I’ve been holding off on doing the proverbial COVID Diary that so many others are doing on their blogs and social media. Sure I’ve mentioned tidbits here and there. Just nothing that was clearly a detailing of my life in relative isolation.
But, yanno, when you need something to write about...
So I’m’a give you some bullet points about what’s been going on in the three and a half weeks that we’ve been in quarantine. This is officially my first entry in the KQD -- the Kapgar Quarantine Diary!
- Being in Illinois, we’ve been living under a stay-at-home order from Governor J.B. Pritzker since March 14 or whenever the majority of right-thinking states started doing it.
- When I voted for Pritzker, I admit he was the lesser of the evils running. I was not impressed. This has changed mightily since COVID-19 came to the forefront. Dude is impressing me with how he’s stepped up.
- I also wish I could say I voted for Lori Lightfoot as Mayor of Chicago, but I don't live there. She's been cracking skulls as well!
- There are a lot of stupid people out there not sticking to the plan including neighbors of ours. A local playground has kids on it regularly.
- I’m more than just a little freaked out when I go to the grocery store and see so many people wearing masks. It’s really unnerving.
- We’re supposed to be going on a cruise in June. My entire side of the family. The kiddos don’t know about it yet. It was going to be an Easter announcement that obviously isn’t going to be announced in person. I hope my parents don’t announce it at all at this point. Having to tell Nathan that his big cruise trip is canceled will break his heart. I’d rather, if it does still happen, just blow his mind by walking up to the ship and let that be the official announcement.
- Working from home hasn’t been as tough as I expected. I’ve managed pretty well even without my standing desk although I really miss it. The kitchen table is okay but not ideal. Our company has had a work-from-home policy in place for several years so it's nothing new to us. We have the ability and technology. Just gotta commit ourselves mentally to it if we're not remote employees who are already accustomed to working from home every day (about half our employees do this).
- I've been trying to stick to my regular weekday routine as much as possible. I get up at 6:30 (which is a little later, but not bad), shower, shave my face and head when needed, dress in my normal work clothes (jeans and a shirt), prepare breakfast for everyone, pack a lunch for Katie. I do not fall into the pajama trappings that many seem to boast about lately. I know it would make me even lazier than I already am and that's dangerous. So keep the routine, er, routine. Admittedly I am wearing my glasses a lot more often than I otherwise would.
- Tougher, though, is balancing my work with Nathan’s telelearning for school and just spending time with him, in general. Being that he’s only in first grade, at least the educational expectation isn’t what it could be if he was in high school or the like. The State of Illinois expects first graders to commit to 45-90 minutes of learning activities per day and strive for contiguous stretches of 10-20 minutes. I feel like I actually do more learning than he does as I have to acquaint myself with these ridiculous apps they use with no training whatsoever. Learn on the fly. Story of my life.
- But balancing those activities and trying to find time to play with him isn’t always so easy. We have been trying, though. We play with LEGOs every so often. We’ve gone outside with NERF guns or the RC truck. All three of us went to a nearby parking lot to teach Nathan to ride his bike (he's been fighting that for a long time). He and I have also taken up coloring. We bought a printer and have been printing coloring pages like mad. He’s colored a dozen or more LEGO DC, Marvel, and Harry Potter characters as well as one far more realistic image of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) and it’s fantastic.
- If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I’ve been working on a single picture over several days of Skeletor from The Masters of the Universe (I'll post more about this here once it's complete). It has been forever since I colored. Well, save for some mandalas in a notebook at work. But it’s been more than a decade since my old colored pencil set has seen the light of day. Now Nathan and I have been using them like they’re going out of style. And I'm trying to do more with color blending and shading, which are two art concepts with which I always had difficulty.
- Nathan has been a champ overall, though. He understands what’s going on and knows why he can’t go to school, or tennis lessons, or his friends’ houses, or his cousins’ houses. He misses it all horribly, but gets it. I feel terrible for him but love him for his resilience. I do worry about the long-term effect this may have on him. Any of us, for that matter, but mostly him.
- Katie is on the frontline of this whole messy affair being that she works in a pharmacy. She can’t do her work from home at all. What makes it terrible is that her customers have been more impatient and shitty than ever. They blame her (and her coworkers) when something isn’t available. Blame yourselves for hoarding it out of stock, assholes!
- I’ve found myself making a highly conscious effort to be a nicer human being as a result of what Katie is going through. I saw hi, I smile, I thank people working in stores, I try to be patient when things aren’t ready or available...
- This last weekend, however, I saw my patience start to wear thin when we ordered food from a local restaurant. It was promised by a certain time and we didn’t get it for another hour afterward. They did give me someone else’s canceled food order in addition to my own as thanks for waiting.
- Since I was down there at the restaurant waiting to pick it up, I went for a walk around our downtown. I put three miles on my Fitbit which is more activity than it’s seen in weeks.
- Speaking of inactivity, my car has had the same tank of gas for a month now. I still haven’t used a quarter of a tank. No wonder gas prices have plummeted... and I can’t even take advantage of it. Although it was $1.95 when I filled up in mid-March.
- It would seem, though, that at the opposite end of the spectrum is the high cost and zero availability of video gaming devices. I was told my son’s Nintendo Switch is basically its own currency now. No store has any console in stock anymore.
- Nathan is loving his Switch. We got him a copy of LEGO DC Super Villains thinking it might hold his interest for a day or two before he got bored and went back to Mario Kart 8. He has, however, played it daily and he solved it yesterday! That kid has blown my mind with how he latched onto it and now I kinda want to take up a game of my own. I haven’t committed myself to a game since Baseball Stars on my old SNES back in college and haven’t solved a game since Donkey Kong Country. I wanna try a Zelda game! Never done that before!
- My own regular entertainment methods have gone by the wayside lately. I read mostly audiobooks when I go on walks or drive to work. Neither have really been happening much. I also rarely listen to music outside of the car or work. I tried to do that a little bit last week but have since forgotten to fire up Spotify.
- I did pick up the physical book I’ve been reading for the last couple months over the weekend. Gave it about 30-40 pages and haven’t had much of a chance since then. It is a great book, I just haven’t been motivated.
- Although Katie and I have been streaming some old shows, proverbial "binge watching" hasn’t happened for us at all. I don’t have a show playing on a second screen while I work because I don’t have a second screen at home right. No external monitor. And Nathan typically has the TV on so I can’t have that running. Maybe once all of our regular TV shows are done for the season. I think there's still a week or two left.
- Unlike many others, I haven’t been eating more than I usually do. In fact, I’m eating less. Snacking is way down even though our snack basket is right in front of me on the kitchen counter every weekday. It’s just that my walking is non-existent so I haven’t really been losing weight at all.
- I did get slightly drunk a couple weekends ago. It didn’t take much. But I haven’t felt like that in forever. I didn’t much care for it.
- That same day, I tried some CBD for the first time in my life. It was in the form of gummy candy and a cider. I didn’t notice anything at all. That could be because I was already buzzing from alcohol. But I did notice that I didn’t get sick from drinking. Can CBD do that?
- Oh, and although I did use an app to order food for first time, I have not ordered groceries online and we have not had anything delivered to us. We’re trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in these abnormal times.
How are you holding up? Please let me know that you're still alive. And please keep your sense of humanity and humor about you, okay?