Scattered Thoughts

All of the days feel very long, so you’d think I’d get more done with them. Instead I feel badly that I’m not doing more work that is directly tied to bringing in money and feeling like the work I’m doing to tend and repair house is me not carrying my share. It is a strange mental twist, a mobius loop where I travel around and around without giving myself a break. It is the “I should be doing more” loop. I get caught in it often. The truth is that I’m occupied pretty much all day every day. Only a sliver of that time is on purely recreational things like a video game. Everything else is connected to maintenance or creation in some way. Cooking, sweeping, planning a grocery list, answering emails, maintaining contacts with loved ones, time for small kindnesses, driving, picking up mail, answering messages: it is easy to feel like none of these things count as work. They all are, of course. They all take a measure of attention and energy.

One of the messages I’m seeing on social media is about the brokenness of the Cult of Productivity. I know that I tend to tie self worth to the things I do rather than believing it is intrinsic. (Everyone else’s worth is obviously intrinsic, just mine that isn’t.) But I’m starting to readjust my thinking. This enforced slow down has shown me that the world doesn’t fall apart if everyone slows down. I confess to a hope that we will collectively decide that some of the slower pace is good. That it won’t harm us to wait a week for packages rather than being angry if they don’t show up in two days.

On social media I see a lot of people vehemently refuting positions or posts. These refutations aren’t aimed at a particular person or source, they are just a scattershot argument to a person that the refuter has imagined. I’m not sure that these refutations really do much good. It’s like we’re all standing in the cafeteria shouting on our soap boxes, hearing only fragments of what others have to say and then responding angrily to those fragments. I’ve decided that if I see a friend or loved one spreading information that I believe to be harmful, I have a responsibility to choose a private avenue to take it up with that person. If I don’t have access to a private mode of communication with that person, then I’m not close enough for them to disarm and listen to me.

Locally there is a group trying to determine if Covid-19 was transmitting locally earlier than March. They’re using antibody tests and patient histories. Howard’s January illness fit their parameters, so he went and had a blood draw today. Not sure when the results will come back, hopefully in a couple of days. Howard’s case is a useful study since he came down sick about five days after a wedding reception, had fever, body aches, coughing, and shortness of breath. He even landed in the ER one night because the coughing was so bad. They did a nasal swab which ruled out influenza. And Howard has had troubles with asthma and breathing ever since. A positive result won’t change many of our behaviors, antibodies =/= immunity. But it is information. We like having information.

The weather has been beautiful the past few days. It is my perfect weather. Comfortable to sit outside with the sun feeling pleasantly warm on me.

I wonder how much all this reopening will do to save businesses. Consumer behavior remains changed and regulations have changed. Some businesses simply can’t thrive in the current circumstances. I know that my purchasing and living behaviors have changed. Some of the changes I’d like to keep for a long time to come. I suspect others will also have permanent shifts. Perspective and priorities are different now.

I tried to bring these thoughts together into a coherent post, but I guess today is just scattered.