Well that didn’t take long.
I think this is week three of the self-imposed/government suggested self-quarantine. I haven’t yet started scratching the days into my studio walls. My kids had two weeks of remote learning, and this week they are enjoying their official spring break. I’m on my third week of teaching sculpture from home and kind of, sort of monitoring the kids. At least to make sure they’re not tearing the house down or fighting each other with sticks. I have regular class meetings with my students each day by video, and I’m trying to keep up with the tons of other school related tasks that must be done during the spring semester.
I kinda live here now.
I’m lucky to still be working from home. I’m seeing a lot of people talking about being bored and asking for suggestions for what to watch on Netflix. They say they’ve watched everything available. Meanwhile I’m over here struggling to get my school stuff done and still have time to make dinner and wash the dishes before bed. Maybe that’s a tiny exaggeration. I am sleeping later than I would if I was still driving to school every day. I’m making time to do silly things with the kids each day. I’m also working in shorts every day, so the quarantine dress code is pretty nice.
Backyard hiking destination.
Last Saturday the sun came out. It was warm. We slept in and had waffles. I told the kids to pack a lunch because we were going hiking. The state parks are closed, so they asked where we were hiking. I told them we were hiking at home. The woods behind us go on forever, and some of our neighbors have four wheeler trails that meander along a big creek and it’s tributaries. When the kids were tiny, we used to ride the four wheeler down to a few cool places. On this particular day, one kid was excited about the adventure, the other was not. I told them to suck it up and get outside; this was a dad-mandated trip.
Backyard hikers of various attitudes.
I will admit that it was hot enough for it to not be a comfortable hike. I will admit that we saw a large black snake. I will admit that I had to get a tick off of Violet’s leg. However, those unfortunate details did not warrant the amount of complaining I had to endure for the two hour hike. When we arrived back home, I needed some quiet time.
G works in healthcare at a decent sized hospital. You know, the kind of place where people from all walks of life go during the course of a week bringing their germs and nastiness with them? The kind of place where people who test positive for the COVID-19 virus go to get help? Yeah, she goes there every day. Early last week I started playing a weird game in my head. It was a little like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” except it was using G instead and trying to figure out just how easily she (and by default I) could be exposed to the virus. The game didn’t take long. So an imaginary person goes to the hospital to get checked. Everyone they are close to is exposed. Then everyone those people are close to for the rest of the day are exposed. As I understand it, everyone those people are close to for the next 14 days at the least are exposed. It goes from multiplication to exponents very quickly. Which is a way of saying that she was probably exposed last week and so was I.
I probably worried about it for 15 minutes or so before my phone went off again, and my focus shifted to answering emails. Life is weird. I don’t watch the news, and I certainly don’t try to find news on the internet. My bubble here in the country is pretty small. The things I’ve heard about the impacts of the virus on individuals ranges from symptoms so slight they’re unnoticeable to rapid death. I’ve heard only those who are health impaired are dangerously impacted, and I’ve also heard of healthy people younger than me dying from it. But my kids are asking to hook the water hose up to the slip ‘n’ slide, the dogs need to go out, and I have a new drawing idea in my head. Who has time to worry? And aren’t those the things I should be doing anyway?
The slip 'n' slide.
So I’m still getting up with an alarm four days a week. I’m still running and doing all my school stuff. I’m still drinking a respectable amount of coffee. I’m still being sillier than 90% of people my age, checking on my friends, and trying to keep making people laugh. I’m living a life worth living. I think that’s what I should be doing.