dispatches from the end of the world

hello! are you still alive? good job!

it’s a weird time to be alive. emails about coronavirus are annoying. emails that aren’t about coronavirus seem tone-deaf. we got an inch of snow yesterday, in March. THE WORLD IS ENDING! everything is fine! i go back and forth several times an hour.

words, as always, are powerful. being concerned about coronavirus is either “freaking out” or “taking it seriously,” depending who you ask. being unconcerned is a luxury:

[T]he theory that this isn’t serious, the idea that other people are succumbing to a panic you’re way too cool to get wrapped up in, that’s not interesting, or thoughtful, or contrarian. It’s just cruel.

i already have hermit-like tendencies, but when it’s externally mandated, staying home alone suddenly feels isolated and empty and apocalyptic. then at Safeway, everything seems normal (ignoring the gaping holes on the shelves in the cleaning aisle). so much alone-ness seems like a golden opportunity to get in shape, like movie montages of the main character (wrongly imprisoned, of course) doing pushups in her cell. when in reality, i drink wine and lie on the couch, half-watching Bones and working on the same rag rug i’ve been working on for ages. so basically nothing has changed.

it’s times like these i’m oddly glad to not work in media anymore, not be a slave to clicks, not have to spin literally every topic into how it relates to coronavirus. (The 10 Best Nail Polish Shades For When You’re Involuntarily Working From Home! Affiliate Links May Give Us a Small Percent of Your Purchase!) it also reminds me of how privileged and fortunate i am to have a job where working from home is no big deal, unlike my cousin and her boyfriend, who work for school districts. will service-industry folks get fired? how many restaurants will have to fold? will this thing fuck up the global economy for years?! the panic starts again.

then i breathe, and make more tea, and look at my cat lying unconcerned in the sunshine. maybe i’ll go for a walk today. maybe i’ll tackle my stack of library books (another silver lining: no late fees indefinitely!). all we can do is wash our hands, try to stay calm, and help each other out (from three feet away, obvs). oh yeah, and vote for someone in November who ISN’T a willfully ignorant, unresponsive asshole grossly mismanaging the situation.

we’ll get through this. most of us. hopefully.

6 thoughts on “dispatches from the end of the world

  1. ¡Hola! I haven’t written a comment in way too long, even though I read all of your posts and often want to say something in response, if only hello. Glad you can work from home. Hope you don’t go stir crazy! Keep flattening that curve. It’s what we’re trying to do in B.C., where case numbers are low even though we were among the first places to get hit outside of China.

    1. Véronique!!! So good to hear from you! Thanks for saying hello and for the encouragement. Glad to hear numbers are low there. Take good care and stay healthy!! Big hugs to you and Sweetie 🙂

  2. As someone that was tasked with crafting a brand response, the annoying-tone deaf binary such emails must navigate hits v. close 2 home. Glad to hear you’re hanging tough and with sense of humor/wit largely intact.

  3. The mind definitely has definitely raced to some bleak timelines … but I’m usually able to reign it back in. I have a modest firewall, stable living sitch and what appears to be job security (email & social for ecommerce sites in the bike space) so I should be good and aside from the weekly supermarket dash, I’m able to limit any potential exposure. Do you still have your kitteh?

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