While we’re all handling the self-imposed (or forced) quarantines in our own ways – hopefully by keeping our distance from others and doing all we can to flatten the curve of despair – the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is wreaking havoc on our routine lives.
Tragically, many people are affected in ways beyond imaginable, but for many of us, this virus means the same things:
It means adjustment as we figure out how to work from home, tutor our kids, and come to terms with not being able to go to Target on a daily basis.
It means inconvenience as we have to cancel appointments, reschedule meetings, and clean out the damn fridge and pantry to make room for all the provisions.
It means compassion as we help those who are unable to help themselves, lend an ear to those around us who are feeling anxious, and restrain ourselves from Internet shaming the people who are still meeting up with friends.
It means worry about how much worse it will get in the coming weeks, if you’ve somehow already contracted it, and how the hell your roots are gonna get touched up before May.
It means patience to wait out the recommended quarantine time, with the people who don’t seem to understand the severity of the situation, and with the family members you’re cooped up with who are already on your last damn nerve.
It means disappointment that the trip you’ve been looking forward to for months was canceled, that the sports you love have ended, and that you didn’t buy more Girl Scout cookies last month.
It means flexibility to conduct online work meetings, to work out online instead of at the gym, and to eat baked Lays instead of real Lays because those are the only chips the store had left.
It means creativity to restart an old hobby, brainstorm indoor crafts and activities for your kids, and invent new cocktail recipes using up all the fruit in your fridge that’s going bad.
It means hassle to juggle finances, try to get refunds from canceled trips and events, and figure out how to keep your kids from killing each other.
It means wisdom as we educate ourselves on this virus, learn how to stop the spread, and spend hours learning ridiculous TikTok dances.
It means guilt from feeling glad you don’t have to see most of the idiots you work with in person for awhile, from grabbing one more package of toilet paper than you needed last week, and from the three pints of Ben & Jerry’s you’ve already mowed through.
It means gratitude for the tireless workers and helpers who are going above and beyond and putting themselves at risk on a daily basis, for those around you who are taking this seriously, and that your favorite Cabernet was still in stock.
It means sadness when you read the profiles of those who have died, see heartbreaking photos of the elderly who are suffering, and reach the bottom of the Cheeto bag.
It means hope that this nightmare will soon be over, that we all continue to lift up and support one another through it, and that everyone in your house is still speaking to each other by May.
And above all, keep a sense of humor.
You’ve got this.