COVID check-in–how are you all?

HI, friends!

Yeah, so…here we are. And things are messed up. I can’t even begin to talk about that because it feels fucking overwhelming and I know so many people out there are experiencing way worse things than I am right now.

This is bad shit, y’all. I don’t need to point that out. What I’m trying to do is reach out to friends and family, which helps with the ol’ depression. Some of my friends are experiencing a lot of anxiety right now and I find that reaching out to help myself also might end up helping them, too.

My colleague, podcast buddy, and awesome author Lise MacTague and I discuss this on this week’s edition of Lez Geek Out!, our geekly biweekly podcast. We decided to do some processing about the era of COVID-19 and how we’re coping, and that we recognize that there are lots of other people out there in worse straits. We see you. You can find us on iTunes and other platforms, too, like Stitcher. Just look for Lez Geek Out!

Other things I’m doing to cope is trying to stick to a regular work schedule (I’m one of the really fortunate people whose job hasn’t shut down), and trying to stick to a regular chores-around-the-house schedule. We’re doing a lot more cleaning these days, including what I call the morning wipe-down — I use a cloth and a spray bottle with bleach and water and wipe down all the cabinet handles, light fixtures, door knobs, faucets, and counters. And oh, my God, the hand-washing. We’re all being really vigilant about that even though none of us has been anywhere beyond the house and immediate area. We’re taking so many precautions.

Also, I’m now hyper-aware now of how many times people touch their faces during a day. If nothing else, that habit’s getting broken.

So basically, I’m trying to maintain regular schedules, which helps with the whole depression/stress thing that I deal with. And I’m reading a lot and watching some stuff on TV that seems to help with distractions. I also check in with friends, family, and colleagues quite a bit, and just had a great group check-in (online) with work colleagues in which the only rule was not to talk about work and instead talk about what we’re reading, cooking, watching. It was one of the best 30 minutes I’ve had since this shit started. Chatting with Lise for this week’s podcast was also really cool.

Anyway.

How are you?

Leave a comment. Let’s chat. How are you coping? Do you have some good things to share during this bucket of fuck? Good recipes? What are you reading that’s helping you? Or watching/streaming? Any home projects you’ve been able to get to? And what sorts of things are you and your communities doing to help other out? What do you need? What’s on your mind? Let’s try to help each other out.

Hope you’re all safe and that you and yours stay healthy.

2 comments

  1. My wife and I each got a new tattoo right before everything slammed down, which will now be forever linked to this time, and I wonder how the two women artists are doing—they had just opened their own shop, and I wanted to support a lesbian owned place [for our area, it’s unusual].
    –[I was unsuccessful in putting in a picture of baby groot meme ‘yes, let’s get tattoos’ which made this funnier, so I will also add that memes and gifs will often make me smile as little bits of joy]
    I have found that trying to keep it in the moment has risen to a new chokehold version of seeking a balanced perspective of daily life. I go to gratitude a lot, because I know I am really ok, compared to so many others, but I can’t say I constantly live in that space. My wife is home teaching the online versions of lesson plans she had already mapped out until the end of the year, so for her, it was a matter of tweaking things to fit into the confusing program the district is using, and adapting a sensible manner of effort, since it is quite easy to be working at it 10,12,15 hours/day despite the official set hours. Our living space is cozy on good days, and cramped on bad ones, depending on moods. We are grateful we actually like each other, because not everyone is in that reality—trapped like rats… On the flip side, I know some folks who are separated from their partners or loved ones, and this is a tough way to witness to a love during such uncertainty.
    Going to the store represents adventure in many forms: watching people park and scurry like there’s a wild animal under the car; I found the only people who returned a smile were in scrubs, so here’s another shout out for health care workers. [I don’t usually grin like an idiot in public, but I figured people are so scared and anxious, that a little positive expression couldn’t hurt]. I noted how the kid stationed at the entrance had his hand all over his face, nose, mouth while he was waiting to spritz the carts, people’s hands, and who knows what else. Urgh. The little blue x’s on the floor designating ‘safe standing in line distance’ made me smile until I remembered why it was necessary. I watched with growing alarm as my wife picked up a booklet at the register and leafed through it, which wouldn’t even be a thing before life was so sketchy. People were always a bit self-absorbed, but now it is so laden with fear and distrust that it hurts my heart.
    We tend to re-watch films and that has helped some–at once familiar, and escapist; I have been reading an obscene amount of books and letting myself get lost on occasion looking up references to actions or music I find [please google women dance tango until you find ‘Gatica’; you’ll see what I mean]; sometimes when I write, I listen to Agnes Obel,(not necessarily uplifting, but still so pretty); I will also rabbit-hole through youtube clicking on ‘suggested’ music I never heard of –I like a lot more than I don’t, so that has been a great gift. Neither of us are on any social media, so I have renewed contact via email with lots of people, and try every day to reach out to somebody with something funny—doing my part for immune systems near and far. I have set up a written reflection and response series for a small group to replace the cancelled event; the organizers created an online version, but I know that doesn’t speak to everyone [introverts doing the silent wave discreetly]. I have signed up to receive various blog posts, and actually respond at times, ignoring my usual thought that they really didn’t mean for someone to write in, or at least, certainly not like this…

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  2. HI! Thanks for this. I was actually thinking about tattoo shops and artists and trying to figure out ways to help them weather this storm. I’m glad you and your wife are able to be together during this fuckery. And so glad you’re reaching out to others. I’m trying to be better about that, and I find that it’s so rewarding and helps me, too. Yeah, that going-to-the-store thing has so much more meaning now. I have a whole protocol I follow before I unload the groceries. I’ve got older folks at home I need to think about in that regard.

    Anyway, really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

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