The New Normal

Talking to myself is now a mood.

It’s been two weeks since the shelter in place order was enacted for the county I live in, and longer since my employer has instituted work from home. Taking time to figure out the new normal has been a challenge to say the least, but today I decided I wanted to journal about it.

Haven’t been able to wake feeling alert lately, but this morning upon seeing a delivery man at my door, I sprang to life and headed downstairs. Grabbed a pair of latex gloves and waited until he was safely off my porch (I have always stocked latex gloves since I used to work on my car a lot more, but since having bought a newer car several years ago, this has fallen by the wayside which benefits me in having a surplus of gloves now).

I dragged the packages into the foyer which is now my disinfecting station. Here is where all things, save fresh food, stay for a minimum of 3 days before I’ll move them into the house. I immediately will remove them from their packaging and move that to the recycling bin, then drop the items from their other packaging without touching them in an area. I read some article about how long the virus lives in packaging and it seems like 3 days is probably the max on plastic.

Now I’m alert. I grab a drink from the kitchen and head to my workstation, a desk I made with help from the wood at Home Depot when I moved into my house years ago. After the first week this started, I promised myself that I would establish work/life balance and I wouldn’t work after normal office hours. This means that now in the mornings when I look at my emails it’s a pile up. Then I proceed to jam through a bunch of reports that I need to help people with.

But in the back of my mind… my fresh food supply is running low and throughout the day I’m fighting with myself about whether or not I should go to the store. I know if I do go, I want to go at an off hour, so when 4 rolls around and all my meetings were done, I contemplate going. Then folks need more of my help with work and I keep postponing going to the store and now it’s 7pm.

I made a list because I can’t just go back to the store on a whim to get whatever ingredient I’m missing or forgot. These aren’t the times we live in now. Then I decided I wanted to go to Hmart because I was missing asian flavors, even though there were a lot of things on my list that were more specific to western markets.

At the store the security guard out front was wiping his nose. Ugh… I stupidly didn’t wear a scarf or makeshift mask and now I’m feeling slightly stressed and regretting my choices. 6 feet boundaries don’t really exist in asian markets pretty much ever, and there are just a lot of people in here all at once. I keep trying to walk in round about ways to avoid as many people as possible.

In the soy sauce isle I see a guy in a black hoodie and joggers basically dressed as a ninja with a doo-rag covering his face. I am super envious of his outfit and find this very attractive from 6 feet away. No, I can’t see his face, but he’s tall, lean and well prepared. Safety is the new sexy. But this quickly turns into annoyance that I need something at the shelf he’s looking at, but he can’t decide what he wants and here I am left hovering very far away. Sigh.

I barely get half of what I wanted from my list, it’s not that the market didn’t have plenty of food, they just didn’t have the ingredients I was looking for to make other things. Nevertheless, basket full I’m decently happy with my haul.

Upon returning home I notice my parents left me a message. I try FaceTiming them back but no one picks up, then switch to making a quick pre-cooked duck and kimchi dinner. While I’m eating my dad calls me back and we have our first FaceTime call ever!

They give me a very disapproving talk about how I ventured out without covering my face at the store. We then bond over our disinfection stations that we’ve created in our homes (yes, I am their child after all), and then call it a night.

Looking at my calendar I realize Monday is the day my cleaners usually visit. Ugh my cleaners, I love them, (they always make my bed hotel style) but I can’t risk bringing into my house germs from whoever other people they’ve interacted with. I decide to text them to say I don’t need their services but will send them money for this month and hope that they are well. They are stoked and are very thankful.

This all just means that I’ll be my own cleaner this weekend. What two people can do in 3 hours will take me the entirety of this weekend. I start making a list even though I’m really tired. Canceled 10pm daily beauty self-care sync with PY because I’m just too tired to talk today. It’s been a long week.

Sad panda.

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