Day 25: You Are Here

Today Washington State is 3 weeks and 3 days into the COVID-19 lockdown.  Strange moments remind me what universe I am in.  My son went to get some groceries and I rush over to him before he left, “Take a face mask!  They might not let you into the store without one!” People will cross the street instead of walking past you on the same sidewalk, while folks a few blocks over meet in their culdesac, sit 6 feet apart on deck chairs to talk to each other in the evenings.  A local bookstore is offering to deliver your book order to your door if you live in town.  We had a delivery for dinner the other day.  The driver knocked on the door, left the food in a paper bag then took 6 large steps back and waited for the door to open. There was an awkward moment if I should even talk to her.  She seemed scared. “Thank you! Have a good night.”  Everyday things are a new dance.  New etiquettes are surfacing.  Common courtesies have new rules.

I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about the day and what to journal, I am wondering why I selected those 5 ridiculous questions to answer every day.  I no longer like them. I think it is obvious that I’ve never been in a pandemic before!  (…BTW- if, so some reason, the planet goes through this again within our lifetime, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENT?   How would you prepare if you know you had perhaps a 4-day notice or maybe you saw the clues three months ahead of time.  Would you fly to a tropical beach? Buy 100 rolls of toilet paper? Sell your cruise tickets? Just wondering…I like where I am and who I am quarantined with but I wish my apartment was larger, like if I had space for a back yard, a swimming pool and a craft room.)

These daily personal inquires started with good intentions like most bad ideas, but, I’m just not going to do it anymore.  You can’t make me.
1) an observed joy-  meant for me to keep my eyes on the positive.
2) a real concern- designed to remind me what is a REAL problem.
3) a personal challenge- I imagined I would be in a self-improvement mode.
4) one personal success (no matter how small)- a question designed to showcase the self-improvement.
5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- I’m a silly random person

Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme.  -Shannon

Day 9: Meetings all day

I’m tired tonight and don’t want to write in my journal.  I no longer cross-promote my website or poetry books, much less my radio programs.  It’s easy to understand, I am the only person reading these daily entries. Me and the bots. I’m going to take day 10 off and start journalling in the morning.  I’m more productive in the morning.

truth: If I go perhaps 3 blocks over, in any direction, maybe there is a house with domestic abuse happening, the shelter in place mandate is a prison sentence for these victims.  There are many families rationing the food in their cupboards.  Across the nation, many people went on Rent Stike- not paying April’s rent due to the pandemic and increased layoffs. Can we make it to April 30th?  Will violence break out or protests? Looting?  I can’t imagine that happening, but how long can you expect the frog to stay in the pot?

Good news: Twice today I heard different news sources report new cases in Washington state virus outbreaks went down.

1) an observed joy- Work kept me busy today. I did not FEEL the pandemic, it has become an accepted reality. I’m working with it and moving forward.  Trying to approach it as a true stoic.

2) a real concern- My daughter’s health.  She lives in a condo that shares fan ducts with the unit below her.  She is sheltering in place. Between 11pm and 3am a strong chemical smell comes up through the floor and the vents from below.  It wakes them up, gives them headaches, etc. They believe the neighbors are smoking meth.  She has called the police, the Health Department, and the condo manager- nothing.

3) a personal challenge-  We are working on a big project. I need to do research in a new discipline. The project must roll out and be in place by 4/30.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)-I walked all the way around the lake trail today; a full hour in a beautiful old-growth forest.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- When the pandemic is over, how will society change? Will we all be germaphobic?  Will the casual hug among friends become an elevated action?  Maybe we’ll make love electronically like people did in Sylvester Stallones “Demolition Man”.

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