I get laryngitis all the time. Probably at least once a year — since I was a teenager at least. And every time, without fail, there comes a day where, suddenly, not only do I completely forget what my actual voice sounds like, but I am also absolutely certain that it will never return the same as it was before. This is where I am in my quarantine. I forget what it is like to make social plans, to see people’s actual faces, to have someplace to be and I am absolutely certain we won’t return to a sense of normalcy that actually feels…normal.
I had heard a long time ago about the “Icky 3s” as it related to quitting something and quitting other people seems to be no exception. “At three weeks, we’ve gotten through the shock of physical withdrawal and we’re just beginning to tackle the mental side.” Uh, yeah. That’s pretty much spot on. It doesn’t seem crazy anymore or as weird as it did. I notice I’m not (nor is really anyone else) saying things like “in these strange times” nearly as much as we all were. It’s not that strange anymore. It’s a new normal. But I’m reactive and moody and I’ve retreated pretty far into myself (for me, anyway) as a response to the social interaction craving.
I’m also absolutely enraged by people not following protocol. Anytime someone tells me they’re seeing family members because “we’re related!” I want to scream. I thought at first that it could be jealousy and a sense of fairness (if I can’t, why can you?) but then I realized that it’s actually indigence. If I will, why won’t you? It’s really no different from someone listening to a video on their laptop in a cafe at full volume. It would be chaos if we all did it and the only reason you’re able to is because I (and other people like me) are. The chaos is real. Driving your brother to CVS or having your adult nephew over for lunch in the middle of a stay-at-home order is listening to your laptop at full volume in a cafe. Those of us following the rules and staying home are making it safe for you to abandon those very same rules.
I could go on and on with various metaphors and ranting, but it actually doesn’t help me. Rage is not going to make this any better. Ennui is not going to make this any better. Wallowing in carbs is not going to make this any better (though it is going to make it taste better.) The only thing that is going to make it better is to keep slogging through it and to remember that there will again be warm, sunny days where we see neighbors from a distance and play games as a family and get work done and the goodness of people shows itself clearly.
Until then, fuck Week Three. Fuck it right to hell.