Wife had symptoms at the beginning of the week, felt bad enough to get tested by the end of the week, and last night got her positive diagnosis. Meanwhile, I started feeling … ehh, not great about on Friday, and that’s developed into full-on yuckiness by today.
I got my nostrils roto-rootered out this morning, but that feels like a formality at this point. We have the bug.
And the big surprise about it is not that we have it, but rather how long it took for us to get it. Wife and I both work in schools, which — here in the South — have taken a bit more of a “we’ll take our chances” approach than schools in other parts of the country. Masks are optional. Social distancing is enforced “where possible”, etc.
But we — my wife and I — have tried a little harder than most, I think, to keep ourselves and others around us safe. And now we are forced (by our own sense of conscience more than anything else) to grapple with some tough questions. Who did we see in the past week? Where did we go? Did we really need to do those things? How many people might we have exposed, and how much responsibility do we bear?
This is a lot to think about, and for anxious sorts (like my wife and I — more so my wife than I but I, too), it snowballs pretty quick. So now we’re sitting at home with some unexpected days off, feeling gross because of this bug (though none of us, thankfully, are having any serious symptoms), but also feeling gross out of guilt and worry.
A plague on our house.
I’d love to bring something creative or insightful out of this, but I’m too cloudy-headed to think clearly about it.
Weekends just aren’t recharging my batteries like they used to.
Is that 40, or is that COVID?
I guess there’s no reason it can’t be both.
I just feel so tired.
And it’s only Tuesday.
I did run this morning, so there’s that.
And I wrote more on the play as well, so there’s that too.
But man. Weariness in the bones.
I know I’m not the only one, but it feels that way sometimes. The world is so determined to be back to normal even though it clearly isn’t normal again yet, not by any stretch.
I worked the early morning shift for a few years, starting my shift at 4 and 5 in the morning, and the oddest thing about that job was the way it made me feel out of phase with the rest of the world. I’d go to sleep at 7 or 8 PM to wake up by 3, arriving at work in the dead of night, leaving to go home just when the rest of the world was hitting its stride before lunchtime.
(Among other things, this job taught me the skill that all Dads learn somewhere along the line — the ability to fall asleep at almost any time or any place when the situation allows for it. Yes, napping is a skill. No, it cannot be taught, only honed through necessity and sheer force of will.)
This — these COVID times — feels like that, only instead of being out of sync chronologically with everybody else, I feel out of sync emotionally, or maybe psychologically. But just like being de-synced chronologically, it has me tired all the time.
And man, I try to be upbeat and think about solutions to problems when I write here but … the solutions just aren’t coming for this one.
Oh well. Another sip of tea, a few more words on the page, a few more miles to run in the morning.
Within the last 8 hours at work, I’ve had no less than two major long-term projects fall apart with no discernible way forward.
I’m not surprised, because everything is terrible in 2020, and to be fair, I was kind of expecting one or both of the projects to come apart at some point. COVID gonna COVID, after all. But I wasn’t expecting to get hit with both in the space of just a few hours. That’s a gut-punch.
Sort of makes me wonder what the last few months have been all about, makes me feel aimless, useless, powerless.
It’ll pass, I’m sure. But not a great look for the start of the week.
This morning I mused that we should just rename Monday to “BS”. (The full word, of course, not the two-letter-euphemism.) Not BS-day, just BS. “That meeting? I think it’s scheduled for BS.” “Weekend’s over, time for some more BS.”
I did not particularly intend to be prophetic, but the world is funny like that sometimes.
Oh, and let’s not forget my beloved-and-behated Atlanta Falcons play tonight, so more pain is in the offering!
So you know how you can sort of measure how old you are — what generation you belong to — by the first national crisis you remember? (For me, it’s the Challenger explosion — I believe I was six at the time).
Teachers play a similar game, except we do it with our students. For example, it was a rough day for me when I realized that I am no longer teaching anybody who was alive when 9/11 happened. My students these days had not been born yet — weren’t a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, even.
Which had me thinking … well … where’s their first crisis moment coming? These things roll around generationally, so one seems due.
And it hit me. COVID is their crisis moment. It just doesn’t feel like one.
Think of your moment. It’s just that, a moment. The Challenger going up in two pillars of smoke in the atmosphere. The Twin Towers coming down. The carnage at the Boston Marathon. (Smaller scale, but still nationally covered.) Lots of souls, tragically snuffed out in an instant.
With COVID, you can’t point to that moment. You don’t have that strong sense of memory burned into your brain, that piece of you that somehow always remembers I was sitting in the classroom, three rows back, when the teacher rolled the TV into the room and turned it on… Because COVID has been going for months. There is no moment.
But make no mistake. This is the moment.
Here in the ‘States we’re knocking on the door of 200,000 people dead from this thing. (Unofficial numbers are certainly staggeringly higher.)
Roughly 3,000 people died on 9/11.
COVID has given us as many deaths as sixty-six 9/11s, and it’s far from finished. Put another way, it’s giving us roughly one more 9/11 every 3-5 days.
A 9/11-level loss of life every few days.
How could COVID not be this generation’s crisis moment?
And we still have people in our country pretending it’s no big deal.