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  • Writer's pictureBecca Dzombak

corona-tine dispatch 2

I started this week bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sat down at my desk with coffee Monday morning. Had a few meetings, worked on some spreadsheets, made some videos for my class. Went on a social distancing walk with some friends, we looked at houses' architecture*, I learned that my one friend has terrible taste in porches. (Prairie? Really?) It felt like a good, productive day, a solid start to the week.

It lasted until approximately 8:25 a.m. on Tuesday, when I went into my kitchen to open the curtains and the rod yanked out of its cheap little holders. This happens about once a week, almost inevitably early in the morning before I have had caffeine or a minute to feed the cats, which means at least one of them is yowling unhappily at my feet, which inevitably leads to me huffing and swearing as I attempt to pull the curtain rod out of the linen that loves to catch the metal edge and keep it stuck while the other half of the curtains slide off the other end... you get the picture.

I then proceeded to read the news.

All in all, not the strongest way to kick off a Tuesday.

I sat down at my desk. I did some things - I must have, because about four hours passed. Emails? Conference call? Making some slides? But 1 p.m. rolled around and I could. not. focus. I went on Twitter - mistake. Twitter these days is just an onslaught of (a) rage and (b) despair. I have considered deleting Twitter from my phone. Who needs it? I went on Instagram - mistake. Instagram these days is videos of people doing push-ups at each other. Hard pass. Reddit? HA.

I sent off a few final messages for the day and closed my laptop. Turned off the office lamp. Ate some of the bread I made this weekend (read: used bread as olive oil and salt delivery vehicle). Read more of the news. (WHY?) And then I finally made a good choice: we headed out to a park on the other side of town. It was four p.m., somehow, the sun was occasionally peeking out from between the clouds, and the trails were pretty empty, because coronavirus (and the workday, I guess). We spent an hour in the woods, just walking, talking, enjoying the feeling that spring is just around the corner. Trees are beginning to bud, flowers are bravely putting their first blooms forth (despite our recent bout of Third Winter), and the birds were out in force. We walked long enough for me to forget, however briefly, about the stress of the news and the pressure to keep working despite the fact that the world seems to be falling apart around us. On the drive back, we took a circuitous route* to pass by some of the city's oldest houses - 1830s to 1860s. We listened to an exceptionally grim podcast about how the administration is handling the virus, and why it's almost too late to avoid a worse fate than Italy. We panicked and I ate too many potatoes and watched Futurama. (Then worried I had coronavirus because I felt ill... turns out, it was just the two pounds of mini reds that I consumed.)

Today, I was realistic. I made a list of four easily-accomplished goals. I took a long lunch break, and a short walking break, and now I'm ending my day in the sun, writing this on my deck and in a bundle of blankets that make me look like a (socially isolating) grandma. Did I make the progress I "needed" to on my next paper? No. (Did I even open the document? Yes! Progress!) But did I accomplish my four goals? YES! As well as an additional one, definitely the most important goal but (for some) the hardest to internalize:

Staying home is doing something productive - and unless you're working on solving coronavirus, it's probably the most productive thing you can do for society.

Between that and the fact that I'm in a much better mood and mental state today, I'm satisfied with my Wednesday. Now all I need is a good long walk to stretch my legs, and maybe a glass of wine. Good luck to everyone - stay home and stay safe!

*Driving tours are a great social distancing activity! We got this book and have been driving/walking around different neighborhoods every weekend, checking out the local architecture. Read up on your local history and see what you can see!

Audrey is my motivator. Which might explain why my motivation has been geared more towards snacks and naps...

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