I’m not going to count the days or anything, but now that everything is cancelled and closed, the quiet is settling in. A few cars go by during the day; we have a couple of guys working on a shed-structure in our yard; otherwise, these days are marked by sun and silence. I’m having trouble focusing on anything work-related, but I still come to my desk every morning at six and do whatever tasks I can muster. There are union-management calls where we talk about the well-being of all the employees who have been sent home and told to work even though they have nothing to do. My gym is closed, but I still keep to my workout and yoga schedule. It’s beautiful outside but I just told my parents not to visit for awhile. I took a friend up on the generous offer of some weight equipment to borrow, but when I got home from picking it up last night I scrubbed my hands until they were raw.
In the afternoon I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and noted the emptiness of the shelves, the produce and the meat aisles.I found myself wanting strange things – whatever was available even if it wasn’t something I normally purchase. Two cans of crab meat made their way into my basket because I convinced myself that I needed to make crab cakes. I never make crab cakes.
The cashier told me that the store might close to shopping, taking online orders only but the would decide in the next couple of days. The anxiety this provoked in me was such that I came home and enumerated all the food in the house under the guise of cleaning the pantry and main cupboard. I couldn’t shake that anxious feeling until I had put my hands on every package, jar, and bucket of food, until I had checked both freezers and assured myself that my provisioning would last us at least six months if not a year. It’s not going to come to that, but my cupboards are now tidy and I know we have an abundance of canned tuna fish (not intentional – apparently Brian and I both buy canned fish in quantities we do not eat).
As a nice side effect, Brian is not returning to the city for the foreseeable future (he is normally gone for three or more days every week). We have agreed to keep each fitness-motivated, checking in first thing with each other about the workout plan for the day (today he jogged and lifted weights, I have a Freeletics workout and a walk scheduled for this afternoon). It speaks to my privilege at the moment that the thing I am most worried about is succumbing to the torpor of being at home all the time. I have adequate housing, food, and good health, but without access to the gym and work-related travel, things could spiral downwards quickly.
There is no shortage of things to do, especially since I am working and union-repping through it all. The fact that I am occupied with work 37.5 hours, and still have a million projects I want to get to hasn’t changed since last week. In that way, everything feels very normal.
Normal, but not normal if you know what I mean.