There’s something in the air, and I’m not talking about the coronavirus. If you’re reading this, I imagine, like me, you have been bombarded with nonstop news and chatter about the pandemic. It is unprecedented, scary stuff.
I’m not normally too neurotic or anxious of a person. I can usually talk myself down from a ledge if I do start to get worked up and pretty easily switch my train of thought (or distract myself with something else).
But for the last two weeks, that hasn’t been the case. I am not necessarily afraid of getting sick. (As far as the virus goes, I am more concerned about the folks I know who are in the at-risk group, like my dad who turned 69 yesterday, or the many immunocompromised people I know.)
It’s more the constant uncertainty that is drumming up so much anxiety. How long will this last? Will my income (or my loved ones’) be stable? What will the world look like when this is all over?
It doesn’t make it easier that I live alone (aside from my two Pomeranians, of course, but they don’t seem to get the whole social distancing thing). It’s hard to hash out the absolute insanity that’s going on when you don’t have someone to talk to right next to you.
Normally, I would do this at work, or when visiting family and friends on the weekend, but that’s gone. I am introverted, and when this first started, I thought this whole staying at home alone for weeks on end sounded pretty great. But no one is this introverted.
It’s weird that my dad, brother, and sister-in-law are here in town, but we can’t see each other. I try to see my sister’s family as much as possible; I hate that I have no idea when I’ll see my niece and nephew again.
I’ve lived in Tahlequah my whole life, a tight-knit town of 16,000. I know somehow we’ll come out on the other side of this, but that doesn’t make the present any less scary. It doesn’t make it any easier to watch your dearest friends and family prepare for the worst-case scenario. It definitely doesn’t make it any less eerie to see my home turn into a ghost town.
That said, I was raised by one of the most optimistic women who’s ever lived, so I’m trying to look at this from as many positive angles as possible. (I can’t help but think that Mom and I would have had a lot of fun in quarantine, as weird as that may be to say.)
Lots of families have been afforded time together that they wouldn’t otherwise have outside of a vacation. Community leaders are working on tangible solutions every minute of every day and the fog is starting to clear a bit.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I’m getting back around to some long-neglected to-do list items around the house and am finally, after nearly three years, setting up a home office for myself, which is actually very exciting.
Thankfully, we also have pop culture and the Internet. I’ve been hosting movie nights on Twitter as a fun way to interact with friends and also distract from *gestures wildly* everything. And other folks are finding all kinds of ways to connect in chaos, like Facebook and Instagram Live or virtual cocktail parties.
Nothing about this is normal. But if we’re all respectful and just a little bit germophobic, hopefully, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.