Social Distancing Day 7: Harder Than I Thought.

So I haven’t written in a while. The last time I wrote, there was no apocalypse, and now there is. Surprise!

I started to feel like I had a cold on March 15 (BEWARE THE IDES) but I went to work on Monday. That was before everything went into complete lockdown, but it was already starting to loom. I stayed home from work on St. Patrick’s Day (sad) and the 18th, when I had a video appointment with my doctor’s office, at which point I was told, even though I do NOT have coronavirus symptoms, I was required to stay home in quarantine until April 1.

Shortly after I received this news, the world went underground, and my office is now mostly remote with a skeleton crew on site, and I’m working from home for the foreseeable future. I can leave the house again on April Fool’s Day, but still can’t really go anywhere.

In many ways, it isn’t too bad. I’m saving money on gas and tolls from not driving to my office. I haven’t been eating fast food. I can listen to music as loud as I want while I work. I can attend court hearings by phone and not have to wear a suit and park my car and shuffle papers and worry about whether I smeared chocolate on my pant leg so it looks like I have poopy pants (yes, this is something I have to keep an eye on).

I’m also around my husband all day, every day, sort of. He works in the dining room, I work in our office. He’s on the phone pretty much every second, if he’s not on a videoconference, or a WebX, or something else that I’m not familiar with because he’s a designer and I’m a lawyer, and the practice of law is still in the Dark Ages in many ways, technologically.

But Beck, you say. You’re appearing by phone. You file things electronically. You use the Internet a lot.

Yes, that’s true. We also still use fax machines and dictation machines. The efiling systems in some counties and states are atrocious. We do a lot of phone calls but very rarely use videoconferencing. WebX? What’s that?

So my office has started using instant messaging to keep in touch in these trying times, and it’s kind of nice. We’re using remote access. We’re all flown apart.

This is the new normal.

And it’s OK. I’m an introvert. I’m very good at entertaining myself.

But I also have ADHD, which makes working from home a little harder for me, so I’m having to learn ways to handle it.

Worse still, I miss looking other people in the face – in the real face. I miss interacting with people, even in small ways. I’m a hand shaker. I’m also a hugger. I hate small talk, and I hate manufactured pleasantry, but I like seeing folks around. I miss listening to my colleague whose office is next to mine laugh at dumb videos, talk on the phone, sneeze and sniffle. I miss hearing people at the copy machine talk until they annoy me because it’s right outside my office door. I want to be annoyed by other people now.

I also miss my friends. All of my relationships, with the exception of Mike, have become long-distance.

I’m interested to see where this all goes. How long will social distancing last? Some say weeks, some say months. Some say a year or more. It depends on vaccines and containment and treatment development, and there’s no way to know. What about the election? Where’s Joe Biden? Where’s Bernie?

Someone on Mike Pence’s crew got the virus. Will he get it next? Will Dump get it? Rand Paul has it. Will he give it to Mitch McConnell? They’re all old. Will Rand Paul spread it through Kentucky and then Washington?

Will the coronavirus take out the establishment politicians?

I’m mostly joking. I don’t want anyone to die. I really don’t. I have friends who wish Trump would die. I hate him, but I don’t want him to die (even though he thinks we should all go cough in each other’s mouths next week instead of stay inside like the smart people are saying). I don’t want anyone else to die from it. I want my life to go back to normal, but not at the expense of others.

So we have to wait and see. My vacation is canceled. My sister’s kids aren’t going to get their graduation ceremonies. Service industry workers are about to flood the bankruptcy courts and the unemployment office and it’s going to be a nightmare and it’s awful and I feel awful for them.

But in spite of being a realist and a Stage 5 Worrier, I’m also an optimist, because if I wasn’t, I would live in a bunker. We’re in the early stages of this thing, and I feel like even though we have Cheeto Mussolini in charge, cooler heads will prevail and we’ll get some monetary assistance in place and some medicines cooking and get a rein on this thing. We’re never going to be quite the same, but we’ll be able to hug each other again eventually.

If this thing is scaring the shit out of you and you’re reading this, please take care and take heart, and don’t be afraid to ask for help, and talk to people in whatever way you can.

And quit hoarding supplies, you assholes. You know who you are.

B

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