Monday, April 13, 2020

Thoughts from Quarantine

Since being put in quarantine and having to adapt to being at home all day, I've been pondering how making this sudden change hasn't really changed anything for me. Aside from the obvious changes of having to work from home, the world shutting down, and having to take precautions because of the pandemic, I've been here before. Sort of. See, when I first started living on my own, I continued a habit I began when I was a kid during the holidays. While parties and gatherings were happening, I would sometimes stay home. This happened more often the older I got. So while my family was off to a party, I stayed home to watch tv, movies, and play video games. I grew up in a family of six people in tight apartments and houses. Always on a bunk bed or couch and never alone, except for specific times, like the holidays. So I appreciated the solitude.

So when I finally started living on my own, I picked up where I left off. While the world outside was going through holiday social norms, I held up in my place catching up on movies and video games. That's not to say I didn't go out either, I went to friends' houses for meals and gatherings because they knew my family lived out of town. I'd have a great time, wake up late the next day, make some coffee, and fire up the PlayStation for a few hours. This practice of holiday isolation hit a high point after I got DACA and started getting better-paying jobs. I leveled up from microwave meals to eating out and my body paid the price, but man was it worth it. Mind you I was single all those years, so when that changed, I began to split my time. I was still being a couch potato but when the bae came into the picture, I used that downtime to visit museums and places I didn't normally get a chance to visit because there would normally be too many people.

The flip side to that coin is when I would go through episodes of depression. Being in that space, it's easy to just close yourself off from everyone else and avoid the world. I would still go to work and perform some social acts just so it can seem like everything is fine and folks don't start asking questions about why I wasn't around. A big part of that charade is to fall back on routines and go through the motions, you know. Eventually, I would get myself out of the funk hole and go back to normalcy. Habits and routines that keep me moving forward and provide a sense of purpose despite not knowing what I'm doing in the grand scheme of things.

In the last month, these habits and routines have been helping me adjust and pass the time since being told to stay in place by the feds. Combine that with the fact that I genuinely dislike my current employment situation and I've been managing a lot better than most folks, which stings to say. I limit how much time I spend on news and reading articles highlighting how fucked up things are in general and for everyone else who was already having a hard time getting by under normal circumstances. I tend to avoid every think piece I come across that gives you tips on how to pass the time, learn a new skill, or how some over-privileged person came to realize something now that they've been forced to stay home all this time. Those are a dime a dozen right now with only a few really worth reading.

All that being said, I'm grateful that I'm in a good place overall given the pandemic. Had this happened in another time and I would be right there with everyone else stressing the fuck about what I'm going to do about rent, work, and the immediate future. I try not to be in that headspace a lot because I know how drastically things have changed for so many folks. This is a historic and unprecedented time for all the wrong reasons and all I can really do is stay at home and support others when possible. I'll save my nervous nervous energy for when I have to apply to renew my DACA at the end of the year. Till then.