Six and a half hours. That’s how long I’ve been working from home as of this writing.
Due to concerns over coronavirus (COVID-19), most of my office has been instructed to work remotely. All of us really except for the most essential staff. My husband, whom I affectionately refer to as Tragedy because of his resting sad face, has been sent home from his job too.
Today is our first day of real social isolation. We’re not going anywhere. And we haven’t seen anyone but each other.
Six and a half hours. That’s how long it’s taken me to feel listless, tired, and restless. Actually, it was probably only about three hours.
But not my Tragedy.
He’s an introvert. He’s as happy as a pig in slop to not have to interact with anyone for the foreseeable future. Social isolation? Bring it on! He wishes it could have happened sooner. He’s been trying for years to make social isolation a way of life.
Me? I’m an off-the-charts extrovert. I thrive in crowds of people. I feed off the energy of people around me like some sort of martian. I’ll talk to a tree stump if I halfway think it’s paying attention to me. Being alone is my worst nightmare.
That’s why just as soon as the news started talking about possible quarantine last week, I was already wigging out. I felt a little tightness in my chest just thinking about it. A slight dizziness. Maybe it would all just go away.
But it didn’t all just go away.
And now I’m 6 and a half hours in, and I feel the walls closing in on me — the lonely, cold, boring, stupid, sad, desolate walls that are shutting me in and everyone else out.
I know in my rational mind that this is the way it has to be. I really really do. We can’t go about spreading germs or picking up germs. It’s for the greater good. This is no time to be selfish. Blah blah blah…
I hear you.
But I also have to find ways to not go crazy over the next few weeks or, God forbid, months. And I have to try not to drive Tragedy crazy. So here’s what I plan to do:
- Use my phone as a phone to actually call people and talk to them. If I have your number, get ready. Better yet, let’s FaceTime!
- Get up at my usual time, get dressed in street clothes, and fix my hair and makeup. If you look good, you feel good. Right?
- Take frequent walks around my neighborhood. At least I can be outside, and I think some physical activity and sunshine will help boost my mood.
- Focus on some craft projects I’ve started and never finished (probably because I’m always socializing).
- Get organized. This is a great time to tackle the junk drawer or hall closet and burn off some nervous energy.
- Read more books. Good writers read, and I don’t read nearly enough.
- Write more blog posts. Even if I can’t be with you in person, I can still communicate with you.
And if you’re an extrovert like me, reach out through my Facebook page or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org! Let me know what you’re doing to cope with social isolation. Even if we’re not physically together, we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it together.