We went to the office. I had a meeting. We heard about a possibility that there were cases on the rise, chatter on social media. Might be a quarantine. We decided to stock up on some basic grocery items at the nearby mall. The queues were already long, but it was okay. We didn’t want to hoard stuff – and anyway, there was no more Lysol on the shelves. We had a nice dinner at Mary Grace.
No face-to-face classes, the university said. Start planning for online classes. Thankful that I run a blended classroom anyway. Told my class representatives to inform their classmates. Wrote so many emails that they could be easily compiled into a short story anthology. Hoped that it would end by next week.
A series of badly-organized announcements from the national government. (Unsurprising, but really unwelcome at this point.) More cases, fast. More problems. No solutions. We start looking at each other, and looking at the pantry. We decide to do more groceries. Some places were out of chicken.
(I spiral into panic. My brain refuses to work. I cry to YouTube videos of Les Miserables.)
We realize we have a nearby butcher shop. We do a quick pick-up of meats and vegetables. A bit more expensive than the supermarket, but we saw the long lines and the empty shelves over there, the assholes buying too much toilet paper and isopropyl alcohol. We decide to have a celebratory dinner out – probably the last one we were going to have for awhile. We visit a neighborhood restaurant. We were the only ones there for most of the night. The food was still very good.
We learn new terms: “flatten the curve” and “social distancing” and we wonder if language can still accommodate all of these thoughts circling in our heads.
I learn that I can order wine from a delivery app. I promptly order two bottles. They arrive the next day.
We place orders for groceries to be delivered next week. The delivery is (still) delayed.
I realize, between the various individual experiences that my siblings and I are having, that it is difficult to raise parents.
The university declares no classes. My brain is suddenly freed up.
I work on things that I’ve been putting off. I’m very lucky to still be kept busy so that I don’t spiral once more.
I start picking up books again. I haven’t read anything that was not for work in months.
I try to maintain a certain distance from social media. Repost important information from verifiable sources. Retweet what seems to be important statements or bits of information. Try to step away from the rabble. (Remember what happened in 2016? I’m still recovering from that. Baby steps.)
Donate wherever I can, especially to the vulnerable and the weak.