Like many other states, my home state (North Carolina) just ordered a statewide Stay at Home mandate until April 29th. I got temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus (I do not have it) more than a week ago, for two weeks. Obviously now that’s extended. I’m glad to be getting the stimulus check (though it should be for more and it should be recurrent, like Canada is doing) and I also applied for unemployment, but I’m having problems with their website and also don’t understand why they’re still requiring proof that I’m looking for work. That’s just stupid under these circumstances, for obvious reasons. My boss thinks so too, but she thinks they just haven’t updated their site, which could be the case. I tried to call but it’s not possible to get a real live person to help you. I almost pulled all my hair out yesterday in frustration.
I didn’t realize how much I appreciated my job until now. Not only because of the income, which I need (unemployment pays HALF of what I earned and it’s not nearly enough), but also because I’m getting stir crazy laying around the house. When I’m not busy, my brain starts turning on itself and I start ruminating and worrying about things I have no control over. I start imagining all sorts of crazy things. I’d like to spring clean the house, top to bottom, but even though I have the time, I’m simply not motivated, not yet anyway. Maybe soon I will be. The stink in the fridge is starting to get to me, so I’ll probably start with that (and get it out of the way first, since cleaning refrigerators is the grossest household task I can think of).
It was very warm today (actually hot) so I went out for a drive and just looked at the spring flowers and blooming trees. But as of Monday, it will essentially be against the law to be out for any reason other than buying necessities. But I’ll go nuts if I can’t take the car and just drive, at least. How is driving around spreading a virus? It’s not as if gas is expensive either. It’s the cheapest I’ve seen it since 2003. Just for fun, here’s a list of gas prices from 1978 to 2017.
Speaking of low gas prices, I took these photos this morning.
The silence, lack of traffic, and lack of necessary provisions (like toilet paper and pet food) in the stores is very surreal and creepy. I feel like this is what it must have been like to live in the Soviet Union. It’s hard to get used to this new lifestyle, especially after Monday when staying at home becomes the law in my state (we already are on curfew).
It’s too easy (especially under this current administration) to weave conspiracy theories about the “real” reason all these lockdowns and mandatory quarantines are happening, but the fact is, we haven’t done enough. Trump may want everyone to “go back to work,” but these restrictive measures are necessary to stop or slow down the spread of this dangerous disease.
Look at the bright side. Has there ever been any other time when you can sleep late every day and sit around the house doing absolutely nothing and know that you’re helping to save lives? You can enjoy being lazy without the guilt! And if you’re an introvert to whom social distancing comes naturally, can you recall any other time when wanting to be alone was not only socially acceptable, but your civic duty?