COVID Chronicles: It’s Been One Week of #socialdistance Life and I’m Already Over It
In the last week, North Carolina (along with most of the world) has seen public schools close, restaurants limit operations to take-out or delivery, and many employees opting or being mandated to work from home. Gyms, movie theaters, malls, parks, libraries, and basically any place that groups of people tend to gather, all closed.
Toilet paper is a hot commodity and a grocery store with a well-stocked meat aisle are a rarity.
It’s only been one week of the #socialdistancelifestyle and I’m over it already.
I speak as someone who has suffered minimal disruption to my daily routine as a result of COVID-19. I’m a dental hygienist employed at a small periodontal practice and we have no plans to shut down. This means I’m still going into the office Monday through Thursday and more importantly, I’m still drawing a paycheck. Though commercial gyms are closed to the public, I have access to a very well-equipped home gym that affords me the ability to continue my exercise routine almost seamlessly. Rest assured, I’m aware of how good I have it.
But the stress of it all? So over it. Anyone else find themselves looking puppy videos on YouTube just for something uplifting and non-Coronavirus? Anyone? Just me? Ok.
As many of you know, Rob and his partner, Josiah, opened their gym, Hive Fitness, this past January. As a new small business trying to gain traction, the timing of this mandatory four-week closure couldn’t be worse. <insert shameless plug for Hive Fitness> Silver lining: Seems plausible that people will flock to the local gyms in droves once we’re allowed to do the gym thing again. Bikini bod > quarantine bod amiright?
Planning for the future is next to impossible, as nobody knows exactly when we’ll return to life as we knew it. The Type A in me struggles here. “What do you mean ‘I don’t know????’” Nope, we don’t know what tomorrow holds. Not even a little
Sometimes I feel pretty chill about it all, other times I run my mind in circles. Lots of “worst case scenario” financial considerations happening. I think about Rob and the future of his business. I go back and forth on my apartment conundrum- do I renew my lease, or give notice to move out in May as planned? Will I have a job in May? Will I have a job tomorrow? OVER IT.
Since Sunday was Rob’s birthday, I did the best I could to make this past weekend nice for him. Though the panic shoppers have run the grocery stores out of ground beef, I was able to find Filet Mignon AND it was on sale for $12.99/lb! Score. Saturday night we enjoyed the steaks with sweet potato casserole, followed by a glass of wine enjoyed out on the front porch. Of course, no birthday is complete without cake, so I baked him this Flourless Chocolate Cake. My decorating skills need serious work, but the flavor was spot on and Rob claims he loves it, so I’m satisfied. We streamed the latest Star Wars movie (thank God for Amazon) and thoroughly enjoyed that along with a decent playlist of throwback music videos curated by DJ Robbie J himself. We made the best of it.
We found a silver lining in our newfound awareness of the value of the restaurant experience. Until a few days ago, I would have said that we derive almost all pleasure of restaurant dining from the food itself, but this past weekend gave me a new appreciation for the experience as a whole. Appreciation for the ambiance, background chatter, not having to do your own dishes, and the simple change of scenery. Never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to hear some obnoxious victim of poor parenting scream their face off in the dining room of Azteca again.
At times like these, I think there's strength in balancing our optimism with realism. Despite our efforts to fabricate normalcy, there’s nothing normal about what’s going on right now! In between all the baking and cooking, we checked the news constantly, reading headlines about updated fatality rates or the latest state to give stay-at-home orders. The world feels turned upside down because it is and I've found that there's some relief in facing that reality, rather than burying my head in the sand.