Coronavirus Days--Week 1

I've been thinking about chronicling what I'm referring to as these times, reigniting my blog writing as a way to remember when fear and uncertainty take their places in history, a way to process my days. Educator friends are encouraging students to journal their days or create audio diaries. Some of my friends are writing daily, and these daily writings can't help but focus on what is happening with COVID-19, and how what is happening happens to us.

Although the virus has been circulating for months, I needed a beginning point to mark my recording, and decided to call this week one, because it has been one week of my adhering to social distancing, one week since I was told to work from home for the rest of the semester, one week since I decided to officially count the ways my days committed to an indefinite change. Prior to this week I did keep my distance from people, as best I could. I did constantly wash my hands. And I did become quite adept at opening and closing bathroom doors with feet and elbows.

To catalog a week, this past week, feels overwhelming, just like the amount of hours I find myself checking in on CNN news, noting the numbers increasing, seeing not just the exponential growth in cases and deaths, but in my own raising anxiety, worried about when and how the virus will hit my home, my family, my friends, my colleagues, someone I know.

I cope and find a routine so as not to fall into that constant state. I menu plan, which is not a normal activity, at least not days out. Normally, the day before I might plan the following day's meal, knowing what I might need to pick up from a store or take out of the freezer. Now, I think ahead, a week ahead, because after a visit to a couple of grocery stores to pick things up a week ago, I freaked out at the possibility of too much contact, and committed to venturing out only once a week, at the most, to a grocery store. Tonight, Governor Polis asked the same thing of everyone in Colorado--go to a grocery store just once a week. I can do that. It makes me less anxious. Might save lives.

My days are not totally filled with dread; lightness finds its way at times. For this past week, I've eaten well, really well. It's not that I ever eat poorly, but Nan and I have been intentional about what we eat, planning some special meals such as splurging on homemade crab cakes or experimenting with a miso butter chicken. Food makes me happy, and any bit of happiness I can grab amidst worry is a fine thing. Long dog walks with Whitman most every morning. Doing The New York Times' spelling bee puzzle daily with Nan. Reaching out and connecting with friends, even sometimes by phone, a device I usually avoid except for texting and some quick reading.

These are changing times, and I'd be remiss to not somehow mark them in words.

More to come next week.


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