This post is late. Because I’m on coronavirus time.

This is a time zone that seems to hover above clock time, first-day-of-spring time, days of the week. My body is inhabiting some zone where my energy is fed and sapped by a kind of invisible anxiety — I have food, no one in my personal life is sick, I always work at home, so this shouldn’t be “that different.” But, everything IS different because we don’t know what to expect from moment to moment. And that is showing up for me as powerful, irresistible fatigue.

I’ve been coaching people throughout this week about how they’re navigating this time, and everyone is in a surreal space, in a tango between anxiety, loss of control, fear of scarcity, and knowing they have resources but having a hard time using them.

I’m the same — I have all the resources, for working at home, working out at home, connecting with people I care about, feeding the sense of community in the building I live in, friends close enough I can walk with and sustain social distancing norms. I have cats to cuddle. But I’m having a hard time *doing* anything. I haven’t touched Yoga with Adriene. I haven’t run since Wednesday and I had to force myself out. My art-making supplies are sitting out, untouched. Even though I’m usually pretty tidy, my vacuum has been in the middle of my living room for a week, there are little piles of laundry everywhere, my dishes fill my counter, and a new hallway rug sits rolled up on a bare floor. I am pretty good at “being with” what is happening — I can name it, I can navigate my scarcity fears — but I can’t seem to DO anything.

How are you managing? What’s making this surreal time manageable for you?

One thing that’s helping is making time dates to do things. I did a personal training session with the amazing Alex on Thursday, which helped. I have met a couple of friends for walks, touching elbows through our coats. I’m about to do one of the Amazing Alex’s online classes, and then meet Kim for a hike. Getting out of the inside of my head.

What about you? What is giving shape to your days? How are you finding grounding?

Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who is living in a kind of feral way in Toronto.

11 thoughts on “CoronavirusTime

  1. My son said it feels like the time between Christmas and New Year where we are all hanging out in PJs not sure what day it is or what we should be doing. But of course this is the unhappy and anxious version of that.

  2. Yes to this, and thank you for sharing it. It feels like a relief to read that we’re not alone in anxiety and fatigue. I actually have a lot to do– getting courses online and helping out with other volunteer things, plus lots more phone/computer contact with friends/family. But, it’s all exhausting.

    I’m finding grounding in being able to support and help others. Despite the horrendous nature of what we are entering, I feel most mobilized and alert when interacting with and supporting my friends, family, etc. It feels like getting something done.

    Next task: getting grounding in devoting myself to supporting me, too. Blog post on this tomorrow or soon. Take good care!

  3. Because I work in a hospital, I have a certain amount of structure, but it has been diminished as I work in surgery and the definition of necessary surgery is driving our intake. Gallbladders filled with gallstones and swollen appendixes (sp?) are handled. Orthopedic surgeons have cancelled total knee and hip replacements – our hearts go out to people who went as long as they could before scheduling this type of surgery only to have them cancelled! Kidney stones – check – we’re handling them. We go home early or help in other units needing help.

    I’m working on a short story and an essay for two separate competitions. I’m drawing on my competitive nature and the draw of there being deadlines for entries to give me some much needed structure. That and daily calls to my daughter in NYC is helping some.

      1. I need to tell y’all, I recommended and remind my thirty year old daughter to keep up on following your posts.

        She’s of an age, and, working in NYC, is inundated with social media input on the expectations of what is considered ‘fit’ for young women. Your stance helps her keep a healthy perspective on what’s important!

  4. I’m just thinking of a sister who is an emergency medicine doctor at hospital near Toronto. She’s abit afraid of being on the front line now. She’s been working in this role for past 17 yrs. She has 2 children. She told me she doesn’t care at this time, that they’re at home..and school is shut down. That is the least of her concerns now.

    Have been working from home…not all of us have citrix yet.. such just have to do what we can, work-wise.

  5. I live in an area of Queensland, Australia where the infection rates are just starting to rise but are still low numbers. It is totally surreal watching everyone at the beach and sitting in cafes whilst reading/hearing what is happening in the Northern Hemisphere. So far my group cycles organised by the shop have been cancelled, but the gym is still open. I am feeling oddly unmotivated to do too much apart from walk and sleep! Oh and I work full time in State-run community health care with vulnerable Mental Health clients, so I know I will be working right through rather than from home but I am aware of the need to do what I can with the knowledge and skills I possess.

    1. Thank you marisianvines… I know, it’s surreal. It’s my greatest hope that you will escape this — you’ve already had so much trauma this year with the fires. I feel optimistic in Canada that our measures and prep will pay off. Hugs to you

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