How’s your pandemic?
Good, I hope.
Or as good/safe as it can be. Mine is progressing nicely. Staying at home/self-isolating is not a fun thing. But it is important and hopefully will serve the purpose it is meant to serve: Keep more people healthy, and our hospitals and clinics running (and not overwhelmed). The vast majority of folks I know and hear from are healthy, employed and if anything, stir-crazy and bored. I wish the same for you, too.
As of Sunday, 4/19 (National Garlic Day, yes?) I have been working at home for one whole month.
Benefits/Silver-Linings, for me
1. Being deemed an “essential” worker and being able to stay employed helping people remotely with my IT day job, full time out of my basement. (Although I got word I will be going back onsite, at least temporarily, next week.)
|A photo of UMN taken last week, sans people|
2. More family time with my spouse and son.
3. More video game time. My Star Wars™ Battlefront skills have gone up a level or two).
4. Better Monday – Friday commute.
5. Saved $ on gas, eating out, parking fees, etc.
6. More neighborhood walks, more watching the birds and animals in my back yard.
7. More binge-watching cable/streaming TV shows, such as (in the order I most enjoyed them):
a. The Mandalorian (Disney) – IG-11 is the best
b. The Magicians (SyFy)
c. Outlander (Starz)
d. The Kingdom (Netflix)
e. Dracula (Netflix)
f. Ozark (Netflix)
8. Coming soon – more gardening/yard work time; More fishing time.
9. Increased face mask time.
10. Very clean hands.
11. More virtual happy hours, MTG (Magic The Gathering) and Heroclix games (Thank you ZOOM and ROLL20) with friends—some of whom I am seeing now more than if a pandemic weren’t happening.
12. On some nights, less sleep, but mostly on others more sleep, and more dreams… some hopeful and some scary, but most with a subtext of “freedom.”
Downsides, for me
1. My writing desk now doubles as my 40-hour per week work desk. (True, I’m guessing for many writers out there.) My home office loses its appeal after enough days in a row spent in it.
2. More family time. Yeah, we’re all great, but there is something to be said about time apart once in a while, too. I feel for my teenager who I’m sure would rather be having a lot more in-person time with kids his age—vs. his parents. (Again, thank you ZOOM so he can carry on virtually with his youth group and D&D sessions.)
3. Fewer (and good) reasons for NOT going out in the world and having actual interaction with real, in-person people. (Like many people, my introvert side feels this.)
4. Seeing empty shelves in my neighborhood stores – in some cases devoid of paper products, red meat, cold medicine, potatoes, rice, etc. Not something I thought I’d ever experience in the USA. (That being said my family and I have lacked for nothing that matters.)
5. Less exercise each day. In my day job I can walk 13-14K steps in a busy day. Now 3,000 steps a day is more typical.
6. More couch/chair time. (See #5 above.)
7. More TV/movie viewing time. A couple recent disappointments, for me:
· Birds of Prey (DC)
8. Seeing stories of sick, suffering people on the news and deaths worldwide from this scary new illness. I do know a handful of sick (Covid19-related) distant friends, acquaintances and friends of friends. I don’t like you/them sick! So far, they seem to be on the mend, which I am grateful for. But it is a terrible sickness, and I wish anyone suffering from it health and a speedy recovery.
9. Having parents who are in the age demographic most likely to be affected by the corona virus. I am thankful they are staying in, and thankful for my sister who is helping them often with grocery shopping and the like. I talk to them by phone, but will be happy when I can see them in person again. (Maybe in late May?)
10. So far, the covidpocalypse pales in comparison to many of my favorite apocalypse books and movies… which is a good thing! But they are always on my mind in our odd, cooped-up reality that we are living in:
· The Stand
· The Road
· I am Legend
· 12 Monkeys
· The Matrix
· Night of the Living Dead
· 28 Days Later
· Mad Max/Road Warrior
11. My writing time, effort, energy and motivation is low, lately. This would probably be true in any reality (just not feeling it these days), but—I believe in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—if your world is turned upside down and you have to worry about health and security, it doesn’t leave anyone (me) with much mental space to be creative. But, I am working on it. Hey, I even wrote a blog post….
So, in conclusion I feel fortunate for how things are going for my family, friends and me during this trying, weird, dangerous time that this fiction writer never would have predicted. (My pandemic story has vampires—but you can go out in the daylight anywhere you want—with friends!) I’m getting through this, and I hope you are, too. Please continue to stay healthy, inside and stay safe.
For my writer friends: I hope you are finding ways to make time and space for writing now, or at least finding inspiration for future pages to be written. And—if you have any hints to help light a writing fire under me, please share them.
So how is your pandemic going? Let me know.