Subtle, Significant, Side Effects of COVID-19

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There’s a weirdness, almost surreal feel, to how I have been living my life this past week.

Given the nature of ‘what I do’ for a living, my actual daily activities have not altered much in spite of the coronavirus. I work from home. I work alone or with someone via Zoom (no physical contact). I exercise in my home gym with a virtual Peloton trainer (who doesn’t spray any bodily fluids on me). I pet and cuddle my kitties from whom I have not had to social distance. Apparently, my somewhat reclusive life is perfectly set-up for highly contagious pandemic outbreaks. 

While, the day to day trappings of my everyday ‘looked’ the same; they didn’t ‘feel’ the same. There was the requisite grocery run; eerily creepy in its busy, crowded, yet quiet throngs; half-empty shelves reminiscent of cold war photography from Russia; and longer than normal eye contact with fellow humans – punctuated by a knowing glance or half-attempt at light humor at our plight. I usually hate the grocery store. I plan my visits at off hours, during the work day. I have the luxury, since I work from home. This past week it didn’t matter the time; the crowds could not be avoided.

But, it ‘felt’ different to me . I didn’t mind navigating around the standstill, not quite off to the side, shopping cart; the waiting my turn to reach the sweet potatoes; nor the standing in a 15 deep line with other uncertain, anxious shoppers. Did we buy the right things? Did we buy enough? Too much? 

Then as strange as that interaction had been; I was once again alone working until my family arrived from their day. Or at least that’s the way it was LAST week. This week brings along a whole new challenge. My son’s school is closed. My boyfriend’s company has mandated a ‘work from home’ policy until further notice.

What does it mean when a family dynamic is turned upside down?

As if the fear of getting sick is not enough, what about having three independent, self-driven persons, on lock-down together – for an undetermined amount of time; to boot? This is happening to many of us; the normal, well-known, routine of daily living turned upside down. Being made to stay home with little to no options in the outside world – museums closed, concerts cancelled, weekend getaways postponed, is going to bring with it its own challenges and wreak its own havoc. 

Funny, Not Funny…..

  •  How big of a birth boom will we see in about 40 weeks? Will there be an army of extra Sagittarii at the end of the year; conceived while their parents were supposed to be working from home?
  • Will the divorce rate be elevated as well? China is experiencing a significant spike in divorces after their coronavirus self-isolation. According to the register offices, it’s because ‘couples are spending too much time together at home’.
  • How many extra bottles of wine will be consumed; especially by mom’s of elementary-aged children ( I used to be one)? Coronavirus stockpiling is for real and it is NOT limited to paper nor sanitizer products. Drizly, an alcohol delivery service had its largest day EVER for sales this past Thursday, March 12th.
The obvious threat of this pandemic, death, is real and forefront in our minds. But, we’d be foolish to ignore the more obscure, long-term effects that come from such a fundamental shift in our daily lives.

So, are we all doomed to add to the family (if we are still fertile), end our long-term relationships, and/or become alcoholics?

Clearly the Answer is NO. Right?

I know that in my home there will be a ‘meeting of the minds’. I propose a strategy session where we negotiate terms of engagement in this new uncharted land of close quarters. Or, in my opinion, in the ‘Take My Son and Boyfriend to Work’ month. How much weirder and surreal is it going to get is anyone’s guess.