While the coronavirus rages on, I’ll be at home.
For the past week, save for one trip for gas, I’ve been staying home. My wife, terrified by the coronavirus, has been stocking up on food. We can eat food, not toilet paper. Besides, we use bidets. I went to work for a couple of days some time ago, I can’t remember exactly when now. I just know that I’ve been here and only here at my house for a while now.
During the pandemic, I don’t meet with friends. I don’t drink so I don’t go to bars. I don’t go out unless there is a compelling reason to do so. And if I go for a walk, I walk with my family or I walk alone. No mingling with others while I’m out. Social distancing is easier if you’re an introvert.
If we receive something we bought online, we are circumspect about how we handle the products. We wash our hands when we’re done opening the boxes. We wash our hands before we eat. We wipe down the handles on the carts when we do go out to shop. But lately, it’s only been my wife shopping while I stay home with the kids.
I’ve been reading the reports and it looks pretty grim. This virus is a killer. One report I found said that if the effects of the virus were unmitigated, that is, if we did nothing, they estimate 2.2 million Americans would perish. That is some really scary shit. Before this became a pandemic, I had booked a flight to see my brother. Without flight protection, that money is lost. I’m not bothered by that. I’d rather see my mom and my brother live through this than to go out and risk it.
I’ve been saved by the company I work for. I can work from home. I have a solid gigabit internet connection with a 10TB “data cap”. The network speed over the internet is the same as the speed at work, 1Gb/s. My connection to work is about as good as working at the office. So less money for gas, less wear and tear on the car, no commute to stress out over. As long as I keep doing what I do and do it well, I keep my job.
Yesterday, we had a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. We were only a couple miles from the epicenter, too. It was a gentle roller, but unnerving still the same. The house still stands. But throughout the day, we had many aftershocks, 2 or 3 of them we could all feel, too. One came as I was working remotely with a customer. My kids were spooked, but I’m a California native. I’m used to this. I was the calm one throughout.
I’m a bit stoic. When other people are panicking, I’m the one with the calm look of bewilderment, checking things out, taking it all in, figuring out what to do next. I’ve been in very stressful situations before and have tried the other way. The other way, the panic way, leads to loss of logic, loss of vision and potentially, loss of life, limb or liberty. So I keep it down. I feel the fear, sure. But I have trained myself to feel it, notice it, let it pass, and then decide what to do.
My wife moved the cars out of the garage. Just like all of our neighbors did. After work, I just hung out with the kids. I called a friend. I read the news about the earthquake. I’m hard of hearing, so my primary modality, my preferential channel for learning, is sight. So I read to get my news. I found a website that mapped the quakes and logged them. I know where we stand now.
So I could be in a panic about the virus, or I could just research it, find the best practices that are being continually updated every day, and follow them. That’s what I’m doing. Staying inside. Staying close to my kids. I’m helping my kids do their school work. I’m making myself available to help my wife when she needs help or she just needs to talk. I’m here. I let my family stand on my shoulders. I’m always available for a hug, holding hands, and for the kids to show me what they just found. My elder daughter even surprised me by telling me what an earthquake is. I didn’t know she knew that.
My home is my sanctuary, regardless of whether or not there is a pandemic in progress. Here I will be, working, helping, sharing, being. I have enough for today, and I let that be. I know that the universe will provide for me. I must be enough for the universe.