Today isn’t Sunday. It’s not March 29th. Certainly, it’s not the end of the weekend.
Today is 16.
For some, might be a little higher. Others might be lower. Others, could be just right.
To the brothers and sisters in Queens and the rest of NYC, Northern Italy — fuck, all of Italy — Spain, Wuhan and the whole Hubei Province in China, all you COVID-ass-kickers in South Korea, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana, the collective Bay Area, and everyone up and down the West Coast, hope you know we see you.
And to any of my fellow 16ers, doffing my latex gloves and surgical mask to you, and wondering whether or not you’ve finished Tiger King yet.
Of course, I’m referring to Day 16 of quarantine, and/or — depending on where you are — Stay At Home Advisory, Stay At Home Order, Shelter In Place, or Lockdown.
I really and truly hope you and your loved ones are all healthy and safe.
Honestly, I think that’s all I should really say, keep things to the brevity of a shoutout because who among us needs a blog post about how weird this all is, given that we’re all probably always talking about how weird this all is?
If I was going to say anything here, I’d confess that when the COVID situation first reared it’s slowly-mutating, lipid-covered head, I treated it, at best, like a nuisance, and at worst, and my most American, like an inconvenience. I’m ashamed I only truly came around to taking the necessary precautions tuned in to the gravity of the situation when the world had already begun to systematically close for business. Normally, in the hindsight of such an oversight, I’d shrug and mutter “Better late than never,” but a shortage of respirators doesn’t really give a shit about bad timing.
So, I’m really sorry about that.
While I quietly try to help buoy my family up in the rural mountains of Colorado — Dad, Mom, Sis, and a 12 year old niece — pray my professional life stays intact past when the curve finally flattens, brainstorm ways to retool a creative life in the ping! of coronavirus, maintain my personal relationships via Zoom, and navigate an 8 hour time difference and 6,000 miles with a romantic one, that’s when I have to remind myself to drop trying to cling to a sense of normalcy and accept how fucking insane this is. How unfathomable this is. How UNPRECEDENTED this is.
And that’s when I stop worrying and just wonder how everyone is doing.
How are you doing?
Because the lucidity comes when my best friend throws an online birthday party for his 4-year-old daughter and everyone who confos in to light a candle was in quarantine. And it comes when I catch up on our company general Slack channel when I get up in the morning and every overnight post is from an employee in quarantine. And it comes during the off-hour video date days/nights with a special someone, and she’s in quarantine, too.
We’re all in quarantine.
I lived in Chicago when 9/11 happened, and there was fear that more was coming, concern for loved ones on the ground, and grief over loved ones lost. However, unless you were, like, waking up in a studio on the Lower East Side on the day, as close as news coverage can bring it into our living rooms, in memory it can still all seem as distant and removed as a movie. But this time, there’s no one in the world who this event isn’t affecting, and I don’t know if that makes me more relieved of horrified.
As my friend Robin said, “Literally nothing is gonna be the same after this,” and I both know she’s right, and hope she’s right.
I hope this helps remind us that none of this is about “me,” it’s about “we.”
This is for every active case and every death and every devoted medical professional at the front line in a single use mask multiple times; for every billionaire who’s tried to capitalize on product demand and every politician in it for the kickback and every logistical misstep that set any country weeks behind the spread; for every cough and six foot distance and spray of disinfectant; for every CNN binge and late morning happy hour (sure, I said it) and long drive to nowhere; and especially for any and every individual who’s worse off in quarantine than out — I hope this shifts the paradigm as mankind looks toward the future.