7 days ago, I was as work when a patient asked me two questions. One, if he could work from home, should he? Easy answer – yes. Two, should he skip a pot luck his work is throwing for about 20 people? I waffled. Told him it was probably safest to skip it but ultimately he would have to assess that risk for himself. Less than 100 hours later the answer to that questions was, what the hell are you thinking? A POT LUCK? Where people bring FOOD they made in their HOMES? Absolutely not. But in these increasingly uncertain times, a few days can irrevocably alter the context in which we consider possibilities.
Last Thursday my partner was still working from the office, planning a weekend trip to Las Vegas and we were on our way to a bar trivia night. By Friday, Vegas had been canceled, trivia regrettably attended and this moved into my home. Where I live.
In our relationship, we are fond of labeling things “objectively right.” As in, returning the shopping cart is the objectively right thing to do. Going to yoga is the objectively right thing to do. Rewatching The Big Lebowski is the objectively right thing to do.
In any event, him working from home was and is the objectively right thing to do – that’s clear now. But it’s easy to reason your way into another decision. For example, we struggled with the “should we dine, should we not dine” conundrum over the weekend. It seemed like a safer choice to stay home but, as people who spent years working in the service industry, we know that if people don’t dine, servers and bartenders don’t eat. Two days later, this was no longer a possibility up for consideration. Because this thing is moving fast. I think the measures in place are objectively right and I believe they will save lives. I’ve seen a lot of tweets, memes and GIFs related to the current situation but my favorite is:
Like many, during this time of forced paused and reflection, I have found the comfort of connection in social media and group texts. But honestly, as an introvert, all the way deep down inside, I was made for this life — gardening, reading, cooking, cat cuddles — it’s what I crave. And also I am very ready to return to work — such is the duality of life. We can be more than one thing at once. I am both happy to be home and eager to get back to normalcy. This pandemic is both objectively terrifying and perversely appealing to my survivalist instincts. I am both loving having Jared around and desperately missing my alone time. And that’s okay.
One thing is absolutely certain – we are extremely fortunate to have secure housing and employment. It is a privilege that does not go unacknowledged. I’m grateful to be heading back to work tomorrow, with a mask on, just in case. And looking forward to supporting our favorite restaurants, bars and theaters in whatever form their business takes. Stay safe. Look in on each other. Cuddle a cat if you can.