The Big Quarantine – Sunday, May, 3, 2020
The Day in Pickles: It’s been a minute since I’ve talked about pickles.
On my walk yesterday I came across this wanton disregard of pickles. I picture the pickle-hater opening the carryout container, seeing the pickles, and becoming nearly paralyzed with a seething hatred. That person immediately picked out and dropped the pickles onto the cold, unforgiving sidewalk and only then, regaining bodily function, was able to run away to finish the meal in peace. Moments later, I come along and weep at this display. I won’t be able to walk this route again for some time.
The Day in Time: Per my phone, last week I dropped my screen time from 4 hours 19 minutes a day to 4 hours 16 minutes a day. What did I do with my extra 21 minutes? Unknown…but it probably involved carbs.
The Day at the Derby, Pandemic Style: I had to make a fascinator hat for my Zoom Derby party last night. As a childless, non-pintrestry, single adult I’m at an artistic supply disadvantage. In other news, if you looked into my window from the park yesterday, you’d have seen the strangest things on my head all day from colanders to figurines to bags.
I couldn’t quite get the height of a fascinator with my supplies and ingenuity, so I settled on the full coverage look.
The Day in Face Masks: I’ve been very much enjoying the back and forth on face mask usage in the time of Corona. It is a great study of human behavior! We are fighting because it is a visible, virus-related behavior we each have control over. For a lot of us, it’s a symbol of how smart we are and that goes for wearers and non-wearers.
Do they or don’t they work? Should you wear one whenever you leave the house? Should you wear one inside places of business? Should you ever wear one? Complex scientific reasoning and methods taking epidemiology, public health, human behavior, economics and more go into to answer the question of mask use and pandemic policy. Most of us are doing what feels right under the guise of we KNOW what the correct answer is.
The main thing about this NOVEL Corona virus is that we don’t know very much about how it works. There are a lot of questions about how it transmits and why some people get it worse than others (among dozens of other questions). But we don’t have enough information to have certainty. Expert advice from people who actually study this stuff has changed rapidly and will continue to. When we look back in years to come we will surely see we overacted in some ways and underacted in others.
With so much conflicting information and especially without a unifying national message, we are left to act as our own experts. Not one of us is going to get this 100% correct.
What we do know is to keep 6 ft apart and wash our hands frequently. We (probably) know that wearing a proper mask can keep an asymptomatic person from spreading Corona and we know vulnerable people should wear medical grade masks. Mask usage and Corona has not been studied per se, but this is the best current advice based on what we know about how face masks work.
Personally, until we know more about Corona, I trust current knowledge of how face masks work and I think it’s a courtesy to wear a mask inside especially in crowded places. I also think it’s a courtesy to not shame people for their decision to wear or not wear a mask.
As the states reopen for business, maintaining distance, excessive hand-washing, and proper mask wearing (for those who choose or need to) are going to be a challenge. People have a tendency to get close to one another if just to communicate more effectively. We have a tendency to get complacent and bored with new routines, like washing our hands so frequently and keeping masks on our faces when we get uncomfortable. (Heck, we still have to get into the habit of wearing masks before we can tire of wearing them!)
There are and will be a lot of moving parts involved with us living with Corona until vaccines and treatments are available. We are all dealing with a lot of information, often conflicting. That, and an unchecked virus obviously cause a lot of stress and being under stress isn’t the best of human conditions. Nearly 70,000 Americans are dead and the daily number of deaths is not yet decreasing. Wearing a face mask seems like a small gesture, an act of solidarity. But that’s not how some people see it. I guess I’m just tired of people not being kind to each other.
The Day in Gloom: It’s probably the rain that has me all emotional today. In non-pandemic times, rainy days are days I force myself to stay in and I use them to re-charge from all my social activities. I almost look forward to social rain-outs. Of course, that’s not the cased in confinement where I’ve noticed that gloomy and rainy days are the longest and most mentally and physically draining.
With that in mind, I tried to attack this rainy day differently than previous Covid rain days. Today I raised all the blinds all the way up to let in the light, such that is, into my space. I’m lucky to see the greenery of the park and of the trees rising up on the south side of Mt. Auburn, reminding me that life is churning all around me. I’ve been more deliberate today standing up and stretching (Gah, so many squats…I feel like I’m reenacting a tribal birthing video.) Let the naps come, but in between, I’m listening to music that makes me dance across the living room. Rainy days suck, but I’m hangin’ in. Hope you are, too!