The Virus Diary: Week One

It has been suggested (and I had already thought of this, but not yet followed through) on keeping a diary during this crisis.  I used to keep a diary when I was younger...and older too (like the first year of my son's life).  Now I blog about my life (sort of) and general things, but why not let loose with whatever.  If someone reads, so be it.  If no one reads, so be it.  We're coming up on my 7th year anniversary of blogging and I do look back on what I wrote from time to time (I forget what I write), so maybe this will be helpful to the future me?

Here goes...

Today is Friday, March 20th.  I've been working from home for a week.  I've always has the opportunity to do so.  When I was hired the man I worked for said that if I asked, from time to time, I could do so.  I asked my new boss last Thursday if I could work from home because the schools were having a half day and my son had to bring home all his stuff.  (It was only a week ago that they decided to shut down the schools and that after two "snow" days on Monday and Tuesday, schools would start virtually.)  I also wanted to be home because a paint consultant was coming to our house.  (Yes, only a week ago I had a stranger come into my house, look around, and we made some decisions on colors.  We were going to have our downstairs painted in about a month, who knows now...)  She said yes and at that time I intended on going to work on Monday as usual because I work in an office suite with very few people and even the office building is not that crowded.  (But each floor does share a bathroom.)  I didn't know that I wouldn't have to go back until Sunday night...when my old boss called me about the email from HR.  He didn't have to, but he did and that made me feel good.  He took the time to call me on a Sunday new boss did not (although the directive was laid out in the email).  

Working from home hasn't changed much.  As I said, I've done it before.  I still have the same aggravations and challenges.  The people who I could count on getting me the information I need every week still do so and those who are more difficult still are.  The problems haven't changed.  What has changed is that my new boss has a daily call with her team towards the end of the day.  I think it's a way to check up and check in.  It's both good and bad.  The first day she actually couldn't be on the call so the four of us, who don't really know each other and who do very different things, actually ended up talking about grocery stores.  That was good.  The bad has been when we have work discussions and I realize how different our jobs really are and that I have no idea what they are talking about.  Sometimes it makes me feel very small.

I still have a daily routine, sort of.  I don't get up at 4:15 anymore and go for a walk.  We've been asked to keep curfew from 8 pm - 5 am.  The idea of walking in the early morning doesn't seem comfortable.  Most days I do get up and do indoor "walking."  I have managed every day to get out and do a little walking.  Not as much as usual, but some. When I did so during the day over the weekend I saw a lot of people.  I had walked around the park on Sunday and there were a lot of groups.  The parks are closed now.  I still see people as I walk.  I still say hi.  There aren't as many.  I feel the need to get out there and walk.  I've asked my son to join me.  He asks where I am walking to.  I say, "I am not walking to anywhere...I am just walking."  He declines; always.

Being at home with a teen hasn't changed much either.  It definitely hasn't improved our relationship or lessened the stress.  While I realize this "remote school" is stressful for him, I also think he's using it as an excuse sometimes.  I've tried to be supportive, but...It's not like he's doing better or worse.  He's doing the same...and that's not good because now is the time when he should be more focused.  I will say that we've had some really awful fights since last Friday, but we've had some really awful fights since the beginning of this year.  Is it hormones? (His?  Mine? Probably both.)  Is it mental health issues? (His?  Mine?  Probably both.)  I suppose its "normal" to be emotional.  To be angry.  To be depressed.  To be frustrated.  What makes this all difficult is that "snapping back" from it all is harder because there's nowhere to go get yourself back together.  As I write this, it's early morning and I'm still feeling angry and upset over our last blow out...usually these things pass much quicker.  A sign of the times or just a sign?

Finally, I did my weekly grocery shopping this morning.  Last Friday morning was insane:  This Friday we got there earlier (no need drop off the kid) and while I found a reasonable parking space; people were lined up to get in at 6:55.  So much for social distancing!  We waited until the line started to move, grabbed a cart and went in.  Because there were two of us, we managed to split up and find/get stuff a little easier.  (Our Shoprite is still in the process of being renovated!)  I had been to the same Shoprite on Tuesday ( and have found that items come and go.  So my advice to everyone is if you don't find it today, you may find it tomorrow.  Last time I was there meat was scarce.  This time there was plenty.  (Although I'm sure it's going fast.)  Produce was still well stocked (although our cashier said she needed to get clementines on her break because they had been out and if she waited till the end of her shift they would be gone.)  Baking was a bit sparse.  (St. Patrick's Day may be over, but since I'm home I think I'll be baking some more Irish soda bread.)  I didn't even attempt to look at cleaning items...I am not in dire need so let it go to someone else who does need it.

To wrap things up:  things HAVE changed (I look out my window to the main drag and rarely see traffic) but they also stay the same (work challenges, school challenge and teen angst).  I will do my best to social distance. (I really miss my mom and dad and wish there was some way I could give them both hugs even though I know they are okay.)  I may stock up, but I will NOT hoard.  I will allow myself to feel whatever I feel at the moment, but I will also try to look to the positive.  Because no matter how dark it may get, there will be a dawn.


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