Friends, I live in Los Angeles, so right now I’m under a stay at home order. 2020 is a trip, man.
I’m in the rare category of people that so far are doing pretty good under the directive to stay home, not go out unless for essential trips, and basically live alone and not physically be around other people. This isn’t a humblebrag, I promise you. I think a few things have equipped me for this surreal moment in history.
One, I work from home, daily, and have for the past two years and am used to solitude/engaging with people via chat or Slack to get my socialization fix.
Two, I’ve disengaged from my surroundings over the course of the last 6 months because I have plans to move out of the state in early May (I mean, fingers crossed) so my community and social range had gotten smaller, naturally, as I started to say goodbye to LA.
Three, after traveling between two major airports in early March, and visiting my new home city, I developed “the symptoms” once I got home, about 5 days later. Now, I couldn’t get tested but my Dr. (consultation happened over the phone) told me that I didn’t not have it, so that was fun. His directive was as long as I was breathing OK, stay home and get better. I’m almost a week and a half into this, and I can breathe fine (the dry cough is annoying and comes and goes) and I’ve gotten progressively better since Monday, so that’s good!
Five, I also lost my contract on Monday, which was 95 percent of how I pay my bills and live, so the economic hit has already come for me, too. There’s no more uncertainty there. I know the s*it I’m in, which is somehow better than being stressed about what’s to come. It’s already come for me.
Basically, the ax over our heads (health and economy) swung down on me already —I (believe) I got the virus already, and the economy already f*cked me. The only thing to worry about are my friends and family— and my mom, who I was most worried about during all this, already has symptoms, too (she’s doing OK. Can’t get a test, though…) We do daily check-ins about our symptoms and then go about our day.
For me, now, my job (lol, my only job, save for Pajiba!) is to just stay home and make sure I don’t interact with anyone else, so that if I do have it, I don’t spread it, and on the chance I didn’t get it, I don’t catch it and spread it further. I’m a goal-orientated person who is also hypercompetitive, so I’ve made social distancing and the stay-at-home order into a personal challenge. How well can I nail this whole thing? I’ve started Lysol-ing my doorknob daily. I also disinfect all my recycling so that the people who go through our bins don’t catch it from me. I’m making sure I’m washing my hands thoroughly for the recommended 20 seconds, and until the 2-week mark has passed on developing my symptoms, I only leave the house to let my dog out. No outdoor walks for me. (Which is fine because like I said, I still get winded if I exert myself too much.)
Last night, I sat on my couch for 4 solid hours while I played the very dumb matching game I love (Matchington Mansion. I’m up to past level 1600) while I streamed Hoarders in the background (I have a theory one of the therapists and one of the lead cleaners have definitely hooked up in the past and I like to look for clues during their eps.) I’ve also been compulsively watching the Twilight Saga, more so than usual, and you know what? That really, really helps because it’s familiar and deeply stupid, the perfect combination right now. If you had told me 12 years ago, when the first movie came out, that in 2020 35-year old me would find great comfort in a low-stakes, profoundly dumb franchise where basically everything is phoned in especially the wigs and vampire makeup, 23-year old me probably would have stared blankly at you and then insisted we go get margaritas at the bar that did an awesome salt foam on top because 23-year old Kate liked to party, but she was OK. Basically, when the world is falling apart around you (hopefully to reform itself into something better) you gotta do what you gotta do—and if that means having Twilight on an infinite loop because there’s always something new and stupid to notice and laugh at (like the robot baby in the header, which sadly never made it into the 5th and final movie?) Well, friends, so be it. There’s no judgment here.
So I ask you, because I care (and not because I want to discuss my theory on the Hoarders hook-up “couple” which would be irresponsible to post here, but would like to see if anyone else picked up on the vibe in the comments…) how are you coping, and what are you doing to get through this?
Hang in there everyone!
Header Image Source: Summit/YouTube