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Diary

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.

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Diary Health News

Shelter in Place: Days 50–51

This is the update for the weekend of Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 2020.

I spent most of my time this weekend working on a piece of writing that is past due. I made considerable headway on it, but it’s still not quite done. Unfortunately I’m not feeling well today. I took a sick day and I am not sure I am up to accomplishing much of anything beyond feeding myself.

The weather was beautiful this weekend. I went out in it twice, briefly. On Saturday I drove to Shane’s to pick up my lunch curbside. On Sunday I drove to Smoothie King to get smoothies for Sean and me (they also do curbside pickup now). I didn’t go for a walk or anything, and I didn’t sit on the patio, but at least I got to see some green. I should have gone for a walk on Sunday like I did last weekend, but I didn’t get up early enough to feel comfortable doing so. People are out in force now, as if the pandemic were over. It’s not over, y’all.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Days 45–49

This is the update for Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1, 2020.

Well, I apparently didn’t feel like writing journal entries this week, so here’s stuff pieced together from memory and photos. Basically it’s a lot of work, food, and watching TV. That Rona Life.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 44

This is the update for Sunday, April 26, 2020.

When I got up sometime after 8, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. However, yesterday I told myself that I should take a walk today, to try and prevent the depression I’ve been having the past few Sundays on lockdown. So despite my reticence, I got dressed in workout clothes, had a little breakfast, put on my balaclava, and headed out with my camera and a water bottle.

I decided to go to the neighborhood walking path that runs alongside a nearby street, then take it down to a longer trail that I’ve been on before. To the left, it starts running along a creek but then veers off and leads all the way to a park. To the right, it runs along the same creek, but until recently it ended in a construction zone. My new boss also lives in this area and she told me last week that the trail is finished now, so I went to check it out. I was really interested to see where it would come out.

The walk ended up being 4.87 miles. It took me over two hours; I did a lot of stopping for photos. The trail was amazing! It runs along water pretty much the whole time, with lots of rapids. It’s below street level and surrounded by trees, so it doesn’t feel nearly as urban as it is, even when you walk under an overpass and see street art. It’s relatively flat the whole way, and also mostly straight. And the scenery wasn’t just trees and water (although that would have been more than enough for me); there were also flowering trees!

When I got to the place that had been under construction before, I found that there is now a parking lot and rental bicycles, and around the corner from that was a different trail that continued along the creek. At the start it’s a wood bridge with super high walls that I could barely get pictures over, though I could see over and through it. The bridge eventually gives way to regular ground and a lower fence.

After a ton of beautiful rapids views, the creek narrows, and the trail winds through some buildings and comes back up to street level. I was surprised to see where I came out. I would have had no idea all that green space was below the street in that area. This is a big reason I love living in Georgia—it’s just so beautiful, and there’s nature everywhere. All of this was within walking distance of my apartment, and there are even more trails, some I’ve been on and some I haven’t. It’s amazing.

The trail ends when you get to the street. I could have turned around to go back the same way, but it would have been longer than just taking the streets home, so that’s what I did. I got to see lots of beautifully maintained flower beds along the way.

I was able to avoid getting within six feet of the people I saw out, though I’m starting to wonder if anyone in Cobb County has heard of walking single file. Walkers and joggers alike who are traveling abreast give the impression that they can see no possible way to avoid being next to each other. Just…one of you slow down, or speed up, and allow plenty of passing room! It’s not rocket science!

I’m really glad I went for that walk. I got home feeling great, and after showering and sanitizing everything I felt really refreshed.

I decided to try to get Shane’s again. The online ordering for pickup was still wonky, so I picked the delivery option, which took me to the service provider’s website: DoorDash. I’d never used it before so I had to set up an account, but it was super easy. It was also fun that I could see where my delivery driver was. I got my barbecue chicken tenders, mac and cheese, potato salad, and gallon of tea, and spent a contented afternoon eating, listening to music, and messing around on Twitter.

That evening I baked another batch of chocolate chip cookies, my third since shelter-in-place started. For dinner we had hot dogs and scalloped potatoes from a box, because I was tired!

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 43

This is the update for Saturday, April 25, 2020.

This was a really productive day.

Some time ago—months?—I decided to go through the closet in the second bedroom. It was around the time I was putting Christmas away, and I just wanted to reorganize to make it easier to find things, and get rid of things we weren’t using. I pulled everything down from the shelves and sorted it into groups, then took a load to Goodwill and put back the things I knew I wanted to keep. That left a bunch of Sean’s things, mostly computers, computer hardware, computer peripherals, and computer technician tools, but also a crate of comics, some binders, and miscellaneous software.

For a while I had all this stuff sitting on the bed in the second bedroom waiting to be looked through, but the clutter started to get to me, so I dragged it all out into the living room and piled it behind Sean’s desk on our two folding tables. (To do this I also moved the bar table into the dining room where the Christmas tree goes, and took the mirrors down from that wall. I need to hang the mirrors up again—I know exactly where I want them—but I haven’t gotten around to it.)

Anyway, I think the clutter was overwhelming for Sean (it certainly would be, and was, for me) so it just sat there after that. I finally decided that I’d go through it myself, not to get rid of anything but to just sort it better and put it back in the closet.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 42

This is the update for Friday, April 24, 2020.

I felt completely rested when I got up this morning, which was pretty impressive given that I was so worn out last night that I had to nap for like three hours. I guess the nap helped! So I got right up, had my shower, had my breakfast, and got started on my day.

Breakfast was Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries and a boiled egg. I also had a little tiny bit of cottage cheese. For lunch I did some writing again, yay! I also had a ham and provolone sandwich, baked Lay’s, and sweet tea. For a snack I finished off the pork roast and mashed potatoes.

Work went okay. There were a lot of meetings, including one where I explained a flow chart I’d made and another that was a group brainstorming session, but I’m not as exhausted today as I was yesterday.

For dinner we ordered sushi from Sushi Huku and had it delivered. It was so good to have sushi again, omg.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 41

This is the update for Thursday, April 23, 2020.

I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I did two 20-minute snoozes, finally getting out of bed about 11 minutes into the second one. Didn’t have time for a shower, so I pulled my hair back into a ponytail (it is just barely long enough to still do this).

Breakfast was cottage cheese, a banana, and a boiled egg, and I also made some powdered cocoa. Lunch was a Hillshire bistro board (the one with an egg in it), and I ate that while working. I took a late lunch break at 2 and heated up a couple pieces of leftover roast and some mashed potatoes, because I was still hungry.

It was windy and rainy when I got up, but by around noon that was over, leaving the sky overcast. I usually open the blinds in the office to let sunlight in while I’m working, but there wasn’t much today.

Work was good. I am organizing a lot of information, and that’s taking some brain power, and then I also conducted a meeting today, and that drained me completely. It all went very well, but it was super tiring! Once work was over I went to bed and napped until 8pm.

Dinner was stir fry veggies and chicken with rice and soy gravy. I didn’t actually have stir fry veggies so I used the “Mexican-style” mix. Fortunately it still tasted good.

As usual we watched NCIS while eating. I was really enjoying an episode where Gibbs was going through a lot of emotional turmoil over his ex-wives, but then that story arc’s bad guys killed one of them, and not the one they introduced in that arc but Diane who I absolutely love, so that put a huge damper on the whole thing. If they could stop fridging women for Gibbspain I would really fucking appreciate it.

I should try to tally who all has died in the name of Gibbspain…by which I mean being killed by someone, not like dying of old age. The only man I can think of off the top of my head is Mike Franks, but on the woman side there’s at least Shannon, Kelly, Kate, Jenny, and now Diane. Bleh. (Other women have died, but not necessarily to hurt Gibbs directly.) This all makes me think of how Person of Interest fridged Joss Carter by shoehorning in a last-second romance between her and Reese before killing her. He had already literally lost a love to a bad guy, kicking off his extra-judicial law enforcement activities; the same thing happening again didn’t even serve a story purpose.

I know that in some cases the actresses want to leave the show, but you don’t have to kill them to achieve that. Ziva in NCIS is a great example of how you can organically have a character leave the main cast without killing them.

Anyway.

I stayed up until midnight thanks to the nap, but adding the nap to the regular sleeping time comes out to about my normal amount of sleep, so I think it was fine. And I feel pretty great this morning (I’m finishing this post the next day, lol).

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 40

This is the update for Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

Woo what a milestone! 40 days!

Today was fine I guess. In addition to the cottage cheese, banana, and boiled egg I had for breakfast, I heated up a leftover mini meatloaf from last week because I was pretty hungry. For lunch I had a sandwich and popcorn and actually did some writing! Work went pretty well; I had a productive meeting and learned a lot.

For dinner we had frozen dinners because I was tired and cramping. We watched a bunch of NCIS and then went to bed. And that was pretty much it.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 39

This is the update for Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

I haven’t written anything creative in I don’t know how long—a week? Longer? I don’t feel like there’s much to look forward to right now. With so many people, including the governor of the state of Georgia, being shortsighted and foolish about this pandemic, it seems like shelter in place will never end. Not having an idea of when it might end makes it hard to be positive. I can’t make plans. I don’t know when I’ll see my friends and family again.

I went to the store this morning because I had a prescription ready. I covered up as much as possible, including wearing a hat and tucking my pant legs into my socks, and of course I wore a mask and gloves. While I was there I looked for a few things that we didn’t get in our curbside pickup order on Saturday and that Sean wasn’t able to find in the store when he checked that same evening. I snagged some toilet paper and paper towels (which I had been really worried about), some frozen fish and veggies, a couple frozen dinners because I figured I could make them fit in the freezer (and I did, with effort), some more dinner sausage, lunch meat, cheese sticks, Slim Jims, various Knorr noodles, two boxes of au gratin potatoes, and soy-flavored ramen.

The only thing I really wanted and couldn’t find was Knorr Alfredo noodles. I got a bunch of imitation crab, so I hope I can find Alfredo noodles online or something. Maybe the crab would be okay with garlic shells? I dunno.

I miss sushi. I’m going to look into whether any sushi restaurants are doing takeout. Maybe we can have some on Friday. That would be something to look forward to.

Today I had planned to do a video chat with a coworker and friend at lunch, but I wasn’t feeling up to it, so I rescheduled with her and spent my break watching Haikyuu!! instead, starting season 3. Seasons 1 and 2 had kind of accelerated pacing; character arcs I would have expected more time to be spent on were done very rapidly, with some even wedged in as retcons/flashbacks. It wasn’t bad, per se, but I like it when the story spends a little more time on things like that. Season 3, on the other hand, is all about a single 5-set volleyball match, the final prefectural match before nationals. They stretched things out so much that an entire episode was spent just on the opening ceremony. It’s quite a contrast to the first two seasons, but I enjoyed it. I enjoy the show in general; all the characters are really fun. I finished season 3 after work and look forward to checking out the OVA and what’s out so far of season 4 soon.

I’m at a point with a lot of my work where I have to wait on other people, which can be hard for me. I also had a lot of trouble focusing for much of the workday, I think because of anxiety over going to the store/the situation in general. I had to drink some sweet tea in the early afternoon to get myself back on track. Fortunately, it seemed to work. My brain got unstuck and I was able to make good progress on a project that involves a lot of problem-solving style thinking. By the end of the workday I was actually feeling pretty good.

After work I made frozen fish, creamy garlic shells, and Italian-style veggies (Sean did not care for that mix of veggies) and we watched Haikyuu!! and an episode of NCIS.

I went to bed feeling pretty decent.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 38

This is the update for Monday, April 20, 2020.

Today I decided to cut my hair.

I had been getting tired of how long it was, how it kept getting in the way (and also getting in my butt). So when I got out of the shower I dried off but left my hair wet and asked Sean to chop it off for me. When he’d cut it to just past shoulder length, I trimmed what I could see to make it even in the front. It actually looks pretty decent.

Work went fine. A bunch of meetings and discussion. After work I lay down in bed with Sean (no euphemism) and napped for a bit. Then I got up and started making dinner (roast, mashed potatoes, peas). We watched NCIS again while we ate. And that was pretty much the day.

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Diary Health

Shelter in Place: Day 37

Today is bad.

I was very anxious yesterday and that seems to have bled into today. I read a description of what it’s like to die of COVID-19, which was probably unhelpful. I also saw a bunch of news stories about the morons who are protesting shelter-in-place because they can’t stand being inconvenienced and don’t care who dies as long as they can get their hair cut. Out there spreading the virus around even further, trying to kill everyone.

I got up sometime after 8 and sorted my pills for the week. I didn’t bother getting dressed. I warmed up the leftover sweet and sour chicken and rice from last night and ate it over the next few hours as a combined breakfast and lunch. My day started at the dining table, but I got really upset and started crying, so I decided to go back to bed. I took my laptop and watched some Haikyuu!! and tried not to get any more anxious.

I’m afraid Sean was exposed to the virus when he went into the Kroger and he brought it back to me and I’m going to get sick. It’s not really an irrational fear, but it’s certainly an unhelpful one.

My chest feels congested and I’ve been coughing the past couple days, but this could be related to pollen. I’m really trying not to overreact to everything.

I’m just a giant ball of fear and anxiety and despair today. It’s not pleasant.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 36

This is the update for Saturday, April 18, 2020.

I was up about an hour later than usual last night, and I let myself sleep in, so I got up sometime around 10:30am. My standard morning routine these days is:

  • Get out of bed, leaving bed unmade
  • Go into the bathroom
  • Take morning meds and set out midday meds
  • Brush my hair, if it looks ridiculous
  • Sit on the porcelain throne for a while and:
    • Check my personal email
    • Play Words with Friends
    • Play The Arcana
    • Read Twitter
    • Scroll Instagram
  • Take a shower if necessary (I shower every other day, unless I have gone outside or worked out, and in those cases I may end up showering twice in one day)
  • Get dressed, brush hair, and put on makeup
  • Treat my gross toe (that is all the detail you’re getting about that)
  • Collect midday meds and carry them and my phone out of the bathroom
  • Make bed now that it has cooled down (this is an anti-bed bug precaution, not that I have ever had bed bugs)
  • Put midday meds in my beautiful English rose pill box (thanks Mom!!)
  • Have breakfast

This is all basically the same whether it’s a workday or not. Today’s Saturday, so instead of yogurt and a boiled egg made by Sean, breakfast was sunny-side-up eggs and toast made by me. I tidied the kitchen a bit while I cooked, emptying most of the contents of the sink into the dishwasher, and then I cleaned my dining table cover of cookie crumbs, and then I sat at the table with breakfast and my laptop and goofed off all morning and into the early afternoon.

In between shitposting/having Deep Thoughts on Twitter, I finished loading the dishwasher and started it running, then started two loads of laundry. I wanted to get my jeans washed since I wore them out yesterday (even though I didn’t get out of the car, lol). I also wanted to wash Sean’s jeans since I’m not sure they were cleaned after our last grocery run (which I believe is the last time he wore them). The virus would totally be dead by now, but still. And I wanted to do whites even though it wasn’t that big a load, just to do it. (I seemed to be in Chore Mode.)

Around 2 o’clock I fixed myself a lunch of leftovers: the rest of the casserole I made last week, some mashed potatoes, and some mixed veggies.

My therapist has been out on medical leave, but she’s coming back, virtually, in May. She emailed last night to let everyone know (all patients BCCed) and to ask if we wanted appointments. I definitely do, so I replied right away.

Sean woke up around 4 and I started cooking dinner around 5:30, but we ended up not having time to eat before going to pick up our grocery order from Kroger. During the drive I felt extremely anxious. I had put on long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a mask, a scarf, and gloves, but I still felt really vulnerable. The knowledge of what COVID-19 could do to me has been sinking in more and more.

When we got there Sean went into the store to see if they had any toilet paper. I wish he hadn’t. They didn’t have any, anyway.

The store associate brought our stuff out on a cart, handed us the eggs, and put the rest in the trunk. We drove home and put the stuff away; I kept my outside outfit on while touching the bags but then once everything was mostly sorted I washed up and switched to night clothes. I finished putting things away (including breaking up meat and bread and putting it in the freezer) and then scoured the kitchen with 409 and took a shower. The whole day I had been feeling paranoid about my hair not being clean.

We finally ate our meal, which was grilled chicken breasts topped with some leftover sweet and sour sauce, steamed white rice, and microwave edamame. It was actually pretty good, though the chicken was a little tough from sitting for so long. While eating we watched a few episodes of NCIS. The grocery store had ice cream sandwiches this time, which made me very happy, and I had one for dessert.

I have been playing Words with Friends with Mom for a while now, and it’s really fun. I check in throughout the day and right before bed. So I did that and went to sleep a bit before midnight.

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Diary Health

Shelter in Place: Days 30–35

I’ve gotten super behind on these. So here’s Sunday, April 12 through Friday, April 17, 2020. This post includes a detailed description of the decontamination procedure I use when I get takeout, if you’re at all interested in that.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 29

This is the update for Saturday, April 11, 2020.

It was cold when I got up in the morning; when I checked my weather app it said the temperature was 40°. I decided to take a walk, expecting that there wouldn’t be too many people out. And there weren’t, at first, but as the day warmed up plenty of maskless people who didn’t seem to feel like properly distancing appeared on the neighborhood walking trail. (I passed one couple who were jogging abreast of each other, taking up the whole damn walkway, and they didn’t even bother going single file to pass me. I stepped as far off the path as I could and turned away so I wouldn’t breathe their air through my balaclava; one of them said “Good morning! Thank you!” and I wanted to throw something at them, lol.)

Anyway, I had a good walk, and once I was off that main path I didn’t see too many other people. Afterwards I showered and ordered Shane’s for lunch. Mom had sent me some medical face masks, so I put one on for my trip to pick up the food, and I also stopped into CVS briefly to get some allergy medicine for Sean. At least in there, proper safety precautions were happening. Most of the other customers and all the employees had masks on, and the prescriptions area had marks on the floor so people would wait the right distance away. At Shane’s, I had them drop my food in through the passenger window again, and yet again I shifted it to a plate immediately when I got home, threw out all the packaging, and scoured the countertops and my hands.

While I ate lunch I got some writing done on a story I hadn’t messed with in awhile, and then I watched a few episodes of Kim’s Convenience, and then I decided to sign up for Disney+ and watch Frozen 2. I didn’t watch it completely uninterrupted; Sean and I submitted our tax return about half an hour in, and then I stopped again to order dinner, and again to shuffle all the food into different containers when it arrived. By the time we finished the movie (which I enjoyed quite a bit!), it was time for bed.

All in all, it was a nice day. I continue to be unhappy with other people’s lack of caution about the pandemic, but at least I am able to be cautious myself.

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Diary

Shelter in Place: Day 28

Today was nice.

First of all, while I woke up a little after 7, I decided to go back to bed and didn’t get up again until after noon. I had a fun adventure dream that I don’t really remember and I felt happy and rested when I got up.

Sean had packed me a lunch as though I were working today. I had considered getting Shane’s, but since he’d already done that work I just ate what he’d made: a tuna fish sandwich and some Cheetos. I also ate part of the breakfast, the Greek yogurt, and added blueberries like I did yesterday. While eating I sat at the kotatsu on my writing laptop and played music on the TV. I didn’t write much for most of the day, just sort of goofed off and had conversations and read things, but I did end up writing a short one-shot about Salacious B. Crumb being in one-sided love with C-3PO. (I am a very serious author. In my defense, a friend gave me the prompt. But I am the one who actually wrote it.)

Dinner was crab Alfredo and peas. I cleaned up the kitchen while cooking, since I’d left Sean a mess yesterday. Sean and I watched two episodes of NCIS, and then I went back to goofing off on Twitter for a few hours.

Having the day off was just what I needed. I felt unhurried and unstressed and just enjoyed myself all day. I did go outside once, to check the mailbox, and it was in the 50s and everything was very green. Beautiful day.

I am going to try to take a walk at some point this weekend. I’m also going to get some Shane’s. :)