quarantine in the city

Welp. Things are looking a little different these days.

Normally, as this blog name might suggest, I spend about 50% of my brainpower plotting a variety of escapes. Planning the next vacation, or weekend away, or at least visiting friends or family. Now, in the age of COVID, the idea of planning isn’t even fathomable. I don’t see the point.

We were lucky enough, I guess you could say, to have just gotten back from a trip (to Argentina! thank god we drank all the wine while we could) when COVID really started to take shape. We had just started the vague instagram-inspiration-shot-saving for our yearly September trip (one of the Balearic Islands, we thought, still going back and forth between Menorca and Mallorca) when things exploded on, as I remember it, March 12 in NYC. Suddenly, we got an email from our HR team that we needed to pack up all our things and not come back to the office for at least two weeks (ha, ha). I was headed to an appointment and leaving a bit earlier than I normally would, and haphazardly shoved the necessities into my bag, leaving my poor pothos plant to, now, I’d guess, shrivel up and die on my desk for the next several months.

You’d think this all would feel a little more strange than it does? On the one hand, everything in our lives completely exploded, and on the other hand everything just became infinitely more calm. There’s no sense of FOMO, not even JOMO, there’s just no MO, at all. We’re all sending each other memes and wondering what is happening?

Where we live in Brooklyn it’s relatively quiet, and always has been. We quickly adjusted our lives to make it even moreso, forgoing one of our two running routes in favor of the one that makes it easiest to avoid other humans. We’re running more than we ever have, because there’s nothing else to do. We’re getting used to tying bandanas on our face and adding to our lung capacity, I guess, because we have to.

I give myself a half hour of news-related podcasts a day, and read only the New York Times. I gave up all other political podcasts, because I can’t stomach it.

It might seem strange, but in many ways it brings me back to 2016. I feel like election night was a day that I’ll think about for the rest of my life; a night where a lot of things came crashing down and created, or brought to life, or illuminated narratives that I see playing out throughout this mess, throughout daily frustrations, throughout a variety of relationships. Are they really as related as they seem, sometimes? I think that they may be.