Has it Really Only Been Two Weeks?

I’m writing this on the second Friday of teleworking. I may or may not get it posted today.

NARRATOR: He posted it today.

Here we are, not quite sure what news to believe or not believe. Face it, the media is doing their best to whip us into hysteria and the politicians in DC (either side, quite frankly) aren’t really helping.

I’m unfollowing or snoozing a LOT of people on Facebook. If your sole purpose there is to post “Orange Man Bad” crap and rejoice in the fact that this might damage Donald Trump’s reelection chances, then I really don’t have time for your bullshit.

Sorry. Not sorry.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of people exploiting it on both sides.

We have never been through anything like this. Not either of the World Wars, not even the Spanish Influenza pandemic.

Perhaps because, while we’re socially distanced, we’re still connected through the Internet. That is both good and bad.

Sure, we can keep up with people and share funny videos and memes. And there are wonderful things happening like virtual choirs and pop-up theater.

But it’s like we learned nothing from the copy-this-so-you’ll-see-more-than-26-friends-in-your-Facebook-feed crap.

NARRATOR: THAT NEVER WORKED.

I see people shutting off the President’s briefings, snarking about them, and then totally misrepresenting what he said.

Listen to him or not. Like him or not. But the lies and half-truths are spreading faster than the virus.

All I’m saying is that, if you’re going to disagree with him, know your facts and listen to what he really says.

There’s plenty to disagree with and shake your head over.

Save the facepalms until we’ve been cleared to touch our faces again.

But, enough of that. How are you dealing with this?

I know a lot of people who are not able to self-quarantine. They have to get out and do their job, like my son who is a barista. Or like the medical workers. Or the trash collectors. Or the ABC store workers.

I know, right?

Let’s hope we’re slowing the spread. Let’s hope we’re flattening the curve.

I’d love for us to be back to work and life as normal as soon as possible. Let’s just hope that when we are, we’re better people because of this.

For me, I’m endeavoring to use this time to be productive. I’m still teleworking so there’s that commitment.

But I’m trying to force myself to create, to do art, to do writing, and to maybe finally clean the home office out.

I started that project yesterday by clearing off my “art” desk. And I continued this morning by starting to take the houseplants outside. It’s time.

I know this is hard for everyone. We can’t visit. We can’t hang out.

But we can email, text, and yes, even call.

Do that. We’ll get through this.

Yes, it’s hard.

But, take a deep breath and remember how resilient we humans are.

Face it, especially here in the USA, we don’t really face adversity.

We let our day be ruined when Wendy’s gets our drive-thru order wrong.

We let our day be ruined when someone cuts us off in traffic.

We let our day be ruined when our show is pre-empted for a news conference.

Maybe, just maybe, this whole experience will cause us to stop and think about the things, and the people, that really matter.

Maybe we’ll see that some of the things we’re missing right now weren’t really that important after all.

As someone who leans conservative, I have hopes that maybe we’ll see what parts of government aren’t really essential.

No real expectations in that regard, but I can dream. I have the time.

What I want most is to make the most of this time. To be as productive as I can.

To maybe get to all of those projects I whine about not having time to do.

Or maybe to realize that they weren’t getting done because I never wanted to do them in the first place.

There’s no denying that this is a difficult time. In addition to the fear of the virus, the fear of economic stress (and disaster), we’re going to see a lot of folks just sink into depression.

We need to fight this. Together. Alone.

Reach out where you can. Read the undercurrents of those Facebook posts. Sometimes they’re a cry for help.

Be kind. Help where you can. Tip generously.

And maybe, just maybe, dial back the snark.

The Longest Week Ever

Yes, I know I don’t usually post on Saturday. These are strange times.

Along with the rest of you, I’ve been social distancing and teleworking for a little over a week now.

I’m not bored…yet. But, I don’t like this.

First, the day job requires that I telework, which is fine and good. But it also is currently requiring that I complete a time-log to fill up eight hours. My contention is that I don’t fill eight hours back-to-back at the office. There’s time consulting with co-workers, including random conversations about kids and other stuff. There’s time making coffee, walking to the printer, and even going to the bathroom.

The way I see it is if my tasks are getting done, then I have worked a full day, even if that wasn’t a full 480 minutes.

If this goes on much longer my telework entries are going to start saying things like “peed four times.”

But, enough of that. That’s Monday’s task. You don’t need to know how many times I pee this weekend. I’m a man in my 60s. Deal with it.

I’ve seen the memes going around about how Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine from the plague. I will readily admit that I will not likely even read King Lear during this time.

It’s a funny thing. When it first started I posted on Facebook that this is the Super Bowl for introverts, we’ve been practicing for it our entire lives.

And now, it’s not just something we want to do. It’s something we have to do.

Yes, I’m still working the day job, but I get another two or three hours to my day when I don’t have to get dressed (up) for the office and don’t have to do the commute.

The challenge is how to be productive. I’m working on that. I have a list.

But, like many of you, I’m struggling just a bit with depression from all of the things I’m missing.

My show in Williamsburg was canceled early on. I was disappointed, but I was handling that okay.

The opening of the amusement park had been delayed two weeks. News came yesterday that the hope is to open sometime in mid-May…another six weeks.

For the first time I was legitimately sad. I won’t lie, my screen got a little blurry.

We will get through this. The human spirit is strong. What we each have to do is to find a way to rise to the challenge. Consider these:

  • Noah and his family were in the ark (with a lot of smelly animals, for those of you that have teenagers) for 40 days.
  • Anne Frank and her family hid for 761 days having to be quiet as to not be discovered.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo was in prison for 21 years, the first seven in solitary confinement before he met the Abbott.

If any of those stories are unfamiliar, you have time to read them now.

Sure, this sucks. But we have the Internet and streaming services and television and radio to keep us going.

And I have a list of projects I usually complain about not getting done.

Whether this is a few weeks or, heaven forbid, a few months, we will endure.

I do not discount the economic hardship. I have many, many friends in theater and performance who have found their shows and their tours canceled. They’re coming home and not quite knowing how they’re going to make it.

It’s not devastating for me, but I’m taking an economic hit as well. I’m losing both theater and amusement park income. I’m trying to find ways to make that up through writing projects, but even that takes time.

What this ultimately means for me is that I won’t be retiring from the day job nearly as soon as I thought. If you know, you know and that’s all that I’ll say about this.

I’m preaching to myself here, but I’m working to rise to the challenge.

I hope when this is history that I’m a better person. I hope I can learn during this time.

And, I hope that I’ll be able to remember what really matters most.