Coronavirus Diaries: Week Twelve

May 16

It took all week, but the play set is built. It’s still missing a few small accessories, but it has swings and slides and a climbing wall and they’re all secure, so I say it’s good to go. Amelia agrees. With every new part we added, she had a new level of elation. Thank goodness the weather was nice today so she could play on it while we finished it up (even though she had to go hide every time we used the drill).

“Come slide with me, Mommy,” she said. The set has a 100-pound limit.

“Oh, Mommy’s too big,” I said. And then I felt sad. As an only child during this pandemic, Amelia really only has me and her dad to play with. And now she has this super cool new toy, and she can’t play with either of us on it.

When this all started, I was filling out one of those surveys on Facebook, and one of the questions was “Is there any chance you’ll have a covid baby in nine months?” And I answered “N-O spells NO.” Chris and I still talk about the possibility of having another child, but the conclusion is always the same: we’re good with one.

I know this pandemic is kind of an anomaly. And I know it won’t last forever. Someday soon, Amelia will go back to school and make friends and her cousins will come visit and we’ll go visit them, and she’ll have plenty of people to play on that set with.

But in the meantime, I just wish she had someone her own age to play with.

Amanda Gibson summed it up quite eloquently in her piece on Motherwell. I feel you, Amanda. I feel you.

May 18

I started a trial of Noom today, that vague weight-loss ad that everyone is seeing in their social media newsfeeds. I was already developing pretty unhealthy habits before this all struck, and then those habits became even more unhealthy since sheltering in place: baking, processed foods, takeout. I’ve gained around 10 pounds in two months. It’s not pretty.

I kept making the excuse that these are hard times, that everyone is overeating right now. When the world is in chaos and life shovels on an extra dose of difficult, like everyone else, I find it’s easier to be happier when I’m eating whatever I want. That’s what I loved most about being pregnant. I ate whatever, and it felt so liberating. I didn’t have to beat myself up about every single thing that went in my mouth. 

But I’m not pregnant, and this weight won’t magically go away like it did with childbirth and then again with cancer. It’s looking more and more likely that work will be starting up in two weeks, and it’s easy to pack on the pounds when no one is looking at me, but soon people will be looking at me, and what do I want them to see?

It’s not just that, though. I can feel how unhealthy I’ve become. I’ve been going to bed with an upset stomach that keeps me from falling asleep and then wakes me up in the middle of night. I haven’t been drinking enough water, so my digestion is a mess. I’m crabby. It’s almost as if I’m making this pandemic harder on myself. At this point, it seems like it would actually be EASIER to diet.

So that’s what I’m gonna try.

May 20

So far so good on losing weight and being healthier. I already feel a lot better. But there’s a new downfall that I hadn’t factored in. Since what I eat has become so important, I’m the one responsible for planning and cooking meals. Which I normally am anyhow, but on nights when I didn’t feel like it or nights when I have too much to do, I can delegate to Chris or to takeout. Where I usually had over an hour to work when Chris was done for his day, I’ve lost that time to exercise and cooking. I know those things are just as important as writing and getting my library work done, that I need all those things to be healthy and secure. But it’s becoming more clear how I gained all that weight in the first place. Exercise or write? Cook or work?

May 21

After a staff Zoom meeting, it’s sounding more and more likely that we’ll be heading back to the library June 1. We’ll stay closed to the public, but will offer curbside pickup and allow items to be returned (even though they’ll have to be quarantined for a WEEK). The governor is starting to relax restrictions (although it seems against her will), so I doubt the stay at home order will be extended–she would have done it by now.

It just seems that so many places are relaxing restrictions when the threat is still strong out there. My mother-in-law is a little worried about restarting her babysitting duties, and I don’t blame her. Although it’s not likely the virus travels between people on items like paper, so our risk handling library materials is low, I’ll still be more exposed than I have in the last two months by just being around other people and interacting with other people’s things. They keep assuring us that staff will be as safe as they could be, but that’s not a very promising promise.

And yet the idea of being able to be around coworkers and family again is exciting. As soon as I heard that the governor is “allowing” groups of less than ten to gather, I wanted to call my brother and ask when we can come visit. But I didn’t because I know this is far from over and we all need to take our time.

May 22

This morning, the city put on a “parade” of sorts–their municipal trucks drove through all the neighborhoods honking their horns. It was a nice idea. We opened the door up and waved to the drivers. And then they honked their horns, and Amelia hid her head in my shoulder and told me to shut the door. She is so sensitive to noise.

It’s funny how people are connecting in a time when everyone is hiding in their house. At Easter, our neighbors put pictures of decorated eggs in their window for a neighborhood “egg hunt.” Strange that I feel closer to my neighbors than ever before because I see them walking their dogs and working in their yards, and they smile and wave. We’ve become the talk of the neighborhood since finishing the play set. People keep stopping by and commenting on it.

I keep thinking this virus is going to make everyone afraid of each other, but it seems to have had the opposite effect.