I’ve been obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories for a while. I read and watch all that I can. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the idea of how humans tear the world apart, then they have to figure out how to rebuild a life, and a society, in that shattered, shadowed world. Maybe it’s the thought, and hope, that if the world as we know it does come to an end, people find a way to survive, carry on, and do their best to make it better than it was.
The world has ended before. In the past. The fall of ancient Egypt. The fall of the Roman Empire. What other times has our world ended? What about WWI or WWII? 9/11? Basically, the end of the world could be summed up as a tragedy that hits an area of the world and makes us rethink how we interact with each other and the rest of the world…
When I first started writing this entry, the COVID-19 pandemic was just a fictional idea. Sure pandemics have happened in the past, like the Plague and the Spanish Flu, but the idea for our current generations to live through one was but a dream. Movies like Contagion, board games like Pandemic, books like Lockdown were all things people thought, and maybe talked about, but never expected to live through.
Now, here we are. I don’t know about you, but my world is vastly different and I am experiencing culture shock (for lack of a better word). I will do my best, to be honest, real, candid and authentic.
I’ve been out of work since March 20th. My son has been out of school since March 12th. My husband, luckily, has been working from home since February 26th. My son, amazingly, has taken to homeschooling, though he wishes he never wished to be homeschooled. Before all this, he complained about going to school and wished he could be homeschooled. Now he’s finding himself lonely and wishing he had a sibling. He works quickly and is done with his work by noon. I’m doing my best to keep him off shiny screens for long periods of time, but I find that I’m letting him play on the Xbox more since he is able to interact with actual friends, and keeps me free to job hunt.
I started doing Instacart right after I was furloughed at work, but after about 3 days I was done. The vibe is strange, the paranoia crazy and with having parents and in-laws to care for, I’m doing my best to keep everyone healthy and… what about happy?
I can’t say happy. I’m not happy, not really, though I am doing my best. My son isn’t happy. My husband seems to be angry all the time. People aren’t meant to be locked up with each other as much as we have been. Though my husband use to make jokes about “a padded room for two with matching his and her’s straight jackets.” We are meant to go off, do our projects within our own communities (ie. work, hobbies, etc.) then come back to the ones we love. This allows us to bring something more to the table. I could be as little as idle chat, or something as big as new ideas to implement or change how we are living life daily. Usually, these ideas work towards something bigger and better. Instead, I’m depressed. My son is depressed. He broke down crying yesterday saying he misses his friends. He misses face to face interaction. I know we all do. I miss my work. I miss feeling like I have a greater purpose in life.
So, humanity, hang in there. We are social beings that are amazing and resilient. Find ways to keep the social interactions. This pandemic came at an amazing stage in our technology. Imagine if this happened 30-40 years ago. The internet was just being born at best. Get those online dates going. Meet up with your neighbors by staying distant, but by having a happy hour and exchange those thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
Open up. Be real. Be Human!