This is my take on love in the time of Covid a dispatch from day 20 of quarantine. I have been sitting here for over two weeks trying to detangle the wires about the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a strange mixture of normalcy and emergency that I am experiencing. I constantly feel like I am either over or underreacting or really, both, at the same time. The panic and the honeymoon phase of social distancing is over. It is currently midday on April 2nd, and I am living with my teenage girls and husband in the woods of Long Island 24/7. By the time you read this, I think it’s going to be Friday, but I’m writing it from Thursday morning. Currently, it’s 10:14am. I’ve taken a shower, I’ve fired off at least 30 frantic text messages to 6 people. I’ve consumed a slice of banana bread from a loaf I made last week, and set a schedule for the day ahead. If all goes according to plan, I’ll spend the next few hours writing and then go back to the kitchen. But there’s laundry to wash. Boxes to wipe down. Garbage to take out. It never seems to go the way I planned.
Yesterday, and the day before that, I had completed my daily push-up challenge, counted the rolls of toilet paper, and sketched out a recent list of current projects that I would or would not abandon in the coming days. I am overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, about this stupid object that has brought the entire population of earth on its knees. We are in a unconscious tsunami and the only way for me to stay sane is to try to stay on some type of schedule and care for myself in the process.
Love in the Time of Covid, A Dispatch from Day 20 of Quarantine. How to Take Care of Yourself.
The Comfort of Cooking
Day 20. My morning starts with a family text announcing the day’s menu. Always responded to with a thumbs up makes me happy. Creating and preparing meals helps me focus on the task at hand, and not think about the other many distractions to be had. Except when we have run out of ingredients. I challenged my inner Gywnnie and made her vegetarian paella which was a huge hit and lasted for days. My tip? When you sit down for a meal, eat without distractions and let yourself enjoy it.
Move Your Body
It is vital for me to get outside at least once a day to get my heart pumping. What strikes me is the beauty of whatever nature has to offer on that day, and it changes from moment to moment. Come back to your senses. What are you listening to? What do you see? Pay attention to the basics. Except when its pouring rain, then I do one of the myriad of live workouts that are on my feed.
Limit your intake of the news
Put a boundary on how often you listen to the news. Once a day is enough. We are living in a heightened sense of trauma and we need to nourish ourselves instead of feeding into it. I have been tuning into Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing to get my truth.
Should we stop shopping?
One the one hand, I want to write about fashion and style, considering that is my livelihood and what I know. We are all working from home, and I wrote about fashion-forward loungewear since online conference calls via Zoom and have become the new undeniable reality. At least from the waist up. On the other hand, the argument is that by shopping online for non-essentials, it’s potentially putting the warehouse and delivery workers at risk. But on the flip side, retailers insist they’re doing what they can to make everything as safe and sanitary as possible. And if they close their fulfillment centers, the businesses are in danger of shuttering, which will put the staff out of jobs. So, there is the quandary. A compromise then, is the independents. There are some I really love. Like Les Tien, and Tiina the Store, a friend and local designer here in Long Island. Jeweller Aurate and knitwear brand I love Mr. Mittens are two young brands that can’t really afford to close their businesses and keep paying their staff. I love this link for #Supportboutiques on Matches Fashion, which supports all small boutiques. I won’t stop posting what I love and what I am passionate about.
Love Thyself in The Time of Covid
It doesn’t matter what your outlet is. My husband is puzzling, my younger daughter is music mixing, and my eldest works full time, 8:30-6pm, sneaking a few Tik-Tok videos in between. We are constantly looking to find ways to help the community at large by donating time, money, and meals to others in need.
I needed these meditative activities to calm my pandemic-addled mind. But they were not enough. My mind needs the mental stimulation that only writing can provide. I can’t give myself any excuses for not doing it as I sit here in my sweats. Crises can release so many emotions. I can still hear myself saying What will I write about today?
It is here where I find myself trying to navigate a new sort of wild west and cling to whatever ray of certainty or perspective or relief I can hold onto. Even if it means watching Jake Gyllenhaal do a headstand.
I can’t promise that this story will improve your life, but sharing the trivial moments of my daily right here just might make you smile. Or not. And that is all I can ask for now.
Btw, this show is fucking crazy.
Stay safe everyone!