How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love COVID-19

We are looking at two solid months and counting of shit being weird. I sometimes feel like that Japanese soldier they tell legends about who didn’t know World War II was over until 1971 when they found out he had been killing people in the jungles of some island near the Phillipes for 25 years. For the last several weeks, while I have been on lockdown, I have seen people outside walking their dogs, riding bikes, playing tennis and basketball, hot rodding all over town with their souped up Toyotas and Subarus, and the whole while, all I hear about is “stay at home. Save a life.”

I’ve been at home. With the exception of going out to get coffee. In two months, I have been to Longmont once and Ft. Collins once. I didn’t even get out of the car in Ft. Collins, but the weird thing was that I could see that businesses were opening up. Today I drove by a Ross in my town. They were letting people in with masks and counting the numbers. Unlike Target which has never closed.

None of the goddamned rules make any sense.

Florida, once scolded for its lax attitude on quarantine is already beating the curve on recovery, while the media is still telling everyone to panic in place. Lousianna, other states as well. Recovery rates are not considered the same as infected people who didn’t need hospitalization. It doesn’t make any sense.

But this is what I have taken away from it:

Schools didn’t have to go back, but all my son’s school work could be done online in about 20 minutes. Schools are pretty much just state sanctioned babysitting because the way the economy is these days, you need a two source income to survive.

Even though there is less consumption of food, grocery stores often don’t have the items we are looking for. Instead of selling things like beef and milk for lower prices, the farmers are being encouraged to destroy their crops. Beef is now $6 per pound for hamburger. Milk is hanging steady at $2.35 per gallon.

People are really emotional about masks, pro or con.

The issue of how people respond to this virus goes right along political party lines. Nearly exactly.

The same thing that has been dividing people, social media, and causing mental illness, the possibility of suicides, bullying, school shooting, fucked up elections, and depression from keeping up with the Joneses is now our only outlet for connecting with others.

The media is so against “opening the world up again” but reports about people doing just that.

I’ve gotten to the point where if I see an open restaurant, or a store like Ross, I have little to no desire to go in. I really don’t care. I just want Ikea to deliver my fucking chair. It’s been a week.

I cut my own hair with clippers tonight and I look fine. I saved $25. I don’t want to go anywhere, don’t have friends I socialize with outside the house anymore with anyway, and I’m not going to win any Patrick Dempsey Hair contests. Fuck it. Who the hell am I trying to impress?

It’s a shame pools probably won’t open up for a while. I miss sitting around in hot bubbly water.

My landlady texts me sometimes to tell me useless information like they are mowing the grass tomorrow. I don’t care.

People go jogging in masks. I still don’t understand why. Not the masks. The goddamned jogging.

People are drinking a lot.

The opportunities to get out, meet people, make new connections is at a low point in my life, and I really am getting to be fine with that. People just let you down anyway and meeting more of these really isn’t worth my time.

I remember a summer at the day job when it was 90 degrees in the building, and they were tarring the roof. We had no AC but we couldn’t go home. They needed to sit there and watch us sweat–well, they called from their air conditioned homes as they “worked from home” to see how we were holding up about every four hours. Just enough to make sure we weren’t already home and drinking profusely.

22+ veterans die of suicide every day and nobody canceled school for this.

Eveyrday, they send people into coal mines and warzones and Flint, MI still doesn’t have clean drinking water. Nobody has to social distance when warlords in Uganda are slaughtering people.

I am paralyzed by the fear of progress in writing. I sleep in too long. Nap too much. Don’t care about a lot of things anymore–for example, I might not have brushed my teeth today. I think I might be dying a little bit inside. And I am fine with that.

I love having time to be more creative. But I’m still at a place in my life where it feels like I’m getting away with something I shouldn’t be doing.

I’m perfecting the art of getting in my own way.

The cool kids always got to go to the parties and have all the fun while I sat at home safe reading Tolkien and Robert Jordan anyway. Why should my adult life be any different?

But I worked on the book today and nearly got 1000 words in. Shouldn’t that make me happy? It doesn’t.

Anyway, I feel like that poor bastard shanking rice farmers with my bayonet and living off toads and grass and rainwater because the Emperor told me to wait for further instructions. Meanwhile, I am almost entirely confident the world will open back up while I remain at home, completely oblivious, and then pretty much apathetic about the world once I can go back to the stores or parks, or any of that bullshit I realized recently how much I don’t care enough about anyway.

This is my life now.