The last time I left the house to be among society was on March 14.
I left home that morning to go and vote early for this year’s presidential race. Little did I know this would be the last time in a long time that I would probably be among actual people without fear of catching a highly contagious airborne virus that could kill us all.
It’s now Day 65 of being in self-isolated quarantine, which is a lot like Day 64 which is a lot like Day 44 which is like every day since March 14. People ask me how am I holding up and the answer is…okay, I guess? I’m taking things day by day, and some days, hour by hour. I’ve been working remotely for over a decade, and my current gig is also remote, so there were no interruptions. I was already getting groceries delivered because I live in a food desert, and meeting up with friends happened sporadically enough to still maintain relationships but also enjoy copious amounts of me time.
I mean, I should be KILLING this quarantine shit, right?! I’ve got time now to pursue creative endeavors! Read more books! Cook more! Reconnect with people without putting on pants! And yet, most days have consisted of an 8-hour sprint of Zoom calls and Google Hangouts for work followed by smoking weed, ordering delivery for dinner and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Some days I’ll even throw in a catnap or two.
You might’ve noticed that I referred to my quarantine as self-isolated: spoiler alert — it wasn’t always that way. As of April 30, Georgia’s shelter-in-place orders were lifted, and businesses have been re-opening here in waves. We’re three weeks out now, and well…Atlanta is open. But cases here have not been dropping, folks are not wearing masks, and social distancing is not happening. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos and news stories of people being accosted (and in one case, killed) over enforcing masks or not staying at least 6 feet away from others. Add to that the stigma around Black folks wearing face masks, and I do not see myself being in anyone’s public place of business for the rest of the year. (Look, I saw Watchmen.) And you can forget about me hopping on a plane anytime soon.
I know this isn’t sustainable. And I know it really isn’t good for my mental or physical health if this keeps dragging out. I’ve heard of people creating quarantine bubbles with other folks, and this sounds good…in theory. In practice, it’s no different than how super spreaders transmit the virus; it just happens at a smaller scale.
I don’t know what we are gonna do, y’all. I started blogging here again to try and channel these feelings of restlessness and uncertainty into something else.
The world is changing. How will we change with it?