The CDC recommended that we all wear masks when we go out this week. People all over the states are putting together homemade masks, dragging old bandanas out of the basement to be repurposed. I found a cloth handkerchief that my grandmother gave me years ago. Using some of my wife’s hairbands, I fashioned it into a mask that would hook around my ears. I looked in the mirror and felt foolish but determined to use it if need be. After realizing that I needed to leave the house maybe once a week at most and I could probably reuse a mask, I put away the cloth mask and went and grabbed my N95 mask that I bought years ago for woodworking instead. It prominently has a an N95 designation on the side. The recommendation was to save these masks for healthcare workers so I had some hesitation to use it. There was no way that anyone wanted my used mask so I decided to get over it.
Going out shopping, the stores didn’t change much from the previous week. Trader Joe’s seemed to get it’s act together and had an organized system of how people were to enter the store. There was lines and arrows on the ground. The person out front seemed to have a much better handle on the marshalling the crowd. Safeway seems to be doing absolutely nothing. There were announcements over the intercom about keeping six feet away from others but aisles are narrow and the store was crowded. Unlike other stores, they were not managing the amount of shoppers in the store at any given time. I needed to pick up a few things at Home Depot and was surprised that they were managing how many people were in the store. They had a fantastically organized line out the front and giant signs instructing people where to go. There’s always the chance that many actions end up being for show but the appearance of action is comforting. It sets a tone that people should also be taking action. It gives you a sense of control that we may not have but we need to handle this.
What did change was the amount of people wearing masks. I’d say about 60% of the people I saw were wearing masks. It was actually comforting. Especially at Safeway where I had to get closer than six feet away to several people to escape aisles.
At home, the week was long. Trying to get work done while keeping a three year old entertained is tough. My partner is an essential worker so I’m in a pretty tough spot as far as working from home and childcare. The fact that local parks are closed and we can’t go rummage around the dollar store together make it harder. We’re doing art projects, making cookies, cupcakes, baking bread, video chatting to Grandma and a cousin. Every spare minute in between I’m trying to get some code written for work or doing a virtual meeting. Some days are more productive than others.
I love the time I’m spending with the kid but not being able to be 100% productive is really stressful. With the economy at a near standstill, I get even more worried. The sudden drastic change is hitting my anxiety fairly hard. Writing is helping though. Getting a post out earlier about how I was able to deploy this site really changed my mood. Even with all the things I need to do, making time for this side project has been essential to my mental health.
For the upcoming week, I have ingredients for bread and chocolate cookies. My partner is home a bit more so I’m looking forward to making up some lost productivity at work. We’ve talked about the need to maintain a better schedule at home so I am hoping I can make time exercise instead of spending every waking minute stressed about work or doing voices for plush toys and making up stories.