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.
I really enjoyed reading your piece. It’s nice to hear how ‘normal’ people are coping with this very weird situation.
I’m hanging out at home trying not to stress about the fact that I’m just about to take six months leave. In many ways it’s good timing as it means I can get all those jobs around the house done, but I was also planning to swim regularly at the local pool and catch up with friends. I don’t feel like I can actually complain about these minor inconveniences when I haven’t lost my job or anything.
cheers and thanks again for your post.
Thanks. These are indeed the weirdest days and I am also appreciating the folks out there documenting their experiences. The loss of things like the gym and the pool is real! I don’t complain about them either, but I certainly felt the closure of my local gym as a real blow, so I understand your comment about the pool. There is a part of me that thinks – this can’t go on for more than a couple of weeks – but then, I don’t know anymore what is going to come next.
So this might be a naive question, but why can’t you go for a bike ride? Good for body, spirit and mind! And seems about as low-risk as it gets…unless i’m missing something…am I?
I think bike riding is definitely allowable but my back is not very good so I can’t ride anywhere at the moment. I know you weren’t necessarily addressing this question to me so I’m not taking it personally, just mentioning that not all exercise opportunities are suitable for everyone. For me swimming and walking are pretty good.
I am going for bike rides! And walks! Compared to my normal life though we are a lit more at home then planned.
BTW I just un-hired everyone I just hired, and lost my own job. So it goes, on we go.
I’m really genuinely sorry to hear that. It must be awful.
Thank you. Un-hiring everyone was very difficult, but not really awful. I work(ed) for a wonderfully supportive organization (Hollyhock) and it’s just seems to be understood, that we’re all in the same boat and will help keep each other afloat. Also as I was just discussing with my good friend/bro, those of us who have lived our lives mostly in uncertainty without steady employment maybe take it in stride more easily than some who are more used to a conventional model of security. Glad you are swimming and walking, whatever gets you out enjoying the sunshine. Life is good!