As an essential worker in a global pandemic, I don’t exactly have time to start up a blog again, but I figured, why the hell not?
If not now, when?
I’ve been trying to keep my sanity in my two-floor townhouse in upstate New York, while working a job that makes the reality of living in this weirdness, well…inescapable. I try to self-quarantine for 14 days at a time and then go visit my parents in Western Mass.
If you’d ever told me I’d do the news from my dining room, I’d never believe you — and I can’t even imagine how my station’s anchors feel, who have full mini-sets in their basements, living rooms and kitchens. I just have a mess of a table with my laptop and board games stacked up so I can get my light and tripod for my phone and Skype interviews at the right height. I have my camera, a microphone and other tools I never thought would be something I looked at each day. I just feel incredibly fortunate to still have a job, and to be working for a company which has been incredibly compassionate to its employees during this time.
In between still working a full day during the stay-at-home order here in New York, I’ve been trying to find things to do. I bought a bike so I can stream Peloton classes in my living room since I’ve been missing a place which was just beginning to feel like home — Spin Revolution in Loudonville — a town over. Last week, I started the seedlings for my garden, gave myself a pedicure, I’ve been trying new recipes and getting takeout from new restaurants, I picked up a book I started reading last summer, yes, I made banana bread … and I made a TikTok.
I’m only sort of ashamed of that last part, but was glad to find a bunch of other bored millennials on there too, just trying to do something to make ourselves and others laugh.
In the midst of this ugly time, I’ve managed to reconnect with friends and talk to them more regularly. I’ve been to a Zoom wedding and a Zoom baby shower — and that friend just became a mom for the first time two days before Mother’s Day. I won’t be able to meet her son until it’s safe, but he’s perfect.
I’ve found that even though this has been a trying time for my mental health, I’m enjoying the little extra downtime that I do have. I no longer feel compelled to run errands on my days off and there’s no pressure to make plans. I’ve been overjoyed seeing the true spirit of kindness, compassion and love that is within so many people — and I just wish we could carry that spirit all the time. I’ve enjoyed watching businesses pivot and get creative to try to stay alive in this trying time. I’ve texted in my morning iced tea orders, I’ve picked up ice cream from a trailer, and I’ve eaten takeout with a friend in the backs of our cars in a parking lot 10 feet apart.
Some of the things that have changed, I can’t imagine going away — I can’t imagine going to get my tea in the store (even though I miss socializing there), I can’t imagine not being able to order alcohol with my takeout, and I can’t imagine not aggressively wiping my entire cart down with disinfectant before I shop in any store — then following it up by sanitizing my hands– and then acting like I’m on an episode of Supermarket Sweep, trying to get through the store as quickly as possible. I can’t imagine driving to and from work every day— it’s become a project whenever I need to go to the station for something (it’s 10 minutes away, by the way) and I also can’t imagine not constantly being worried about getting sick– and spreading it to others– like I am now.
I am looking forward to seeing how this changes our world, the way we work and hopefully a healthcare system that’s been broken for decades.
I’m looking forward to eating dinner out with my friends, hugging my parents, going back to Rev and not constantly being fearful of an infectious disease.
What are you most looking forward to when this ends? What are you hoping doesn’t go back to the way it was before?