If anyone had asked me a year ago…even six months ago…what I would be doing during a quarantine, I would have scoffed at the improbably ludicrous scenario. Yet, here we are, facing a time when the improbable is real and the upheaval of daily life is unprecedented in our lifetime.
We have been sheltered from the harsh realities of how quickly the world that we know can be turned upside down. What was once frowned upon is now common. Children attending virtual classes, college students doing course work through real-time online videos and lectures. All parents are teachers and all teachers are students of technology.
When I was in school (Yes, I’m dating myself and I don’t care.) There were no computers. There was mimeograph machines and ditto copiers. If you had a good week, you got to help out in the office on Friday and catch a buzz from the smell of the chemicals. Ah, the simple times of getting high. But I digress.
Now I have to learn how to maneuver through Messenger, Zoom, WebEx, Go To Meetings, and a hundred other sites all meant to make our social distancing life less lonely. Less depressing. Less toxic. Because, let’s face it, we’re social beings. Never meant to live in solitude for extended periods of time. Never to go without those hugs we love, hearing the laughter of friends and family. I miss my posse. So much so, we do virtual dinners twice a week. It’s not the same as being in a room with people whose company you love. The fun part was learning I’m not the only one technically challenged. Some dinners run late.
And touch. I miss touching. I’m a tactile person. I prefer paperbacks to ebooks. Make lists on paper rather than on my phone. I crochet and sew and do things with my hands. Thank the Universe that I do. Writing would be difficult without touching. Oh, there are definitely people who dictate and then put the final touches on their work at the keyboard. I tried it once. It’s hard, and I didn’t like it.
But when I push all the less important stuff out of my mind, sit in the quiet, and concentrate on the meaning of it all, I find being on pause isn’t so horrible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not signing up for prolonged solitude and social distancing. My job has me working from home, I am not a happy camper. I like people. Well…most anyway. the others I tolerate. I like the stimulation of watching and listening to strangers, and learning things outside of my home environment. I jumped for joy at the opportunity to get groceries. I haven’t been out of the house for a week. I love my wife, but we enjoy separate activities and have different interests. That’s not a bad thing. I think it makes the times we are together better.
And what the hell was the mass hysteria over toilet paper. Let me tell you, if you need that much fucking toilet paper, you need to see a specialist. Then there was the butter, flour, sugar scare. “OMG…I’m going to have to stay home for weeks. I need to bake my ass off.” Why? It’s not like you’re going to have company or go to parties. I shake my head. Watch the shelves and get what I need. If there are only two of something, I consider if I really need it, or take one. Pandemonium reigns.
This isn’t meant to downplay the seriousness of the virus. I know people who have had it. Who have lost friends and loved ones. But even I can only deal with so much doom and gloom. I need a mental break from it all. Need to breathe. Need to not panic in the face of chaos.
What’s the moral of this rant. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I just find the things people do…or don’t do…funny, interesting, head-shaking material. It’ll all fodder for a book some day. Stay safe, be well. Most of all, take care of each other. In the end, human kindness is the best defense we have in this world.