End of Confinement – May 20, 2020
The Day in the End of the Daily: This is my last daily post about Confinement. I’ll have plenty to say about the Covid world, but the timing will be different.
Beginning tomorrow I’m leaving 24/7 confinement, reentering the workforce and stepping out on a regular basis. As confinement comes to a close, I’m thinking that my first day back at work is totally going to kick my ass. After eight weeks of (essentially) sitting down, snacking, and napping, the concept of remaining upright and alert for eight hours seems exhausting.
Handling It: Daily reporting on my Covid Confinement began on March 17, technically the second day of the two month long Ohio government recommended shutdown. It took me a minute to figure out I just stumbled into a new way of life. It took me another month to take control of confinement. At the start I gave into some unhealthy impulses, and I’m glad I did. It was fun to eat all those Doritos and lounge around. Recently though, I got back on track to eating better, exercising, and refocusing. Turns out, learning how to live in a healthy, relatively upbeat confinement took more effort than I expected. From that, I can assume the next stages of dealing with the Covid will take some effort, too. The situation isn’t ideal, but it is doable. This is my first pandemic and I think I’m handling it pretty well.
Uh Oh, Here’s a Mini-Rant: There were 75 U.S. deaths on the day I first blogged about confinement and today there are over 90,000. We’ve all learned a lot since then and some of what we’ve learned is true. Much of our information is false or disingenuous, and there is no clear, reliable plan on the best course of action we should be all be taking as a nation to protect each other and ourselves. I try to keep this blog apolitical, but history will surely show that our government has failed us, making the U.S. Covid experience more deadly, disturbing, confusing, and negative than it needed to be.
Maintaining a Positive Outlook: As confinement chugged along, I did not have many bad days, though there were, of course some down ones. Luckily, I was able to bounce back. My brain seems to be programmed to face and deal with stress. This blog was one of the tools I used to give my days structure and calm. It allowed me to put a mostly positive spin on this temporary upheaval and share every day “adventures” I’d otherwise would have taken for granted. Where I was in my life and my general attitude helped me adjust, as well. I had already been planning a summer of personal change and came into confinement demon-free and at peace with my existence (that’s how I roll). It seems that readers found something positive in the way I faced the Covid tumult and we all need something positive to hang onto right now.
Covid Life, the Thrill is (Temporarily) Gone: In the short term, I don’t expect to return to the life I had been living previous to being sheltered and plan to stay in more than normal. One of my favorite pre-Covid activities was to sit at a restaurant/bar, at the bar, and enjoy an adult beverage and/or a meal while reading a book. I could interact with the bartender and other patrons, sharing the experience and each other’s presence. Truly, I’ve met many neighbors who have become friends via the food and drink scene. Due to the current restrictions I will not being able to sit at a bar. For now, this makes sense. Though I’m confident these restrictions will pass, I don’t want to sit at a table for for one. This does not seem fun to me. I will go out with friends for drinks and meals, but my “alone” time out (if that makes sense) has been put on hold. I’m looking forward to seeing what museums, movie theaters, and the library are going to look like. I’m very sure my desire to leave the house will still be strong.
World Health is Complicated, People: I had actually read about pandemics and world health previous to Covid. The Spanish Flu beckoned a whole new way to think about world health. In the modern era, I was blown away by how many people around the world dedicate their lives to studying and controlling world health. You don’t read about them because they are largely successful in identifying outbreaks and tamping down infections before things get out of hand. World health is super complex with a lot of moving parts. In the years to come we will surely see we overreacted and underreacted in ways we can’t see right now. We will laugh about some of our miscues and cry about others. One of the things most disturbing about an unknown virus barreling down on the world is how many people think they know all they need to know. People…I love them, but they are the worst.
But the blog… I don’t think I can pull off a daily blog post. I’m planning for the blog to go back to weekly posts on Sunday evenings, continuing to cover the minutiae of the entire week. I’m not ruling out special mid-week coverage if I have the time and feel the need. I do get the biggest kick writing all this stuff down!
I started blogging 3 years ago as a way to make myself write every week. I keep the site purposely static (boring), and untagged so people can’t find it unless they are looking for it. Pre-covid, I was averaging 1-3 readers a week. Thank you to everyone who has found and embraced this mind-dump of mine. I hope reading my experiences helped you in yours. The two dozen or so of you who have read the daily confinement updates, including what I assume to be one loyal reader from China, have definitely made me improve my writing game. I’m glad to have shared confinement with you. We’ll be in touch down the road, I’m sure.
On to the next stage of Covid. Let’s own this Pandemic!
But the Jeans: On Day-One of Confinement I reached into the Goodwill box and pulled out a pair of ill-fitting jeans with a blown out crotch. I wanted to wear these old jeans so I wouldn’t have to “waste” wearing my real clothes. (That sentence is equally insane and pragmatic, wouldn’t you agree?) I thought I’d gotten all the use I possible could from my Ann Taylor jeans, but I was wrong. They were the perfect pandemic uniform. I felt like I was getting dressed to stay at home even as I was dressing like a homeless person in cast off clothes. Fare thee well Jeans of mine. You have served me well.