I went out shopping today for the first time in weeks. Now I did go for regular walks around my subdivision so I’ve been outside, but I haven’t actually been in a car going to a grocery store or anything like that. To minimize exposure it’s always my husband who goes out and do the shopping so it’s only one person out at a time. But now I need personal care things like razorblades and cotton balls, so I went out with him because he wouldn’t know the exact brands and stuff.
And boy it took forever! Sure, the roads are fairly empty since my state is under shelter-in-place orders, but there are just so many other things we have to do to prepare to go out. We both have to put on masks (not N95 ones, but a surgical mask is better than nothing), bring hand sanitizer, my husband somehow got a box of Clorox wipes and keeps that in the car to constantly wipe down everything. Then we get to the grocery store and had to wait outside in designated lines because the store’s pretty small, so they had to limit how many people could be in there at one time. We bought out about 2-3 weeks worth of food (frozen meat and non-perishables, mostly) and then went to Target for the daily use things (still no paper goods, but that’s probably because we went too late in the day). And when we get back we wipe everything down and wash our hands a lot and leave some non-food items in the bag to be put away 24-48 hours later. Under normal days a trip like that would take less than an hour (barring traffic, but the Target is literally 5-min drive from my house, and I mean that in LA-traffic speak which is like .1 miles or something). Took more than 2 today! And I’m so stressed from just general anxiety that I was exhausted when I finished everything and just lay on the bed for a while, listening to podcasts. I have zero motive to write anything. So I decided, well, might as well take the day off and take care of some other work/life related things, like figure out some refunds and plan out the rest of the week and the like.
I feel kind of guilty not working on my novel, but I’ve been steadily writing a lot these past couple of weeks, and I think one day of rest is good to have. I’ll just have to pick it back up tomorrow, when I don’t have to brave the outside world too much. You’d think quarantine wouldn’t stress out super introverts like me, but for some reason it’s making my anxiety worse. I guess it’s the whole sucky situation as a whole. I know we’ve been very careful but now I couldn’t help but wonder did this one trip give me or my husband coronavirus? I have asthma and he has horrible allergies and get upper respiratory system illnesses a lot, so yeah, if this hit us it’ll hit us hard, probably. Cross our fingers, I guess, and just try not to worry about it needlessly in the mean time. It’s much easier said than done.
Yeah so I now have concrete evidence that not going on r/coronavirus, or reddit in general because the front page is coronavirus related anyway, helps me with productivity. A lot.
On Saturday I deliberately forced myself to put down the iPad and not look at any outbreak related news. I was a lot more productive and worked longer hours. On Sunday I didn’t, and well, kind of whiled the afternoon away, so I subsequently freaked out and obsessively clicked on links. Yesterday I only allowed a little bit of perusing in the morning and not so much later, and guess what? I got no work done in the morning, and in the afternoon the minute I (again, forced myself to) put down the iPad, I started working almost right away. It’s crazy. Well, not exactly ‘right away’ as there’s an hour of ‘lag,’ per se, between me reading anything and starting working, but that just means my brain needed the time to switch gears. But as soon as I cut off the obsession the gear did switch, and that’s the important takeaway here, I think.
So today, and probably for the foreseeable future, I will at most allow myself some minor perusing just to keep up on the events. The minute I realize I’m getting sucked in I will stop. It works, but needs self discipline. I am in an entirely self-driven career anyway, so I guess this is a good way to practice as any.
I’ve decided that I should stop visiting reddit about the coronavirus. It’s not good for my mental health. I would be working and wanted a brief break and so go on the subreddit, and whop, there goes an hour of clicking on headlines and reading comments and silently freaking out. And then when I try to get back to work my headspace is nowhere near where it needs to be to concentrate. And so I open more tabs, because I don’t want to work, and so rinse and repeat. It’s why work that should only take 2 hours takes like 7 hours, which is ridiculous. And then I have bad dreams on top of that. My sleep pattern has seen some crazy wild swings like the stock market. All in all, I need to stop visiting that website.
If anything super major does happen (like we finally start actually testing and discover there’s 100,000 cases in California or something), I’m sure the front page of reddit will let me know. Or the actual news. Or anything, really. I have to concentrate on my novel now – I refuse to let it go past the full five year mark. I had a brief existential crisis before I went to bed last night, about how I’ll never finish writing anything, good or bad. Again, not good for my mental health, but I’m pretty sure that’s just anxiety talking (brought on by all the stuff that’s going on in the world). So I’m going to limit my exposure to fix my anxiety, and that starts with not going to r/coronavirus for a while.
Gosh, Animal Crossing: New Horizons can’t come soon enough.
Unless you’re in the camp of ‘it’s just a flu no biggie I’m not going to bother with any precautions,’ you probably are a little bit nervous about the worldwide coronavirus spread. I live in a very populous city with no doubt thousands of cases of coronavirus around – untested and under-reported, of course, considering this is the good old US of A and all. My homebody nature is kind of saving me here; I don’t go outside if I don’t have to, and being a writer recluse my routine now doesn’t significantly deviate from the non-pandemic times routine. But my husband has a regular job at an office, and yes, it’s one of those open-floor tech companies where you cram dozens of people per giant room, with a cafeteria where everyone goes to eat. I’ve been telling him to try to start work-from-home, because the company does have the capability just like Amazon and Microsoft, and he said his company is considering it. Nobody I know so far has gotten the virus, thank goodness. I really don’t want my family to be the first in our circle, you know?
But yes, I’m pretty nervous about it. So I’m glad that I confirmed with my doctor and so postponed my IVF treatments both for my body’s recovery and because of the emergent crisis in the States. They said things’ll probably peak around May. Well, I kind of wanted to get things going then, but depends on the global climate may have to delay it further. I’m not happy about that, but hey, I’m not happy about the stock prices and the crazy hoarding going on either (couldn’t buy toilet paper, paper towels, had to order my sanitary napkins online; it’s nuts), so might as well chalk it up to the Heavens (which this sort of is? All things considering?) and wait. And hope the US pick up on testing and stop being so incompetent and actually care about people’s lives rather than economic numbers as much, but that would be asking too much.