COVID-19 Blog #2: Time is an Illusion

Everyone tracks how long they’ve been social distancing differently, and for me, I would say it started when Spring Break was extended. So, it’s been about three weeks, but my brain tells me either it’s only been a couple of days or a few months. It’s weird.

It also doesn’t help that it seems like everyone’s sleep schedule has been thrown out of wack. Either I’m clocking out at 8 p.m. and waking up at the crack of dawn, or the insomnia kicks in, and I make the rash decision to just push through and face the rest of the day so that I can start going to bed at a reasonable time. And then the cycle repeats.

Cabin fever hasn’t started to set in yet, but not even the most introverted homebody can say that this hasn’t started to wear them down. I try to get out sometimes and take a walk, but the universe makes up for me not really getting sick throughout the rest of the year by making allergy season especially hellacious. So, I kind of want to avoid that.

Classes are going well(-ish). I still have that visceral jerk reaction at 11:30 p.m. when I quickly open Blackboard to check my calendar to see if I forgot to turn in anything that day, which I haven’t, so far — except maybe a couple times. Zoom has been…an experience, to say the least. Since the entire world is now aggressively online to the point where one has to wonder when the Internet may just collapse in on itself, it’s not fun when you have to give a presentation in class and it sounds like you’re talking through a broken walky-talky. Or when your computer is running a little too hot, so the app crashes, and you hope the professor doesn’t think you boldly clicked out in the middle of a lecture. But, overall, it hasn’t been that bad. As long as I don’t end up sleeping through a lecture one day, I’ll consider everything good.

The biggest hindrance still is limiting distractions. How can I make time to do this quiz or finish this paper when I’m too busy clocking 90 hours in the new Animal Crossing game? Or rewatching the entire How to Get Away with Murder series before the final six episodes start airing? To be fair, (when managed properly) these distractions are needed. I’m not my mother, who can spend every waking moment running through every possible news channel’s COVID-19 coverage. I definitely stay informed, which isn’t going to turn me stir-crazy, but I don’t need to see every. single. thing. To reiterate a point from my previous vlog, taking a break from the media to breath and recenter oneself is important. And I just happen to do that by decorating a house on a digital deserted island, inviting talking animals to be my best friends and being indebted to a greedy raccoon landlord.

I still worry about the future and my family. But at this point, I just have to have some kind of faith that at least the people around me can stay safe and the scientists working on a vaccine are successful. The fact that this all is most likely extending into the summer, and still not a lot is clear about the stimulus package relief that is supposedly coming is very much in the back of my mind constantly, though.

On a bittersweet note, in light of the CDC telling us that we actually should be wearing masks, I’m interested to see this next wave of homemade masks in pop culture. And that prompts the question, who’s starting the first DIY mask-making party on Zoom?

— Nigel D. Dent

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