I realize that COVID has been a thing for months now… but it’s affected me, personally, very little, except that I decided early on that this could be really bad and that I should probably go out and make sure my stock of cold medicines and tissues was stable. I bought one package of toilet paper then (but because I was basically out) and a little bit of food, but left it at that because things hadn’t blown up in the US yet and I wanted to see what would happen.
As the news got worse, and it made its way over here, I’ve spent the last four weeks stocking up on non-perishable food items (they’ll also last through hurricane season), stuff I’ll want if I do get sick, and food and litter for the cats. I was comfortably prepared for this thing before it got ridiculous. I am proud of that.
Two weeks ago, at work, the order came for us to start preparing to work from home – there was no word on whether we actually would, but they wanted us to test our connections and apps to make sure we could if we had to. Yesterday the order came for us to begin remote-working today, so this is it.
Working from home is not so bad. I made the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made in my life on Saturday night, with some left over to snack on (and they need to be – their shelf life is only about 5 days). I get up and log in at my normal time (around 6:45), but I do it in my fuzzy socks and with one of the cats in my lap periodically. I miss my work friends, but I am also really digging getting to hang out with the cats all day, so I guess it’s the ultimate trade off.
Social isolation is not difficult for a lifelong introvert… I guess you could say that, in a way, I’ve been rehearsing for this my whole life. Granted, I’ve gotten better about my introversion over the years, but I also have absolutely no qualms about binge watching an entire television series or playing four straight hours of World of Warcraft and getting achievements that I just don’t have time to go for during normal periods of my life.
I am, of course, worried about my family – but, most of them live in a very small town in a rural area. They are pretty social within the confines of that town, however, people in that town don’t travel much and it’s not a bustling tourist destination. You could argue that they practice a less extreme form of social isolation all the time. And I call them pretty much daily now so I know they’re ok.
At any rate, because I find myself with more “downtime” than I am accustomed to and because I am a historian (seriously, I have a degree in this) with a fascination for social history and change – and in a weirdly twisted way, I am flattered to be living in the middle of it – I’ve decided to chronicle this all here.
I’m not doing this because I’m anticipating getting a lot of hits… I would imagine WordPress (among other sites) is FULL of posts like mine right now… (probably from people that are a whole lot worse off and, by proxy, more interesting) but because I really want to be able to come back to this someday and read about it all. If you do decide to join me for this series, please note that I’m not going to be getting engaged in scientific discussions (I am not qualified), nor political ones (not qualified for that either). I think the best thing we can do for ourselves now, and for each other, is to remain as positive as we can. And that’s what I’ll be doing.
With any luck, I’ll be able to post daily (or semi-daily).
- Florida’s Primary elections are still taking place. This is a big deal because other states have changed the date of theirs.
- Tampa’s bars and clubs are closed. Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity (and are urging takeout).
- People are still coming down here for Spring Break, which I find odd, but y’all also help ensure we don’t pay state income tax, so thanks.
- The Clearwater Pier was recently closed (but the beach is still open)… South Beach, I hear, is closed, though.
Things I’m happy about:
- I have food… enough to last through hurricane season if I’m careful.
- Milo spent a good half of the day in my lap. He spent part of it watching a webinar. If this is my new “normal” for work, I’ll take it.
- Grocery stores here are still pretty much stocked with everything (except toilet paper and hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap)… so I can easily replace what I consume. This is what I plan to do until this either ends or I get sick and have to quarantine myself. If I have to quarantine myself, I have enough supplies to get by on until that quarantine period ends.
- I still have a job – seriously… I’ve already seen one major recession in my adult life, and I was unemployed and basically homeless during that one. I am thankful, THANKFUL that I have work, and that my employer lets me work from home instead of forcing me on furlough, and also that my rent is reasonable since I moved to another area of town.
— ‘Till tomorrow.