This whole coronavirus thing is getting weird, ya’ll. Like really, really weird.
Yesterday I couldn’t focus at work, at all. I was sitting in my cubicle all day, my mom at my house, visiting for spring break to help with the kids, who have been in spring break camp this week, but who we’ve kept home anyway since Wednesday to be with her and to not be around other humans. And today I just dropped her off at the airport to go home.
I felt simultaneously both overzealous for asking her to consider staying, and under-reacting that I’m allowing her to get on a plane anyway. She kept making the point that she’d rather get to her home, rather than be uncomfortable & in our way here, “before everything locks down” and I totally get that. (Sidebar: I hear this from people – that all things are going to be locked down, and I kinda get why they think that but what does that mean? All domestic travel? Really?) At the same time, we’ll all be starting a 14-day countdown to make sure she doesn’t have any symptoms from having gotten on an airplane and traveled through two airports.
Yesterday, I had an all-hands meeting at work, in which the VP started with “no generation has seen anything like this since the flu of 1918” and then told us orally that his opinion was “if you have any underlying conditions, now is the time to disclose and we won’t make you do the formal ADA paperwork, but you should just let your boss know, and you probably should be working from home.” At the same time, there’s no formal word from on high at work about: are we all going to work from home? For how long? Starting when? Because I have Hashimoto’s (and having just googled, have also learned that Raynaud’s is also an autoimmune disease, so does that mean I’m even MORE than being more-at-risk?!) Shit.
I emailed my boss to disclose Hashimoto’s, and was not told: go home, now, immediately. Uh…they were in that same meeting with me, in which the VP shared his opinion. Shouldn’t I be packing up? I ended up packing up my stuff “just in case” I need to work from home from here on out. (I suspect it’s not ‘just in case’ by the end of this weekend. If nothing else: my kids’ spring break ends Monday, so I’m hitting refresh on my inbox every 30 seconds trying to figure out wtf is going on and to tell my boss I can’t come in even if I’m expected to because no school. I’m not sure I think that’s what will happen, but my friends who tend to know such kinds of things predicted even before break that that was it, there’d be no K-12 school post-spring break.)
Shit, shit, shit.
Shit’s getting real weird and developing real fast, and I just want to be home with my family. All of them. Not just me and my husband and my kids. Me, my husband, my kids, my mom, my brother, my nephew, my niece, all of them.
Nothing has felt this weird since 9/11. On 9/11, when I worked for the federal government, I went to work in bleary disbelief, and could not focus on a single thing that entire day, other than checking the news (by radio back in the day) to hear the developments as they unfolded.
Today is the same bleary disbelief, utter inability to focus.
Then: I spent very beautiful September days, with their crisp blue skies, hiking and taking note of the negative space left by planes – not a single plane overhead.
Today: I took my mom to one of the nation’s busiest airports, where there seemed to be about 30 people, total. On my drive home, as I’m wiping fearful tears off my cheeks, I’m noting the same absence-of-planes in the skies overhead.
This coronavirus shit is getting real scary. Please check in on me on day 14, to see if my mom – and I – are doing okay.