If the blogs I’m reading are anything to go by, coronavirus is throwing us all for a loop.  It’s not just the cancelled vacations that I and my fellow travel bloggers (and perhaps you) are enduring.  As the rug of normalcy is being collectively pulled out from under us, plans are thrown into disarray and chaos abounds.  Since misery loves company, I invite you to satisfy any schadenfreude tendencies you may have with some of my personal COVID-related crises and how I’m coping struggling to cope.*

*This post is in no way intended to make light of this increasingly dire situation; only to provide some levity, because if we can’t laugh, we are doomed.

Crisis #1: This feels surreal!  Wait!  Is this really happening?!  This can’t really be happening!

Coping method: Watch the movie Contagion, a flick I saw many years ago, but have a sudden, urgent, twisted need to see again.  The following weekend, announce that I need to stream the movie Outbreak.  The weekend after that, start watching the Netflix documentary Pandemic.  Learn to ignore strange looks from the husband for my new, morbid viewing habits.

Crisis #2: I have to teach from home!  I now must rely utterly on technology – my mortal enemy – to get my job done! What about my need to run in a panic to our tech person or a more tech-savvy teaching colleague (they all are) and beg for help, a regular drama that played out at least once a week during the olden days of teaching in a bricks-n-mortar school?!

Coping method: Allow myself a good old-fashioned meltdown (the first of many, I’m sure) to vent the frustration that quickly builds when I can figure out how to create a real time Google Meet meeting, but can IN NO WAY figure out how to schedule a future Google Meet meeting.  Force myself to think about all the positives of working from home – something I’ve often longed for but never dreamed would happen to me as a teacher: no half-hour commute twice a day, no onerous packing of my lunch bag every night when I just wanna go to bed, no figuring out what to wear, no fussing with makeup.  Being able to see my bunny and the husband whenever I want.  These are a few of my (new) favorite things.

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Mommy’s home all the time now – yay!!

Crisis #3: The gym has closed!

Coping method: Allow myself to fall prey to the insidious infomercial that’s telling me “Beachbody on Demand is now free for two weeks!”  (With 3-month subscription, I later discover when I go online to investigate.)  Calculate that I’ve already kickboxed my way through every Tae Bo video I have (and I have a lot) a hundred times, and reason that a 3-month Beachbody membership, while probably falling short of giving me the actual beach body I desire (because of all the eating), will go a long way toward staving off the boredom of spending every morning sparring with Billy Blanks (who, annoyingly, loves to stop the music and the workout to give long “inspirational” monologues to the camera).  Also, the $35 subscription is a drop in the bucket compared to the money we’ll be saving on our temporarily cancelled gym membership. (See #4)

Crisis #4: Uncertainty!  I hate uncertainty!  My life is so uncertain right now!  Gimme some control!

Coping method: Take some deep breaths and take note of the silver linings:  Think of all the money we’re going to save.  All the gas!  The environment is getting a serious breather!  I have a legitimate excuse to postpone my annual eye appointment (I have a deep, deep aversion to anything to do with eyeballs.)  Best of all, I can combine puppy dog eyes with “Honey, we need to support local businesses” to ensure I get takeout more often.

Crisis #5: Crap!  So many friends and loved ones are in the high risk category!  If anything happens to the husband’s family in England, there’s no way we can get over there!  And COVID-19’s affecting men much more!  The husband is a man! (Strictly speaking.)

Coping method: Regularly wake up between 2:00-3:00 a.m.  Toss.  Turn.  Toss.  Turn.  Toss.  Turn.

Crisis #6: We have to stay at home!

Coping method: Not needed.  As a homebody/introvert, it’s kinda what I do anyway.  Honestly, this isn’t a big deal for me (at least in the short term), except when it comes to Crisis #7… and 8.

Crisis #7: My long-awaited, much needed solo spring break trip to Sedona is kaput!

Coping method: Avoid cancelling until as late as possible, hoping a miracle cure might soon be found like in the movie Contagion.  When I finally concede that this is a pipe dream and force myself to cancel, remind myself that I’m luckier than many: I’m going to get all my money back.  Try not to feel resentful about how nearly everyone else can reschedule whenever this nightmare ends, while I’m shackled to the school year calendar.

Crisis #8: There’s a chance our summertime Spain-Andorra-France trip will go the way of the dodo bird!

Coping method: Stick my head in the sand (metaphorically – we don’t really have sand in the Midwest) like that other bird, the ostrich, telling myself that’s a problem for “future me” while secretly resurrecting hope for a miracle cure.

Crisis #9: They’re probably going to cancel the Olympics!  I planned my whole (probably now defunct) summer vacation so that I could be home in time for the Olympics!  What about binge watching gymnastics?!

Coping method: None!  During the last summer Olympics I was in a wifi-less campground in Leadville, Colorado.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Leadville.  I love that campground.  But I did not love missing most of the Olympics.  I vowed, then and there: In four years, we will NOT be traveling during the Olympics.  Now – poof!  It’ll likely be gone.  And I don’t just feel bad for myself – think of those poor athletes!  All those hours of training.  All that sacrifice.  All those dreams down the drain…*

*Just before hitting publish, I learned that the Olympics is being postponed until 2021.

Curse you coronavirus!  I hate you!


 

29 thoughts

  1. Wow, I think we’re kindred spirits. Low tech, hermit so don’t really care if I have to stay in the house but mad really mad about no travel. I like your coping methods. Will take good advice. Your bunny is adoreable!

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  2. Great post!! I think you hit it all!! #4 and #5 are my big ones!! No control, not knowing, waiting for something but not knowing what! Worried about friends and family. Husband is 60 and a surgeon so he has a high chance of being exposed. Many of my friends are in the medical field so I worry about them!!!! Ughhhhh plus time on my hands gives me more time to worry!! Don’t like cancelled trips, can’t go visit our kids!!! It seems like a lot but then I have to remember to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have. I like your coping methods!!!! I think I’m going to have to write myself a list!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! Having loved ones in healthcare is definitely worrisome, especially if they’re older. I can’t believe I’m saying this, after what I wrote in the post about technology, but thank goodness for technology (in the sense that we can virtually visit with loved ones at least).

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  3. Great post and fantastic coping methods! Uncertainty in the current situation is what gets me every time I read the news updates, everything is on pause and there’s nothing really we can look forward to! Just to sit and wait for when the pandemic crisis are over and no one knows when it’s going to happen. Hang in there, guys, we are all in the same boat. Supporting and in your case, humouring your fellow bloggers is all we can do right now. Thanks for sharing and stay safe 😊 Aiva

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    1. Thanks Aiva. Not sure I love the “wake up in the wee hours and toss and turn” coping method, but I don’t seem to have a choice in the matter. 🙂

      Yes, all the waiting around stinks, but yesterday the husband was trying to talk his newly isolated (in the UK as restrictions tightened) brother to embrace the time (since he can’t do anything about it anyway) and use the time to do things he’s always wanted to do but could never find the time. Good advice, I think.

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      1. Yes, many people are struggling to adapt to the new living conditions, yet we can’t appreciate the fact, that the only way to fix this is to stay at home, watch TV and isolated ourselves. While it can be challenging to work from home, it would be much worse if we were asked to give up meat or alcohol to stop for the virus to spread.

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  4. Well said. I’m all about staying at home so this is in some ways, same old, same old for me. Kind of a lot of blog posts out there right now that are filled with angst, so I’m glad to read a post that has a bit of levity to it. Thank you, my kindred spirit.

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  5. oh boy, we are on the same page. I am waiting until the LAST possible second to cancel trips, one by one. Hoping by August we will be good to go on our trip to Africa. Fingers crossed. I had a meltdown yesterday for a few minutes – poor Sean – the conference call situation pretty much sent me over the edge – LOL. I like to stay home, but I also like to get out and hike. Well, similar the TP situation, the entire state of Colorado is hiking and blasting our trails. So, I have gotten reacquainted with the Peloton bike in our basement!! Yogi is getting more walks from me EVER. And last, I don’t know about you, but every time I sneeze or cough I think I have the VIRUS. LOL. Happy the earth is taking a break from a few things for sure and your bunny is adorable!!!

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  6. Olympics and Paralympics cancellation is a big one for me, I’m an Olympic addict. The other day Richard commented that maybe we’re in a Walking Dead prequel! Haven’t seen the Contagion type shows, and now I’m scared to watch them! Did those shows also disrupt your sleep??

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    1. We’re ok. Going a little stir crazy maybe, but that’s it right now. We’ve basically had to just accept the fact that we can’t get back to the UK right now, no matter what happens. Interestingly, out of boredom last night I was puttering around on the web seeing what it would cost me to go to different places when my spring break starts in a week, were I willing to (which I’m not and which technically I can’t under our Stay at Home Order). I was surprised to see flights to London more than double what they’d be in the expensive summertime. Maybe it was because the dates I was entering were so close, but still, I was expecting jaw-droppingly low prices.

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  7. Haha why is EVERYONE watching Contagion?! I feel like that’s not a good idea hahaha. I too am trying to focus on the silver linings like giving our earth a breather and saving a butt load of money (that, obviously, we could use to buy even more Kit Kats if we eventually get to Japan). It’s hard though – #8 for me is my coping mechanism for our wedding. 😦 The silver linings will be hard to come by on that one.

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    1. Actually, I kinda want to watch it again.
      Have you seen the James May travel documentary on Netflix? Something like “James May: Our Man in Japan.” I wonder if it’s any good…
      Please say your wedding plans aren’t ruined!

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  8. Excellent article! Not only has this pandemic destroyed all of my travel plans for this year, but it has really thrown a wrench in my working and writing routine. So hard having your routine so completely derailed, but I am healthy and thankful for that. I hope you and your family are healthy and safe!!

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