than I had in years, and bars and restaurants were so packed it took us a few just to get a table. A week later, they are mostly ghost-towns.
On Tuesday I was riding the bus home from work and an old co-worker of mine was riding, too. He told me he had just read on Facebook that our county had its first official confirmed case of COVID-19, Again, I was thinking I’d remember that moment forever, as well and I was just glad that I heard it from a friend instead of reading about it on the stupid news, which I’ve been way too addicted to checking lately.
By Wednesday everything was getting canceled and by Friday the 13th we heard the announcement that all schools would be closing for six weeks. Today it was announced that all the libraries, museums, and public spaces are also closed. Basically, the world is canceled so go home and twiddle your thumbs I guess. Hahaha. But we’re better than that!
Yeah, this is getting super crazy super fast and it’s easy to want to panic and go buy a bunch of toilet paper and hand -sanitizer (oops, too late!) and cases of wine and whatever else you might not want to live without. But, for those of us with the luxury to work from home and to continue working in general, this might just be the perfect time to get to all those tasks and backlogs that we’ve been too busy with meetings, etc. to get to.
I don’t know about y’all, but for the last year or so, I’ve been shocked at how fast time has been passing. It’s like there is never enough time in the day to do it all and everyone else seems to feel the same. Yet, suddenly comes this virus and life is slowing down on so many fronts. We’re all being asked to go inward, tighten our circles, distance ourselves, and, yeah, it’s kinda sad and scary, but I’m looking at it as a chance to slow down and catch up on all those things I’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t (like blogging again and cleaning up the database at work).
So, here are some ideas on what to do while there are fewer distractions than ever. The trick is to focus, which I know can be really hard when there’s a new bombshell on the news every five minutes and suddenly your kids are home for six weeks with not even a library to distract them. Yikes!
- Write about it: even your kids can do this if they are old enough to draw. Set aside writing time and start/finish that novel, write an auto-biography, or just write about your feelings and experiences in this wild time of coronavirus.
- Read the classics: seriously, you can get most of them online for free these days.
- Plant a garden: this might just save your life if this all goes really sideways.
- Go on hikes/walks/bikerides: So far, this is still legal and it’s always uplifting to get exercise and be in nature and fresh air. Plus, it’s pretty easy to keep that social distance outside and also just nice to see other people right now, even if you aren’t supposed to get close.
- Re-arrange your room or paint or just organize something. Spring cleaning!
- Write or find a play and act it out with family/friends/neighbors for friends/neighbors on a small scale outdoors. Think Mansfield Park without all the drama!
- Take up a skill like sewing, carpentry, weaving, etc. I mean, if this really is the apocalypse, that stuff will come in handy!
How are you feeling about this new, quickly-changing landscape?