The covid19 quarantine has certainly made for a disconcerting ride. Ten weeks of staying at home so far. Ten weeks of trying to stay safe. Ten weeks of increasing germophobia paranoia, over the global escalation of rules, lives lost, lives fought for by underfunded medical teams.
On the micro level, ten weeks of watching my entire neighbourhood parade along our footpath on their 1hr a day exercise routine which has inversely made me not want to leave the house at all, and instead disinfect the footpath, grass blades and air outside my driveway not to mention metal gates which their potentially virus carrying asymptomatic breath may be contaminating. Did you know covid19 can linger in the air for 3 hours? I haven’t worked out what the risk to our front door is if the wind ratio should pick up and push those air lifted virus exhalations in our direction… no windows at the front of the house are to be opened, much less doors.
The novelty has definitely worn off. The disbelief this could happen and the secret initial enjoyment at this somewhere between Sunday & Monday space, have also evaporated. If you haven’t danced, sung online or made a tik tok by now, for sure you’ve cringed watching a few, and maybe had a good laugh at others. Not sure what I’d have to drink to do the same. You are better off for having me spare you the spectacle. We’ve all slept in, had insomnia, eaten half the house, complained that others have eaten half the house, and possibly hidden food so none of that would happen. What the moon won’t tell about your midnight chocolate or lolly binges, no one else will.
We’ve suffered through the horror of watching the virus spread across the globe like a Mexican wave from hell at a sports game. No one has probably fully processed the impact of the nightmare massive loss of lives. We are in a suspended state of existential dread that is all too tangible. While some are busy trying to convince themselves this is just like the common flu, no reason to be alarmed, just counting down the days to returning to normality, eyes kept fixed on dwindling bank accounts.. looking for signs of life from a hard hit economy.. the mantra of denial on automatic repeat.
If you have loved ones in other countries, the angst is multiplied. Exclamations of “we’re all in this together, borders blurred”, yet each home is its own island ….of tension and escape. Are we together while feeling so completely alone? When the Zoom call ends and the pacing begins, when the online oversharing is over and the migraines and heart racing set in, we are left to face whatever is there, painfully alone. Our fears, our hopes, our unfinished projects, our coffee catch ups, our time spent with loved ones, our travel plans … our lives on the outside which involved sharing, collaboration, interaction.
My kids mentioned at one point, that “the simulation is kicking things up a notch”. How surreal this is all becoming. Once quite an expressive person, I feel myself becoming less verbal. The daily routine isn’t demanding difference. Conversation with family in house narrows in on what’s for dinner, who’s cooking what, how far homework is progressing, what’s on Netflix and perhaps a new chore can feature as a highlight. However depending on the day, that chore will be a welcome task or an anchor in this limbo state. Petty squabbles rise as fast as they fall and in the end I realise none of it matters.
As someone with a compromised immune system, the easing off of quarantine restrictions, ushers in a whole new paradigm of terrors. The counting of germs, the possible myriad of formulas for their contact and travel, multiplied by each of my kids who want to meet up with friends, my husband who is the nominated one to brave the shopping centres on a weekly basis.. it seems like it will only be a matter of time until one of us falls, if not more..
I remember feeling tired from so much busy-ness. Exhaustion now sets in minutes after I awaken. Many times I blink slowly to return to the darkness of the cocoon. The house is clean enough. The kids are doing or not doing their homework. My husband is finding new chores to take care of. My overgrown roots worry me less and less, it’s the day itself I don’t know how to face… our choice seems to have been reduced to:
Limitation vs Elimination
Who’s rolling the dice today?