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The Third Draft

Musings of a D.C. gal who's had her 15 minutes

  • Writer's pictureKatie

We're in Week 2 of social distancing for coronavirus, and frankly, shit's fucked up.

First of all, do we even have a president anymore? Trump is like a haughty teenager any time he steps up to the mic -- he just wants to argue with people, stamp his foot and say he's right, and storm off the stage in a huff. Now he's talking about forcing open businesses again to get the economy moving. Sorry, asshole, but I'm not putting my health or anyone in my family's health at risk so you can eat at the Cheesecake Factory.

Look I get it, it genuinely is scary to see the economy collapsing before our eyes. I feel like if the virus doesn't get me, unending piles of debt will. I think R and I are lucky in that we're at least somewhat insulated -- we both work in jobs where we can work remotely and still get shit done, so we're both getting paychecks -- but I don't even want to look at my retirement account right now. I'm going to have to keep working until I keel over at my desk and they haul my lifeless corpse out of the office.

And amid all of that -- the enormous health crisis, the petulant ass of a president, the crashing of the economy -- there are still people still supporting all of it, and I'm like, WHERE'S YOUR FUCKING EMPATHY, BRO? I'm just disgusted.

People are still gathering in crowds, even though it's not healthy to do so. Every time I leave the house I am so full of fucking anxiety about it I can hardly breathe until I get back across the threshhold. My toe is still broken; my knee is still skinned. I'm honestly starting to panic a little.

And this is so stupid, but I'm going to bellyache about it a little bit: R and I booked a really fancy, relaxing vacation at a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for the end of May. We were hoping the worst of the coronavirus would pass before then so we could still go on our trip, but alas, we got an email from the resort that they were shutting down operations until June 1 so our trip is canceled. We're going to try to reschedule, but sometimes I feel like I can't catch a goddamn break in this universe.

Anyway, all of that was pretty well stream of consciousness. I'm just scared and stressed, and wondering about how long all of this is going to go on.

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  • Writer's pictureKatie

So remember how the other day I blogged and said "things are basically fine"?


First, there's been the physical issues.

After posting last, I went outside for a jog since my gym is closed and I have to workout somehow. Apparently, despite its near ubiquitous coverage in the media, not everyone has gotten the memo on SOCIAL FUCKING DISTANCING. Some folks you pass on the sidewalk will gladly scoot three feet in one direction while you scoot three feet in the other, but other people are just ambling down the street as if nothing has changed. So as I was jogging, I encountered a person who embodied the latter attitude, and as a result I had to scoot away even further. Well, I came down weird on the edge of the sidewalk, twisted my ankle and ATE SHIT ON THE GROUND, scraping the first few layers of skin off my knee.

Then, as I was putting my accordion away the other night, I somehow stubbed my toe/tripped over the case, and I BROKE MY TOE.

A picture of a foot with a broken baby toe
My poor baby toe -- so bruised and swollen!

I BROKE MY FUCKING TOE DURING A PANDEMIC, and I know I know I know everyone keeps saying "even if you went to urgent care a doctor wouldn't be able to do anything for you, they'd just buddy tape it to your other toe and send you on your way" but THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is I broke my fucking toe during a pandemic and I can't even go get buddy tape right now because I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS OR WHERE TO GET IT AND I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE MY HOUSE. So here I am, just living with a goddamn broken baby toe!

Then there is the mental aspect of social distancing. I am extremely lucky to have R here, and seriously, thank God for that. It would be a full on Lord of the Flies situation up in this joint if not for him here to keep me sane. But HOLY FUCKING SHIT, I need a happy hour. I am trying to send video messages to as many people as possible, but I feel like a flower pot that's been taken out of the sunlight and set in a dark closet. I'm WILTING!!!

And so you'd say, "well, how about treat yo'self to something nice?" Well, dear reader, I am two (limping, painful) steps ahead of you. I decided to order some wine from a woman-owned neighborhood bar and have it delivered to our house. However, just about 15 minutes after I placed the order, they put up a message on their Facebook page that they were ceasing all operations because one of their employees is sick, and while they don't know for sure if it's the coronavirus, they're not taking any chances.

So, can't walk/exercise, can't see friends, can't get wine. AAAGGGHAHHHHAHAHGHG.

Look, I know things could be so, so much worse. I mentioned my parents/brother in Cincinnati before, and I'm so worried about them I have knots tearing up my stomach. So far everyone I know is healthy, but I realize that could easily change and then I won't give two shits about my toe or my knee or the fact that I will NOT be getting a bubbly rosé tonight.

But at this exact moment in time, I'm FLIPPING THE FUCK OUT. Lord in heaven, FACETIME ME!!!!!!!

P.S. Also, on a much smaller but still annoying AF note: I put a can of soda and a can of seltzer water in the freezer this morning so they could chill faster and forgot about them until they exploded everywhere. FUCK!

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  • Writer's pictureKatie

When I was in college and editing at the school newspaper, we kept a notebook full of quotes people said during the long hours we worked there that made us laugh really hard. If read through it cold, you probably wouldn't even crack a smile — it had a very "you had to be there" vibe. But one of those funny-at-the-time quotes has stuck in my brain these 15+ years later: "Has the whole world gone topsy-turvy?!"

You really don't need to know the circumstances under which it was uttered — as I said, you had to be there — but the phrase has traveled with me wherever I've gone since then in order to be pulled out when things seem patently absurd. Dogs barking while boiling pot overflows while smoke detector goes off? "Has the whole world gone topsy-turvy?!"

And now, today, in the midst of a pandemic, I can confirm to you that, indeed, the whole world has gone topsy-turvy.

I've listened to a lot of folks talk about journaling through this time, how it's going to be something we want to look back on, remember how we felt, pass down lessons to future generations.

I also saw this tweet:

Well then. **cracks knuckles** Here goes!

For starters, I'm freaked the fuck out, if we're being honest. R and I are being as careful as we can be — we're both teleworking and staying indoors with the one notable exception of walking the dogs. But what if that's not enough? We've only been able to work from home since the beginning of this week, and what if we picked up the coronavirus before then?

But more than myself, I'm scared for my parents and brother. My parents are 69 and 70, and my brother is immune compromised due to a liver transplant. If the virus gets to one of them, the whole house is going to go up like a tinder box. I just want to fast-forward past this, whenever that is, and have everyone in my life be OK.

Other than being in the world kind of feeling like this:

things are actually... good? The terrible part of my new job was the commute, and remote working takes that out of the equation. Spending all day every day with my husband and dogs is a kind of nirvana. I'm also thanking my lucky stars that I'm not actually pregnant or actively going through fertility treatments — what a fucking nightmare that would have been. There is a bit of stress in the back of my brain about how long the pandemic is going to last and when we can get back to trying, but I'm OK keeping things on pause.

And who knows, maybe that book I feel like I have inside myself somewhere will finally make its way out. But first, the Great British Baking Show isn't going to binge itself.

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