Well, well, well. My how things have changed.
Normally, when I start a post like that, it’s because I haven’t written anything in awhile. Like in 2016. Or 2017. Or 2019. Or this past February. This time, the things that have changed, are everything.
My wife and I have been social distancing since 3/11. Neither of us are sick, or were sick, or if we were, we were asymptomatic. Who knows. Can’t get tested so you’re just left to wonder.
Everything has changed. The simplest things we used to do are now either impossible, or dangerous. Theme parks are closed. I’m now full-time working from home. Going to the grocery store can be scary, not knowing if the person searching for bread next to you is an asymptomatic carrier.
It can be boring. Whereas we used to go out and do stuff on the weekends, we now stay in. Sure, we go for runs and walks, and sit outside on the porch or lanai, but it’s not the same. We can’t go the parks or Disney Springs to ride an attraction or grab something to eat and drink. We can’t hang out at the bar and have silly conversations. No sushi date nights. No breweries. No shopping.
It can be stressful. We didn’t panic-buy a bunch of stuff as the world started closing. We had some food, I bought a bit more, no big deal. I chuffed when reading about people buying toilet paper and cleaning supplies, wondering why they didn’t already have them. As time went on, I started thinking ‘wait a minute…<i>should</i> I have been buying that stuff? By then, it was nearly too late. Shelter-in-place orders, curfews, limited hours and supplies. It took two weeks to find toilet paper. We were down to our last few rolls, and the tone of our pooping conversations got more and more serious.
It can be terrifying. I used to love going to the grocery store, wandering up and down aisles as I thought about dinner plans and meals I wanted to cook. Now, you only go in emergencies. You try to stay six feet away from everyone, which is nearly impossible in a cramped bread section. You Purell your hands before and after touching anything. You wipe down the boxes and bags with disinfecting wipes when you get home. Then disinfect the counter. Then the door handles. Then yourself. And all the while, wondering if you’ve done enough. The consequences could be nothing. Or death.
We’re trying to maintain as best we can. We still go for our runs like we’re training for races that were long ago cancelled. We try and eat our usual meals. Thankfully she’s been full-time WFH for a few years now, and has a well-put-together office. I work out of a spare bedroom which I just happened to turn into an office a few months ago for those random work-from-home days. We still do date nights; we even got dressed up this past Saturday. Anything to keep things normal.
We use a lot more video chats than we used to. Once reserved for only the most serious of times, now we do weekly meet-ups via FaceTime and Zoom, just to get some more social interaction. Humans are social creations, and it’s ironic that the thing we need to do to survive, is the one thing that humans most crave. Being around others. Togetherness. It’s how we’ve come out of every previous crisis we’ve faced, and now we can’t. It’s rough.
Who knows when this will end. Our state-wide stay-at-home order technically expires around 5/3, but that’s a dream. June? July? August? No one can be sure, everything is a guess at this point. You want it to be soon, but not too soon, to avoid a second wave of outbreak. Maybe that’s unavoidable. Again, who knows.