january 4th journal

It’s Monday, and the first day back to school after winter break. My 15-year-old’s school computer had gone completely out of battery and the school-issued modem was also completely out of power, so we put off school start until everything could charge for about a half hour.

In true form, my teenager made some really funny comments as he was doing his work; here’s my favorite from today, which I also posted on twitter:

teenager: there are ten to one hundred quadrillion ants on the planet
me: AUGH
teenager: TIME TO GET THEM TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

I like to start my weeks on Mondays; Sunday, for me, is still part of the weekend and since I don’t attend any religious services on Sundays, it makes sense to me that Monday starts the week. Even though I don’t have a lot to do right now that might qualify as ‘work,’ having the structure is still helpful.

I read a tweet by @prisonculture, Mariame Kaba, (who is amazing, please follow them if possible) that pointed out that we aren’t going to fix this *waves generally at things* in 2021.

“The United States won’t have COVID under control in 2021 and the population is in no way ready for the implications.”

@prisonculture (click to see the tweet)

Based only on the fucked-up and ridiculous way the vaccines are being rolled out here, I think she is completely right about this. I don’t expect to come out of personal quarantine until probably 2022. I want my children to be safe and I want to be safe and I want the world to be at least safe enough to breathe near others that don’t live in your own house without catching the virus; but I don’t know how we can get to that place. In the meantime, I’ve come to a place of acceptance regarding all the staying-inside that needs to happen now and for the foreseeable future. This is made somewhat easier by already being introverted with chronic illnesses, but I miss things like coffee shops and how the inside of the post office smells and running errands followed by a sandwich at a nearby restaurant.

The world will not be the same post-pandemic as it was in the Before Times, and I am still mentally wrestling with what this means, even just for me as an individual. The way I learned to live my life over the past four decades can’t be how I live in my right now and in my future decades. It’s almost all new, and no matter how accustomed I am at the moment to the various safety measures we’ve taken as a household to keep ourselves safe, I know that I haven’t fully realized yet how I’m going to cope with never doing life the way I did before. It’s almost too complex to get my head around it.

It reminds me of the way I read speculative fiction (like Octavia Butler or Andre Norton) and wonder what it might feel like to be the first people on a terraformed planet and how everything that needs doing will be totally different from anything those people did before, even though they might have practiced doing all those things. It’s an uncomfortable, doubtful feeling. It feels potentially nightmarish, living in a place where you can’t breathe the air or the gravity is different or all your time needs to be taken up with getting potable water with the tech you brought with you. It scares me and I wonder how a person survives something like that. I guess you would just have to keep doing what works and stop doing what doesn’t, and hope that mistakes don’t do huge amounts of harm.

Yikes.

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