Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 36

I had a great day today. First we went to visit my mom – it was Sunday so I wasn’t working. Lots of hand washing and maintaining distance. I even did some tuning work her laptop while wearing a mask. She made me my favorite birthday cake! It was a strange birthday because normally birthdays and holidays are an reason for the whole family to gather. So this time we did it on Zoom.

Then after we got home I took a cooking class on Zoom. It was so much fun. A guy in India teaching us how to make Vegetable Korma. I am delighted because I’ve made Indian food before and it never tasted like in the restaurants. But he taught us technique and so now magically it tasted “right”. I’m ready to make more.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 35

I can’t believe that this is my 35th post of this online Journal. It just seems surreal that we are sheltering at home hiding from an invisible enemy. 

Humans over millennia have evolved to fight against various scourges and enemies. The raiders are coming, quick, hide the children. A flood wipes out the crop. Bombs drop from the air. All of these are terrible things and we are tuned to responding to them. We rail against the villains from across the sea or the other valley. We curse God or Gods that didn’t protect us from the catastrophe. When times are good we root for our local teams and “fight” the other school. And when things happen that we can’t explain we invent an enemy – burn the witches, cast out the Jews, throw the Christians to the lions. 

So now here we are with an invisible enemy that might strike at any time without a warning. We look out our window and everything looks normal. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Days are getting longer and warmer. There isn’t poison dropping on us from the sky. And yet we are trapped at home knowing in our brains that there is a risk. But in our hearts and subconscious it just doesn’t make sense. There are no lions prowling the parking lot. No distant airplanes ready to swoop down and get us. We can walk out and meet our friends. Hug them. Hang out. And then maybe two to 14 days later we might all get sick and die. Or not. But we’ve been home. And they’ve been home. So some little voice inside says – wait, we should be ok then right? 

And slowly we take more and more risks. And the curve starts to creep up again. Because we just don’t know. And it’s that not knowing that is the real danger. Every day scientists are discovering new thing about this virus. That possibly many more people had it in January than we thought. That many more people have no symptoms but are still carriers. That they are finding that young people with mild or no symptoms are getting sudden massive strokes. It’s scary and until we know, we need take precautions. But that dichotomy is messing with our brains – everything looks normal but it isn’t. The hidden monster that could be lurking anywhere, in any of us. And that is why people are feeling so “off” – I don’t even know what word to use. Unsettled? Uncertainty creates anxiety. And with anxiety comes the need to find scapegoats.

Scapegoats are one of the biggest problems that will come out of this. You see it already with all the conspiracy theories. And the blame throwing. It’s human nature and we all are trying to do better and not succumb to it. But it’s hard for many people because every day on the news they hear our leadership finding new people to vilify. It won’t take much and just like throwing a match onto a dry field of grass we will end up with a new crisis – this time of violence. 

We all need to keep thinking and being aware when our thoughts go that way. And stop finding scapegoats. We are all in this together.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 34

Part of staying home is discovering new experiences. Today I had a Telehealth session with my physical therapist. I’ve been having a pain in my leg so of course I was imagining all kinds of mysterious diseases. But it turns out to be a soleus muscle strain. She walked me through some exercises and recommended special socks (which of course are not available to ship for another two weeks -sigh). Oh and tape so now I’ll look like total jock! 

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 33

My writing isn’t all that exciting but it is important that I stick to this Journal. The everyday experience of living under a stay at home order will be interesting to look at in the future and reminisce at how naive we once were. I keep picturing that dystopian world a year from now. Will we even have computers? Will the internet still exist? Part of me says of course, what a silly thing to imagine. But another part says – summer heatwaves, famine, crop failures, locusts, supply chain disruptions, hurricanes, all of those will pile on top of an already fragile world and cause much more harm. No one can predict what can happen. Am I providing value? Am I providing words of wisdom? No. But I am trying to get myself and you to think about resiliency and being prepared for whatever might come.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 32

I need to get out more to exercise but my leg keeps hurting and I don’t know what is doing it. Walking makes it worse. I think it might be sitting on a hard dining chair day after day. It’s not terrible but it is incredibly distracting and that makes it annoying. I tried to stand up and walk around during meetings today but it didn’t help. Finally I grabbed my stuff and went to sit on the daybed. And that made the pain go away. So it probably is the hard surfaced chair. I’ll try a few days of couching it and see how it holds.

Last night I made a Vegan Pate and it was superb. I ate it with some Carr’s water crackers for breakfast. And then an afternoon snack too. I took a break from cooking for the past couple of weeks and just made frozen and simple things. But I’m ready to make more experiments again soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 31

I got out for a walk today and that made all the difference in the world. I even had a coffee and a pastry at Macrina. The first one since the lockdown started. More than anything I miss sitting in a coffee shop with A, our laptops out, having a coffee, a bite to eat, and discussing everything and anything for hours. I hope the Seattle coffee shop culture returns. So many small business are folding and it will take time for new ones to take their place. I need to go get a coffee more often and support them so that they can make it.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 30

Today wasn’t a good day. From the moment I woke up I was super lethargic and just couldn’t get my energy up. I’m seeing a lot of people talking about the good days followed by a bad day. And it’s definitely like that for me. Knowing that others are experiencing this helps.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 29

It’s been four weeks since I started writing this journal and this Covid talk is starting to get tedious. Time to start looking out to see what else is out there and thinking about different things…but the entire world is focused on this Pandemic. I can’t think of another time in history where for months everyone everywhere is talking, thinking, focusing on only one thing. Other than the world wars. But even then without the global connection that we have now, most days people outside of the front lines just went about their business.

I’m not sure what impact it will have, but the idea that people in pretty much every corner of the world are experiencing the same thing is intriguing. It seems to be bringing individuals closer together as a person in Asia comisserates about staying home with someone in Central Europe and someone in Latin America and someone on an island in the Pacific. And yet the collective “people”, the nations of the world are putting up barriers, becoming more closed in, and showing signs of xenophobia.

Eventually we will come out of this. But we will never be back to “normal”. What do I want the world to look like in a year? What do you want the world to look like? What do you want your life to be like?

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 28

Going to the grocery store today was strange. We like to go to Met Market because they are the best at managing their social distancing plus that’s where R can get his vegan cheese and special Hatch Enchilada Sauce. We wore masks and brought hand sanitizer. While we were in one of the aisles an older man started coughing heavily. I didn’t notice but it unnerved R. That and me not noticing. Then when we were done and heading out the door, another man collapsed on the floor by the registers for some reason. I can’t get that picture of the man on the floor out of my head. Not sure what happened but it would have been rude to stand around and gawk.

To calm myself, I went upstairs and re-organized the storage unit. Sorting and organizing things helps me get readjusted.

Dispatches from the Pandemic – Day 27

We did it again…got up early and walked in the park. What a difference that makes. My mood is lighter and I’m able to be more productive. The original plan was to walk in the evening after sunset when there would be fewer people out. But there was a man standing on the corner yelling obscenities and I just didn’t want to deal with that. So I went to bed early which also helped in making today a good day.

Next time we are going to walk on Elliot alongside the park because the park was surprisingly full so early in the morning and some of the runners still don’t do a good job of social distancing. People still just don’t get it. The exercising equipment next to the rose garden is covered with a sign that it’s closed due to Covid19. Just as we walked by an older woman was looking at it and commenting how stupid it is that this was closed. No, it’s not stupid. It’s the right thing to do.

I’ve been reading about protests that are happening to re-open states. They are blocking roads and hospitals. Funny how those who are usually so vocal about others protesting, suddenly flip when they feel like they are being mistreated. It’s sad to say but if they go out and get sick and harm themselves I’m past caring. Those of us who know better should just avoid them.