Love In The Time Of Coronavirus

I’m writing this from my couch, where the imprint of my rear is really taking shape in one of the cushions. I’ve been perched here for many (too many?) hours over this past weekend listening to Wolf Blitzer and his gaggle of CNN personalities report on the quasi-apocalyptic state of affairs in which we seem to find ourselves. Restaurants are closed. Bars are closed. Schools are closed. Disney is closed. You guys, Starbucks is closed (the drive-thru is still open though, because even in the most dire circumstances, we MUST be caffeinated).

The Department of Human Decency (if it were to exist) is also closed, if the toilet paper shelves of my local grocery store are any indication. I don’t know where these Charmin-lovers were getting their news, but the Coronavirus causes fever, cough, shortness of breath (and yes, in some cases death) – but not diarrhea. Unless these folks were planning on picking up some gas station sushi on the way home, I really don’t think this kind of stockpile was necessary.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

And the soap! Who is buying all the soap, and why weren’t they washing their hands on a regular basis before this crisis? Makes me question whether every door handle I’ve ever touched was festering with the crud of a million unwashed paws.

As a mom, I felt like I needed to say something to the kids about the virus because I knew they were picking up snippets here and there from the news and I didn’t want them to be anxious. But I had about as much luck trying to explain this pandemic to my 3-year old as I did coaxing a reciprocal smile out of the TSA agents at O’Hare before my flight to Phoenix in January – which is to say, not much luck at all. I used simple words I knew he could understand and put on my best gentle-yet-solemn voice, but all he was really concerned about was how long it would be before I stopped talking and put his show back on. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

I wish it was as easy for me to shut out the news as it was for my kid to ignore the sound of my voice, but it’s not. Since I’ve been battling some nasty (non-corona-type*) virus since the middle of last week, I’ve had plenty of time between coughing fits and DayQuil doses to really soak in all the updates from the comfort of my sofa.

*I hope. I mean, I didn’t visit Rome lately, nor did I share a milkshake with someone who tested positive for Coronavirus, so it’s not like I could have gotten tested even if I wanted to. All I know is it’s not the flu or strep, since I DID get tested for those. I’m sure I don’t have Coronavirus… right? It’s fine. Everything is fine. Just keep swimming.

Sometimes, I worry that I’m too worried about this. Other times, I’m worried that I’m not worrying enough. I wish someone would tell me: what is the ideal amount of worry I should have right now? On a scale of 1 to 100 – where 1 is a basket of golden retriever puppies and 100 is The Walking Dead – where are we at?

My plan is to hunker down for the next few weeks and let my inner introvert run wild. There will be yelling (at my kids). There will be wine. There will be lots of screen time and half-assed crafts. It won’t be pretty, but I’ll make it through because I’m a mom and moms can do anything.

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