LockDown Diaries Pt.1: Shit is Real

The governor officially declared that as of 8pm tonight, the state is on lockdown. So essentially no one should be leaving the house unless it is for work as an essential employee, to get groceries and/or medication, to exercise – preferably around their own neighborhood and with those they live with –  and/or to take care of someone that is unable to leave the house (i.e. their health needs have them particularly at risk). There are of course other specifications and exceptions, but yeah… basically shit just got really real.

I kinda think of this as the official laying down of the law because people couldn’t govern themselves accordingly with the “stay-at-home” and social distancing rules. It’s like when you were in school and the whole class got punished because the bad kids wouldn’t sit down and shut up for 5 minutes like we were told the first time. So here we are.

I’ll be honest, as an extroverted introvert, this has been a weird but strangely okay time. It’s crazy to think that today is the beginning of week 3 like this. I’ve already done a big part of my job at home – and prefer it to be honest – so that’s been fine. My biggest anxiety has been for my mother and my aunts, who are all in the at-risk age group, and my sister who is a laboratory scientist at the hospital (read, an essential employee). With my Mom, in particular, my anxiety was higher than normal because she was not taking this as seriously as I thought she should up until the beginning of last week. Now that she’s come to her senses, I just keep praying nothing sparks up from when she wasn’t taking it seriously. Honestly, despite the fact that I had childhood asthma – meaning I still have emergency inhalers and a breathing machine in case I need them which is a super rare occurrence for me – I’ve worried more for others than myself. That being said, I know what it feels like to be wheezing, so yeah -your girl has stayed in but had a surgical mask and gloves (which I’ve had WAY before this was even a thing because…well I’m one of those people that stays with supplies) whenever I’ve had to leave the house.

Aside from that though – I’ve been okay. In some ways my mind equivocated this to being snowed in. When you grow up in places with snowstorms, being prepared and having food and supplies on deck is just part of preparation. But then I have to remind myself that this is different. Going outside or to the store isn’t an issue of whether roads are good but more an issue of “do you really need to go get that, because you’re gonna have to disinfect the shit out of it when you bring it home and have to deal with people that already don’t respect the idea of personal space in the store (that was a pet peeve of mine before all this, so my annoyance with it is on high – which is another post altogether).” There’s also the fact that after a snowstorm, there’s an end in sight. This thing…we don’t know when we’ll be able to be out because the solution isn’t as simple as shovels and salt on the roads.

Personally, there have been 3 things that have helped me:

  1. Talking to my family – which I did everyday anyway, but which has of course increased recently.
  2. Having hobbies and taking time to partake in them. My next post will be all about that actually.
  3. Social media.  Man listen – even beyond being the way I’ve always shared jokes and talk to some of my friends and acquaintances – social media has really been my lifeline. The DJ sets on IG Live have given me ALL the life. D-Nice started something amazing because the number of djs that have followed suit and gone live have legit been the best thing ever in this time. I feel like I’ve been partying– but in workout clothes and pjs – all week. I told my Mom on Saturday that I literally had to close my Ipad because I felt like I’d been kicking it all week and needed to have an off night, lol. But beyond that, you have the musicians giving mini-concerts, the producer  & song-writer battles (can we talk about how I never knew who Johnta Austin was until yesterday, but have unknowingly been a fan of his work for YEARS and now am a complete stan. Seriously.) And I’ve had dance classes and workouts that have made me remember how much I LOVE to dance. The way people have shared their passions has been inspirational really. In such uncertain times it’s created such joy for me and others.  Personally it’s really made me think about how I’m living and, to keep it real, how I’m not really living in terms of walking in my purpose (but again, that’s another post).

Like I said, I’m an extroverted introvert, which means I’m good because I enjoy my own company and am cool on my own. But on the flip side, my social butterfly side keeps day-dreaming about that first day party, happy hour, etc. when this is done. I’ve always been able to balance being a homebody with being out and about. But to bring back that snowstorm comparison, I remember a couple of years ago when I was snowed in around Super Bowl. The moment those roads cleared I was in my car trying to meet up with the guy I was talking to at the time at a bar to watch the game – more to get out the house than anything else.  These days I’m letting my walks and outfit planning for whenever my next grocery store run will be, suffice.

I just keep thinking that if we take it day-by-day, focus on whatever positives as we can, and keep taking precautions to stay healthy and not do things to spread this thing unwittingly, we can get through it. I could OD on the news and get engulfed in the anxiety that it will assuredly cause – because at first I was doing that. But for my sanity, I’m choosing joy – while also being careful and following instructions. I’m a person of faith, so these are the times where I’m clinging to that taking stock, and being prayerful.

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