6 Months Gone (A Pandemic Update)

Posted on Sep 14, 2020 in Rambles | 2 comments

Yes, I’m actually here & writing something. And yes, this is your reminder that it’s been 6 WHOLE MONTHS since everything just stopped. How are you doing? Hanging in there? Let me tell ya a thing or two going on in my head…

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Pandemics last HOW long?

As of last Sunday, it’s officially been 6 months of this pandemic affecting us here in California. I am getting specific for that reason because I know it’s been different lengths of time in different parts of the country, and very different in different parts of the world. We can all agree that the world is different, and we can’t wait for it to get back to normal. But what will this new normal be? What will we have lost? What will we have gained? The uncertainty of this situation is even more unnerving than the usual uncertainty of life. The last day I went in to the office was Friday, March 13th (ironic), and I believe Alameda County officially ordered the shelter-in-place on March 13th or 14th. That means it’s been at least 6 months since I:

March 2020
  • Got up in the morning to drive in to work
  • Got a hair cut
  • Went out to lunch
  • Saw my boss or any of my coworkers in the flesh
  • Went to a movie
  • Left work in the evening to drive home
  • Browsed in any kind of store or shop
  • Ate a meal inside a restaurant
  • Saw most of my friends in person
  • Didn’t have to carry a mask with me

I’ve been lucky in that I do have a small social bubble that I have continued to see, and I’m married and live with my husband, so I’m not super socially isolated. I can only imagine how trying this is on single people who live alone. I’m also lucky in that I have a job that easily transitioned to working from home and the hubs & my bro both work at jobs that were deemed essential, so other than some shortened hours back in April, they’re working as normal too. So financially we’ve dodged a bullet. Health wise too, since they’re still coming into contact with random people (albeit while masked) and none of us have caught the ‘rona. We also rolled the dice in August and decided to drive up to Oregon, where they’re not as locked down with businesses as they are here in the Bay Area, for my sister-in-law’s wedding. We braved the masked world and I got my eyebrows waxed and a pedicure while the hubs got himself a haircut. So overall we’re very fortunate, a lot of people are hurting worse. While that empathy is contributing to my state of mind, I do feel like my thoughts are insignificant in comparison to someone who was furloughed and can’t pay rent or bills or for food. But without comparison, it’s not easy to exist right now.

Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?

Things are so surreal. Time is moving SO fast, and yet, standing still. How is it already freakin’ mid-September? It was JUST March! I go out once per week to see my friends in my small social bubble. That’s really it. We get Instacart groceries (which, I was getting pre-shutdown) and a lot of food delivery. Our company decided that, since we were going to be looking to move office space sometime this year anyway, we’d close the office and everyone will work from home through at least next spring. So I went in to get my equipment in July to see the March calendar and realize things just stopped. We had St. Patrick’s Day decor up still.

Halloween Scream Painting

With the exception of the pedicure and family wedding in August, I went out for the first time yesterday to actually *gasp* eat at a restaurant or *clutches pearls* sit in a room with strangers for 2 hours. We did the new outdoor dining option at our favorite fondue restaurant (though their menu was pared down) and then a sip & paint class that was originally supposed to be outside under tents, but moved inside due to low enough attendance and poor air quality outside. It was a little surreal. I felt uncomfortable and out of place, somewhat randomly, while we were out. It wasn’t the whole time, but it was there, like a flinch of panic. It did feel good to just be a little normal and have plans outside of the house or my friends’ house, but I was also constantly reminded by everyone’s masks that things aren’t yet back to normal.

That mental health, tho…

It’s not super great. A lot of times, I feel very helpless and hopeless, kind of like that painting. It’s piled up… first the pandemic, then gross politics, then more ugly systemic racism, a fight for change, riots, protests, MORE unnecessary deaths, murder hornets (okay those turned out to be nothing, but it’s fun to write), and now wildfires burning over what feels like most of the West Coast, making our air unhealthy and our skies an apocalyptic orange. It’s like we’re living in the opening of The Wizard of Oz, everything is sepia toned. My featured photo here doesn’t really it do it justice to just how ORANGE it was here on September 9th, but I’m sure if you’ve opened Facebook or watched the news, you’ve seen it.

Orange Haze

When I went back in to working in an office in 2017 almost nearly 10 years of working from home, I realized that I’d been isolating myself without knowing it. It’s easy to get lazy about making sure your clothes are clean and presentable, skipping a shower because who cares, deciding to just stay in instead of going out, and being late going places because you forget how long it takes to get anywhere. I was guilty. So I tried to actively get back out into the world, meet new people, and it’s worked. Since March however, I feel myself sliding backwards, without much I can do about it.

Every week seems to both crawl through a dream like existence where I’m periodically relaxed and fine and then clenching my teeth and trying not to worry about everything falling apart. I know, in my rational brain, that things will get back to some semblance of normal. But when? The uncertainty is messing with me, and it’s taking away all my hope that anything will ever be alright again.

Then just like that, I take a breath and I’m fine. It’s a roller coaster. And I don’t like roller coasters.

My new cool quarantine hobby

I’ve learned to make masks. So I’ve been making those and selling them cheap (basically just covering materials cost) to friends & family. It’s no empire, but it’s something. I’ve been trying to do things that are somewhat rote and keep me calm. I took up those diamond paintings for awhile but I haven’t done one in a couple months. I’ve recently been using color-by-number apps to turn my brain off. I bought myself the newer Cricut Maker for Christmas and it’s still in the box because I just haven’t had the focus or energy to mess with it (sorry Jen Goode, I know you’re disappointed in me for doing this AGAIN). I think coming up on Christmas I have a bunch of ideas for gifts and such so I may finally bust it out. Oh and I’ve been doing my nails.

2020 Bathroom Meme

Sooooo how’re you? That’s all I can muster right now. But I did it. I haven’t written anything here in a long time. Is anyone even still here? Let me know in the comments – do you want to see the masks or diamond paintings or my nails I’ve worked on in quarantine? Do you want to hear more about… well anything? Sound off.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Tim Morrill

    It’s been a weird time and I’ve found myself being forced to pivot into exploring other interests because of the shelter in place. Would love to see some the projects you’ve been working on!

  2. Liz G

    Thx for posting Trisha, keep writing! Love the bathroom analogy. Too true.