Washington DC, United States
As I write this, it’s day 33. Day 33 of what originally started as me self-isolating out of an abundance of caution (due to potential exposure and potentially exhibiting symptoms) but has turned into a mandatory city lockdown along the way. I know it’s day 33 from the strike marks on a small sticky note that are added to each morning. Each day is marked not in a negative light but for a sense of routine during this unprecedented period. I have long been comforted by routines and habits and have found some comfort in my newest ones.
In recent years, and with added wisdom from each rotation around the sun, I have felt very fortunate for each day I’m afforded; I find this 33-day period has only increased that appreciation in me. That being said, each day has brought with it various different emotions. Some of them occurring in rapid succession, others taking over for longer periods. Not all of them are pleasant, not all of them are forlorn. I often feel like I’m not only sheltering in place but also trying to shelter myself from the insanity swirling around outside these walls. However, that is as much a function of changing social norms than of the global health crisis.
For context, I moved to Washington DC from San Francisco just over a year ago and have found the city very pleasant apart from its ever-present proximity to politics. I have been quite successful in the past year avoiding most of the political elements and spin of the city but, at times, it seeps through even the thickest of concrete walls that surround me.
Nevertheless, I have already made reference to feeling fortunate and I will repeat that sentiment again now. I am still working, albeit from home. Also, my loved ones are healthy and safe and these are things I have not lost sight of. I also have truly enjoyed the days at home, getting creative with meals, taking walks when the wet spring has allowed it, finding solace in the simplest of tasks. There are many moments in recent weeks that will stand out as cherished memories in the years to come. I also know this is not everyone’s experience and try to empathize with the realities of others and not feel too guilty about mine.
I have always had a tendency to worry and have tried hard not to let the what-ifs get the best of me. What will the weeks and months to come look like? I ask myself this and many other unanswerable questions, as I’m sure others do too. Although I have a longing to get back to normal, I wonder what the new normal will look like and if it will contain many of the components that I have grown so accustomed to. I also wonder if when I get back to whatever that normal state is, if I will reflect back on the current moments and long for these passing spring days. One thing is certain, life will inevitably change in the days, weeks and months ahead. For now, for me, at least one check mark is added with each passing day…