Grace Notes: This week I started social distancing

Yoohoo! Greetings from Quarantine! 

If you’re receiving this — or some form of cheesy quarantine pun — as the subject line of every email from every single professor … we’re in this together. 

So s— has hit the fan. Alas, Grace Notes must go on! And what a perfect platform to talk about what we’ve all been forced to do for at least a week since COVID-19 decided to rear its ugly angiotensin-converting enzyme: social distancing. 

I must preface this by noting that I am not a homebody. If you ask my roommates, I’m out the door in the morning and  running in and out of the house all day (usually grabbing fruit snacks to go). So holing up in our house has allowed me to gain some perspective and really see things I’ve never noticed before:

  1. My room is tiny.
  2. My room is tiny.
  3. My room is tiny, and the floors are creaky. Especially by my closet. 

At first, I thought it wouldn’t be that bad. We finally get to live out our collective dream of staying in pajamas all day, binge watching “Harry Potter” and “The Office” (maybe at the same time), and drinking excessive amounts of wine while accidentally hitting “reply all” to class-wide emails. 

Side note: “The Office” is a black hole. If you suddenly realize it’s been 12 hours and you may be developing bed sores … just shut it off. 

Instead of falling into the self-destructive aforementioned routine, I tried to implement some more positive practices. 

  1. I try to find joy in little things. For instance, each morning I ceremoniously light my WoodWick candle. The soothing crackling distracts me from the empty abyss of a day before me. But lately it’s taken to wheezing instead of crackling. So I’ve had to find my joy elsewhere. 

I braved the store (double fisting hand sanitizer) to purchase a copy of JustDance 2020, which provided much joy. But after about 15 songs, I also began wheezing, which my roommates confused with coughing and began spraying me in the face with disinfectant. 

  1. I tried making myself a schedule. This included an hour of reading, two hours of homework, an hour of yoga, and 20 minutes for eating. That got me until about 1:30 p.m. After 1:30, without a detailed, hour by hour schedule, things got craaaaaazy. 

That’s right.

  1. I went for a walk. I thought this would bring me great joy, especially since everyone keeps informing me of the life changing benefits. But after breathing the stale air of my house for four days, the fresh air made me, once again, wheeze. So I’ve now suspended fresh air breathing, JustDance and Woodwick candles until further notice.

Also suspended? Graduation. That took a sad turn, didn’t it? 

In lieu of this important milestone in my life that is now dead and buried, I’ve decided to host a graduation ceremony for my stuffed animals, in my room. They have been there for me through it all, and they deserve recognition. 

Rufus the terrier will be Emceeing, and Schnitzel the rainbow llama will give the commencement speech. I’ll be live-streaming on Zoom for anyone who would like to participate. 

Before I reveal too much more about the state of my sanity, I’ll say that all in all, after a week, I don’t recommend this lifestyle. But under the circumstances, it is necessary. 

On a more serious note, I think the best way to deal with our current situation is to find the humor in it. Cheering each other up, as hopefully my little column has done for you, can help lift our spirits and keep us from utter desolation. 

So far, everything  I’ve tried for this column has been a struggle. Eating vegan, taking short, cold showers, staying off of social media (an article yet to come) were all difficult in the moment. But when I finally got to return to eating bacon, it was the best bacon I’d ever tasted.

This may be really hard right now, but I keep reminding myself of this idea. When it’s all over, think of how much sweeter everything will be. Maybe we took for granted sitting next to friends in class, talking to teachers in the hallway, studying at our favorite coffee shop or visiting a loved grandparent. But when we can finally do these things again, what a joy they will be.

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