Sunday, March 15, 2020

It's Getting Weird Out There

It's been an intense week, huh?

I mean, honestly, that's really saying something considering the past few years, but shit has really ramped up since, say March 11, which was FOUR DAYS AGO. I mean, when your mindless iPhone game starts giving public health advice, things are getting weird.

Screenshot from my Candy Crush game telling me to wash my hands and stay safe.
Et tu, Candy Crush?
I've gotten emails from every store or service I've ever purchased anything from—or thought about purchasing anything from—letting me know how they're handling the Coronavirus. I mean, I just got one from the Ironman people today telling me about how they are handling my event and, trust me, I don't have any Ironman events.

It's pretty hardcore how fast things went from "we're kind of watching the situation" to "CANCEL EVERYTHING."

Last Saturday, at our weekly trip to the grocery store, Alex did some eye rolling at me suggesting we purchase some extra supplies. Cut to Thursday afternoon when he calls me from work to suggest I go to the store immediately to purchase stuff.

I have just one question for you: How do you panic shop for an emergency situation when you aren't really a cook in even the best circumstances? I got eggs because Alex specifically asked for those. Then I threw a bunch of stuff in the cart on top of them. I haven't been able to bring myself to double check to make sure they survived. Rice, pasta, and tuna seemed like good options, but I don't know who exactly is going to eat the tuna. I also bought cupcakes because it can't be all bleach and toilet paper.

[Here is an article on stocking up. I'm sure there are a million more online.]

I was smart that evening though when I was buying takeout pizza for my kids because I had an evening appointment—I bought TWO pizzas. I feel like hoarding takeout is different than hoarding hand sanitizer. I mean, if I'd really been thinking, I would have gone around to Five Guys and the Peruvian chicken place to buy ahead as well because, let's face it, social distancing isn't going to make me any more excited to cook than I am now.

I am definitely in the Cut Off All Contact Immediately camp. I mean, I saw Contagion. I know how it goes. But, seriously, don't watch that movie unless you want to freak the fuck out. What you should do instead is read some articles about "flattening the curve," and do your part to help.

[Here are a couple articles on why staying home and not having contact with other people any more than necessary is a good idea: Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day and Cancel Everything.]

As of today, we're not going to restaurants, not having people over, not going to people's houses, and not going to public places unless absolutely necessary.

It's super hard to not feel like you're overreacting, especially when your kid is all, "but I saw him yesterday so if he has it, I have it," and still say no, but I figure two weeks alone with my family won't kill us (although we may have to disband and start anew with different families after we're allowed out again). Hopefully social distancing will work and then we can all feel like we made a big deal out of nothing and feel silly about it but most of us will still be alive.

[What happens when hospitals are overwhelmed. You should read this.]

All this is pretty grim and scary, I know. But we aren't without silver linings. You know how the greatest thing in the world is when you have something on the calendar and it gets cancelled? We are living the goddamn dream, people. And frankly, I'm surprised that there aren't photos of empty racks of what used to hold sweatpants, because that is all I am putting on my body for at least the next two weeks.

Frankly, I've been training for this my whole life.

I am also aware that we are pretty much on Day Two of isolation and the two weeks that everyone has cancelled things could well extend longer. I am also aware that I am so fucking privileged that I can do this so easily. I know that shit might get pretty bad for me and extremely bad for the more vulnerable. I know that I carelessly wrote, "most of us will still be alive," a couple of paragraphs ago and if that didn't upset you, it probably should, because "most" doesn't mean "all."

I know that my sister and her wife are both doctors and they don't get to telework for the next two weeks like I do. I always say that they are heroes and they shrug it off because I think maybe they think I'm joking, but I'm not and I really want to say it again: My sister, her wife, and all the health care workers out there are heroes. (As are grocery store clerks and gas station attendants and subway drivers and I could go on and on.)

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Love your family. Love strangers. Let's take care of each other.

Now, because I am a glutton for punishment, I am going to go reread "Station Eleven" to hone my apocalypse skills.


  1. Preach it! For those of us who can, stock up and STAY HOME.

  2. You've made me laugh -over the top of my anxiety- about this whole mess. Y'all stay safe up there.


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