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.
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!