Because Words Matter to Me

I have struggled at times with how to refer to my status during these COVID days.

Working from home? That’s true, but it doesn’t even remotely carry the weight of all the social distancing protocols we’re trying to adhere to for safety. Homebound? That has a bit more of the “stay in the fucking house” energy that we’re living with. But it’s not a true name, since I am heading out of the house every 7-8 days or so on some quick essential errand.* Sheltering-in-place? That’s close to accurate, since Gov. Baker is certainly encouraging folks to stay home, and since my “work-at-home” status is indeed driven by the fact that our offices are closed. But there’s isn’t an actual honest-to-Gaia shelter in place order for MA, so that phrasing still isn’t entirely true.

woman isolation

For the most part, I keep coming back to the term “lockdown” as the closest useful analogue I can find to describe my and my family’s status during this particular wave of the pandemic.**

But the one thing I won’t be calling it? Quarantine.

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A Buffet for the Senses

I may have to buy a new calendar to keep track of all the cultural programming being offered in response to all the stay-at-home orders.

In all honesty, I am more likely to print out some free calendar templates for the next month or two. Any calendar I ordered would need to be shipped here over some indeterminate amount of time, and I needs to get myself sorted now.

choices

(Too many choices!)

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Earth Day 50 During COVID-19

(Should that “During” in the post title be capitalized or not? For once, I’m gonna let it go without looking up the right answer.)

So, it’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. And it’s an interesting moment for Earth Day to be happening.

I mean, you’ve seen the before and after pictures right? BC and AL*?

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 8.57.26 PM

The cessation of travel and commuting and non-essential manufacturing has caused a undeniable drop in air pollution during these COVID days.

And you may have seen the memes in response to this all:

Humanity is the real virus!

Or,

What kind of asshole are you to wish death and destruction for your species? Capitalism is the real virus!!**

I’m going to pointedly ignore the foolishness of rhetoric that is based on denying the actual objective reality of SARS-CoV-2‘s existence as an honest-to-goodness real-and-true virus. Instead, I’m sufficiently intrigued by the apparent environmental benefits of this pandemic that I wanted to do a little bit of noodling around that.

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Pandemic Brain

Tomorrow marks 7 weeks in home isolation for me. As of today, the US remains ahead of the rest of the world with 824K cases and 45K deaths. My home state of Massachusetts is holding down the number 3 spot in the country, while my home county is holding down that number 3 spot within the state.

(Here’s a screengrab of Google’s stats dashboard for corroboration and context.)

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 8.12.33 PM

And I am still incredibly fortunate. Every few days brings more individuals in my extended friends circle who have contracted the disease, but so far they have all been able to recover—and recover at home. And (knock wood) everyone in my immediate family remains healthy and safe in their different homes and locations.

So, really, no legitimate reasons to complain.

And yet, I gotta say it: I’m not doing as well as I was when this all started.

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A Tiny Dose of Paranoia

This has been a brutal week for me and my spring allergies. BRU. TAL. The sniffles! The sneezing! The perpetually runny nose! Those uncomfortable bits of dry skin that build up where one’s nostrils meet the upper lip, on account of all the nose-blowing caused by the sniffles and congestion….

Oh, was that a bit TMI? #SorryNotSorry

Of course, during these surreal COVID times, there’s also all the symptomatic second guessing.

woman mask

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Rainy Days and Sundays

I saw one of my college classmates post this on Facebook earlier today:

Rainy days and pandemics always get me down.

Which, funny enough* was something I’d been thinking to myself even earlier in my morning.

Chalk it up to another generational marker. Karen Carpenter and her brother, Richard:

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