Shelter in Place: Days 52–73

haha, the last update was posted on May 4, and it’s now May 26. Amazing.

I wrote this on May 18:

I’m doing okay, except not. It’s super weird. I’m going about my business, working, doing creative writing, eating and sleeping properly. But there’s low-level anxiety at all times, and I feel trapped. My birthday’s coming up, and I’m getting a nice four-day weekend, but I’m unhappy because I can’t go anywhere. I want to leave. I want to be somewhere else.

Now I’m at the end of that four-day weekend, and I’m feeling pretty crappy. I have gone on one walk, and I went to pick up food a couple times, but otherwise I’ve just been in the apartment…unsurprisingly. I did get a burst of writing done on one of the days, but it wasn’t on my WIPs, it was all new ficlets. Yesterday (Monday) I did a little cooking (that worked out) and baking (fucked it up) and watched NCIS all day. Today I am severely depressed and it’s really frustrating and annoying.

Anyway, here are some bullet-list updates for every day since May 4 based on the photos I took.

Monday, May 4 (Day 52)

  • Sat in bed with my laptop and lunch
    • First, a sandwich and chips
    • Later, three cookies
  • Had frozen dinners for dinner

Tuesday, May 5 (Day 53)

  • Had leftover Chinese food for breakfast
  • Had chicken noodle soup for lunch
  • Made oven-fried chicken (breaded with panko) for dinner and it turned out really well. Sides were mashed potatoes and mixed veggies

Wednesday, May 6 (Day 54)

  • Had an adult lunchable for lunch
  • Didn’t take a picture of dinner

Thursday, May 7 (Day 55)

  • Walked on the treadmill for half an hour before work
  • Had Greek yogurt and a boiled egg for breakfast
  • Sat in bed with my laptop at lunch, but didn’t take a picture of what I ate
  • Felt ill for the rest of the day; ate plain white rice for dinner

Friday, May 8 (Day 56)

  • Had Greek yogurt and a boiled egg for breakfast
  • Had an adult lunchable for lunch (the one I like, with the dark chocolate)
  • Made mini meatloaves, au gratin potatoes from a box, and mixed veggies for dinner
  • Got super annoyed at our dishwasher, which is no longer drying dishes properly; put plasticware on a rack to dry
  • Made cookies, finishing a little after 10pm

Saturday, May 9 (Day 57)

  • Sat at the dining table with my laptop
  • Got lunch from Shane’s, including a large mac and cheese
  • Had pork roast, alfredo noodles, and mixed veggies for dinner

Sunday, May 10 (Day 58)

  • Got McDonald’s for Sean and a smoothie for me
  • Put the blanket on the kotatsu again and sat under it because it was chilly
  • Had leftover mini meatloaves and Kraft dinner for lunch

Monday, May 11 (Day 59)

  • Sat at the kotatsu for lunch (sandwich and popcorn)
  • Had an afternoon snack of cookies
  • Got some packages, including birthday gifts from Mom
  • Took a picture of the fridge calendar, which was totally full, then erased it and started it over for a new month. It had previously shown March 29 through May 9 and now shows May 10 through June 20
  • Made frozen fish, white rice, and veggies for dinner

Tuesday, May 12 (Day 60)

  • Took a picture with one of the birthday presents Mom sent me, a hard-boiled egg slicer! I can make egg salad now…
  • Set out the gifts I had opened (the egg slicer and Baking with Kim-Joy) and the big gift I hadn’t in the entryway with some decorations to make my 42nd birthday seem like a big deal
  • Also broke down all the boxes that had been sitting in the entryway
  • Sean went grocery shopping and got McDonald’s breakfast on the way back and I ate it while working
  • Sorted all the stuff that needed to be frozen and organized the freezer; was very proud of this accomplishment
  • Made dinner sausage, garlic noodles, and mixed veggies for dinner

Wednesday, May 13 (Day 61)

  • I did not bother getting dressed on this day, instead wearing the nice pajamas Mom gave me for Christmas
  • Checked the mailbox before work; it was nice to be outside and see pretty flowers
  • Sean made me Gordon Ramsay-style scrambled eggs to eat while working and they were delicious
  • Sat under the kotatsu at lunch
  • Had crab Alfredo and peas for dinner
  • A large package arrived at some point on this day; I took a picture of it at midnight

Thursday, May 14 (Day 62)

  • Had Greek yogurt with blueberries and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast
  • Made stir fry with chicken and seasoned turkey for dinner; mixed in stir fry veggies with noodles and also made white rice

Friday, May 15 (Day 63)

  • Walked on the treadmill while watching a movie for half an hour before work (at some point I decided to watch all of Star Wars chronologically so I think I was still watching The Phantom Menace on this day)
  • Had a lunch of sandwich and popcorn at my desk
  • Opened the big box and there was a slightly smaller box inside it; it looked like the label might give away the contents so I put the invoice on top of it upside down
  • Had Boston Market delivered for dinner, even though Boston Market is literally a 2-minute drive from here

Saturday, May 16 (Day 64)

  • Sean has been miserable due to allergies. He was sleeping in a funny position because of this and I took a picture that no one else will ever see
  • Ran some errands: put gas in my car at Costco ($1.44 a gallon, holy shit) and had my emissions tested
  • Got a free car wash with the emissions test; took abstract car wash photos as you do (or at least, as I always do)
  • Got Sean a PBJ smoothie
  • I must not have been hungry, as I didn’t get myself anything; I imagine I made myself sunny-side-up eggs and toast before I ran my errands, but if so I didn’t take a picture
  • For lunch I got Shane’s
  • Set up on the patio to eat, sitting in the armchair with my writing laptop on the bistro table and the food and bug spray on the deck box
  • Took a picture of a cute lizard
  • Moved back inside after I finished eating and set up in bed with the breakfast-in-bed tray and a plate of cookies
  • Had frozen dinners for dinner

Sunday, May 17 (Day 65)

  • Made sunny-side-up eggs and toast for breakfast, so maybe I had already had a smoothie the previous day…or maybe I just didn’t have breakfast, who knows
  • Set up at the dining table with my writing laptop
  • Had leftover mini meatloaves and au gratin potatoes for lunch
  • Went to the package lockers to get a package
  • Went to Taco Bell and KFC to pick up dinner
  • Note: While I was trying to write, a neighbor was standing out on the patio next to ours hocking loogies into the forest, and I could hear it perfectly clearly from my seat at the dining table, and it was disgusting

Monday, May 18 (Day 66)

  • Took a picture of my gross toenail, which I still don’t feel like getting into, but let me just say that it has been fucked up for something like three years now and I wish it would just come off
  • I have no idea what I did on this day because the next picture after that one was a random out-the-door picture of the patio at 6:10pm
  • Made curry for dinner with ground beef, onions, potatoes, and the mixed veggies Sean hates; he liked them in the curry so that’s all I’ll ever use them for again

Tuesday, May 19 (Day 67)

  • Had Greek yogurt, blueberries, a banana, and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast
  • It had been cool for a while and I started leaving the windows open; this helps Sean’s sinuses. I had my office window open and a fan blowing air into the room
  • For lunch I sat at the dining table with my laptop and ate an adult lunchable
  • For dinner I reheated the rest of the curry from the previous night

Wednesday, May 20 (Day 68)

  • Another day, another gross toe picture
  • Also took a picture of the thermostat because some of the display no longer comes on so it looked like it said “F9” instead of “69”
  • Ate lunch (sandwich and chips) in the kitchen while cleaning it and getting stuff out to bake cookies later
  • Finished lunch at the dining table with my laptop
  • After work, baked cookies
  • Made crab Alfredo and peas at 8pm

Thursday, May 21 (Day 69)

  • Had Greek yogurt, a banana, and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast
  • Sean was thawing out some bread (we buy extra and put it in the freezer now) and it was in the fridge so I took a picture of it
  • Had some hot cocoa mid-morning in my The Force Awakens mug
  • Ate an adult lunchable at my desk
  • Worked late, it looks like (I forget but I didn’t start cooking till 6:20, maybe I was writing)
  • Made roast pork, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies for dinner

Friday, May 22 (Day 70)

  • Didn’t take a picture of breakfast but I’m sure it was more of the same
  • Instead of eating my packed lunch, ate leftover crab Alfredo in bed with my laptop
  • I did work late on this day, I was trying to finish a project before my four-day weekend, and I got it done!
  • Did not take a picture of dinner and didn’t write it on the calendar either so this meal remains a mystery

Saturday, May 23 (Day 71)

  • Changed the setup on the dining table; instead of sitting on a hard dining chair with an uncomfortable cushion and having the laptop right on the table, I:
    • Brought over one of our spare office chairs
    • Set the laptop on top of my little footstool that normally lives in the closet
    • Hooked up Sean’s spare keyboard and my wireless mouse
  • This almost immediately helped the tendinitis I had been suffering for the past week or so (as did doing my stretches)
  • Made sunny-side-up eggs (but botched them completely) and toast for breakfast
  • Finally re-hung the dining room mirrors! They had been on the wall where the Christmas tree goes, but now I have a bar table there, so I put them on the walls that flank the windows, in as close to the exact same position as I could manage, facing each other. Symmetry
  • Also finally set out some display pieces; I hadn’t put anything out since Christmas and I was getting tired of my lamps not having anything on the shelves
  • Had an early dinner of frozen dinners and watched some TV with Sean, then moved back to the dining table
  • Decided while staring at my china cabinet that I wanted to light it properly, so I ordered some LED light strips (they arrived yesterday)
  • I also ordered two picture frames so I can finally hang some art I’ve had matted and waiting for years
  • Had a sandwich and leftover mac and cheese for dinner

Sunday, May 24 (Day 72)

  • Went on my first walk in a long time. Mom sent me a bunch of cloth masks but I ended up wearing the balaclava again; I like that it covers my ears. No orifices exposed. I took my camera and had a leisurely photowalk
  • When I got back I showered, picked up some Shane’s, and set up on the dining table to write
  • For dinner I went to McDonald’s and I had a bad experience in the drive-thru that I will write about separately (maybe)

Monday, May 25 (Day 73)

  • Off work for Memorial Day
  • For breakfast I made cheesy scrambled eggs and hash browns for Sean and me. I was afraid they would turn out horribly but they were delicious; I was relieved
  • Sean expressed a desire for muffins so I tried to bake some…these did not turn out well. I think what happened is I thought I was adding baking powder but it was actually baking soda, so there was too much. Ugh
  • Otherwise, I spent all day on the couch with Sean watching NCIS. We got all the way through what Netflix has and had to switch to CBS All Access to continue
  • For lunch we had hot dogs and chips
  • For dinner I ate the rest of my Double Pounder with Cheese from the previous night and some grapes
  • Sean went to Taco Bell and on his way out he told me there was a frog outside so I took some pictures of it
  • Went to bed on time

Aaaaaaaaand now we’re caught up through yesterday. As I mentioned, I’ve been in a foul mood today, but at least I managed to get this written…it’s been kind of hanging over me all month.

As you can see, there were some days where I was pretty productive, and other days where I wasn’t. My mood has swung around a lot. Work has been a decent distraction, but it’s also very mentally tiring. This whole coronavirus situation is also very mentally tiring. I’m just tired. I’m also angry and scared. Here’s what I wrote on Twitter today:

Oh my GOD, brain, STOP IT. My least favorite organ is working OVERTIME today

This is a VACATION, please enjoy yourself instead of thinking negative thoughts about yourself!

Here’s the thing: this was supposed to be a break, but it’s actually impossible to take a break. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t do the things I would normally do. I am stuck in my home watching everything go wrong and feeling useless. Prime conditions for the self-hatred I guess

Work gives my brain something else to focus on, but work is also exhausting. I wanted to feel relaxed. But that is impossible!!!

I have therapy the day after tomorrow but I have no idea how it will help. There’s no end in sight. Nothing to look forward to

I keep seeing people visiting their loved ones and feeling resentful. Other than Sean, I haven’t seen a friend in person since the beginning of March or a family member in person since Christmas. I have canceled three big visits, with my girlfriend, mom, and brother.

[I wrote something extremely negative here and then deleted it]

Ultimately the fault lies with our dysfunctional government, but like everything else there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m just upset all the time, and I try to paint over that with thoughts of other things, but something always chips the paint away and reveals it.

The negative thing I wrote and deleted was basically suicide ideation. I’m okay, I think I just needed to see it written out. I didn’t post it at all because I didn’t want anyone to worry. It’s basically: I’m living this unhappy existence in order to keep living, but what’s the point of living if I’m going to be unhappy? What purpose does my existence serve at all? And there is a purpose, of course. I have coping skills that I learned in therapy to deal with this feeling. I can recognize when I’m being irrational and let those feelings roll on through without judging them.

It’s just exhausting to push myself at work and with hobbies and feel okay while doing that, but finally get too tired and want a break, and as soon as things calm down to start feeling Ye Olde Depression. It makes it easy for my other bad mental habits to come back, like comparing myself to others and hating on myself.

I’m not getting out of this until there’s a vaccine. And that just seems so far away.