I am starting to settle into a new routine for my job, working remotely. Mostly, it’s just a lot of standing by for emails and skypes so I can answer questions I have never answered before and ensure my associates are getting all the updates they need. It’s a little weird not seeing their faces every day.

That said, I am an introvert so part of this experience feels like a dream for me. I have gotten 4 hours of my day back that I never really understood as missing. I spend about 2 hours prepping and getting to work, then about 2 hours late at work and getting home. I actually feel calm…genuine calm. I have never felt this before. I am sleeping about 90 minutes later in the morning and there isn’t really anything I need to do post 5 even though I don’t find staying logged in to be terribly intrusive. That’s now “me” time. More than once I have asked myself ” is it time to write a book already ?”

My hair is in great shape because I take breaks from washing it and it hasn’t seen a curling iron or straightener in about a week. I let it air dry every day too. Plus, no styling products beyond my detangler. It only gets this great in the summer when I frequently air dry and go natural. I honestly love my summer hair….curly and hippie. No makeup which is good for my skin, not that I use a lot, but any break is a good one. Although, tomorrow I have a few video meetings so I may spruce myself up a little better. I am also discovering just how many pairs of jeans don’t fit…like they are so big they need to go into the donation pile. I thought I would eat more being at home but I actually eat less. I haven’t been eating fistfuls of candy or vending machine snacks every day. And that nagging headache I had for the past 3 days was most likely caffeine withdrawal because I’m not buying Coke Zero every afternoon. Not gonna lie…wondered if it was just mild Coronavirus.

I have done 2 loads of laundry, including all my bedding. I even cleaned a toilet. Things I never have the energy for when I get home at night and I sleep a big chunk of the weekend to recover from frantic work weeks. Today, I baked chocolate chip cookies while working and they are the best I have ever made. They even look pretty. I tend to spend a little more time looking for recipes because I now have the patience and time to cook. No one has time for a chicken pot pie when they get home from work at 7:30 and go to bed at 9.

The pet experience is major. Fergus hasn’t had one accident in the house since I have been home. He follows me everywhere which is no different than any other day but there is something soothing about a snoring pug on my lap while I respond to emails. I even find myself more jovial in conversations with my associates. Today, in between their calls, we deconstructed the Jax and Brittany wedding episode from VanDerPump Rules last night. Henry comes and goes. Yesterday, I found him up snuggled up in the t-shirt I left on the bed. Today, I went up and he basically screamed for me to pet him before leaving the room. My biggest concern with the boys is me contracting this virus and passing it onto them. Also, Fergus’ next shot is supposed to be at the vet because I really struggle to do it on my own but I think I am going to have to just learn a better way to do it.

I am starting to think about ways to add online yoga and meditation classes to my days and also have the goal of knocking off one household chore a day. I had that goal when I moved in 10 years ago and it’s never consistently occurred. Now that I have to have the housekeeper take a break for at least this month, I don’t want to be overwhelmed. (I wish I could still lay here because she needs that income but it had to go to groceries instead.)

I got my hair colored last week so I am good for another 5 weeks before having to re-think that but I didn’t get caught up on my pedicure in time and now regret not having prioritized that better. I can do it myself, a luxury I didn’t have when I was 80 pounds heavier. For real, I started needing help putting on shoes with straps and got winded trying to reach my toes. Now it’s just vanity in that it feels good to have a pedicure and I think a foot massage is somewhat necessary for health. Oh yeah, had to cancel my monthly massage….something everyone thinks of as an extravagance but is actually for my health and a prescribed part of my PTSD management. But maybe with people not popping up behind me or following me to my desk unexpectedly all day, my PTSD might become more manageable.

My therapy will now switch to video conference which is fine. Part of me doesn’t even feel like I need it because my life pace just completely dropped and the workplace politics are non existent when we are all on equal video playing field. Everyone is just working together and getting along without feeling forced to compete against each other. We each have our strengths and are able to let them play out for the greater good. I even got a text message the other night from an ex-friend/co-worker asking me if she needed her husband to drop off groceries from time to time. Talk about the melting of the biggest iceberg, like Greenland big. I was so touched and emotional from that conversation I can’t really even talk about it.

I am seeing all the articles about the potential anxiety and depression which can come from being alone. So I will keep the appointment to stay on track. Especially as I have begun having thoughts that go outside this puffy, dreamy, comfy little cloud of existence I am currently living in. It was just last week I had to sedate myself 4 different times.

While I am enjoying this now and am rendering a million benefits, I do get scared this is going to get worse. What is an introvert’s greatest fantasy could very quickly turn dark. It’s already hard to get food and supplies safely. My grocery bill is three times what it normally is each week. And yes, I have a job and am getting paid through all of this but I work for the stock market, I am not dumb enough to think I won’t get laid off at some point during or after this. I am becoming moderately worried about that possibility. With the bills I have, I don’t have enough “extra” to build meaningful savings. And, the one major account I do have is only accessible through my father unless we call the bank together and release that arrangement and provide me with access. When do you have the ” in case you die” during Coronavirus conversation to start transferring accounts? I have thought about it before every surgery and each cancer diagnosis but think it against the spirit in which he adheres which is always to assume business as usual. He doesn’t marinate in worst case scenarios and emergency planning. Hence, why he was still trying to buy bird food yesterday when everyone is quarantining themselves. My sister and I have barely slept in a week worrying about his inability to take this seriously because he’s such an optimist. Apparently the bird food trip got him thinking. Not the state of emergency, the stockpiling of prescriptions, the senior hours at Stop and Shop, not the endless descriptions of the vulnerable community and the lectures to millennials to stay away from them, not the closing of the golf course, not that all his kids were sent to work from home, not that school was canceled for his grandchildren…the bird food trip. See why I need sedatives? This guy has had cancer 4 times and pneumonia with sepsis. He is the very channel 5 description of who should not be out trying to buy bird food.

I am worrying about food scarcity. I am worrying about looting behaviors and the very real possibility it could come to the point of people breaking into my home for food or prescriptions. I have the same worry for my parents and my sister’s family. Probably my brother too….he’s a ” guy”and all but he’s more of the gentler type. His only “weapon” is a golf club. He won the “sportsmanship” award in hockey which basically translated to “you don’t really score any goals, you aren’t the fastest skater but you don’t seem to hit anyone so you are a nice kid” award. That’s kind of an accurate description of his general demeanor.

Obviously, I am worried about getting the illness and now my fear is that I could wind up in an army tent ER or cruise ship set up for medical treatment with any nurse-like TLC being in the arms of the national guard. If I die, I’m just buried in a mass grave in a protective body bag, not with ceremony or with family. I am worried this is going to change our economy drastically and that the way I live will no longer be something I can afford. I worry I could eventually lose my home. I know people will read this and think I am overreacting. Let me tell you something. I didn’t think this illness would get this far in the US. And I worry a lot. I am a little smarter than the average bloke about this shit. I study it. I truly believed we would contain it as we have all the others. I never foresaw this scenario and I typically foresee with a high degree of confidence. I never believed this could happen. Therefore, every time I try to self soothe and tell myself these other scenarios won’t happen, I have a lingering feeling I am being naive….that we are all being naive. Should I have bought more toilet paper when I had the chance? Lysol wipes have been on the grocery list for awhile and I just kept forgetting and telling myself I still had plenty of time. Now I don’t and I look at the half empty canister every day wondering how far I can get each sheet to go. There is an amazon package sitting on my living room chair right now, like a ticking time bomb, because I can’t decide if I should use a sheet to wipe it down knowing there are more shipments coming in addition to groceries on Friday.

Despite the prescription carrier having no problem doing state of emergency overrides for all my prescriptions, there is still one the pharmacy isn’t letting through because it’s a controlled substance and they want the doctor to agree. He already agreed by writing the prescription. He doesn’t care if I get it every 30 days or get 3 months worth right now, just as long as I never miss a dose. I think he’s probably a little busy right now to worry about this dumb red tape. So I have been battling that all week too. I am on 3 different medications which have extreme health impacts if I don’t take them so I don’t want to end up in a hospital for those things. The medical community is kind of pre-occupied and everything they are near is infected. I think they can all get behind preventative measures. So Walgreens needs to figure their shit out because Caremark set it all up for them.

Yeah, I definitely need to keep my therapy appointments.