I’m not sure if these posts are useful or interesting. But I feel like I need both an outlet and a way to document this bleak moment in history. I’ve probably read too many post-apocalyptic novels where some artifact of an earlier age is discovered and helps explain how the new world came to be and am angling to leave my own artifact. If you’re reading this from a Covid-free future, hello! Apologies for we residents of the 21st century for fucking up the planet.
My normal days – you know, a week ago – normally involved a lot of sitting around. Sure, I ran errands daily, hit the gym, and tries to do other things to keep active, but I also had stretches each day when I was stuck in a chair or on a couch, dicking around on the internet, reading, or maybe cranking out some content for this site.
So this week has not been a huge change for me. The only difference is the girls are here with me and I’m limited in where I can go if I do want to leave the house.
In recent years I’ve tuned out the news quite a bit. I believe the American media has become toxic and more interested in generating views/ratings/clicks than advancing legitimate discussion on any issue, political or otherwise. Some are worse than others, but I am deeply disappointed by the state of most of our media.
Over the past week I’ve reverted to teenage me and become totally news-obsessed. I’m constantly flipping through a collection of news sources, have added some Covid-related follows on Twitter, and so on. It started with the dopamine rush of how powerful and vital TV was from last Wednesday night when the NBA fell apart through Friday afternoon when the NCAA cancelled the tournament.
I needed to find a way to keep that buzz going. Sitting on my ass, running down the battery on my iPad while jumping from the Washington Post to the Guardian to Talking Points Memo to Vox to Andy Slavitt’s Twitter storms is the best way to get it.
This elevated sense of excitement, uncertainty, and fear was exhilarating for awhile. But after a week, it’s starting to wear me down. Yet, with things happening so quickly it is difficult to disconnect and give myself time to breath knowing taking even an hour off will require catching up on at least three things that on a normal day would be massive news.
I’m going to begin making a concerted effort to put the iPad down and do other things. The world will go on, hopefully, without me keeping my head submerged in the flood of news.
I think I’m generally a realist who remains steady in tense moments. I don’t freak out in the face of tornado warnings, power outages, etc. That has served me well over the past week. I know there is no interruption in our food supply. I know the hoarding of toilet paper is silly.
But, man, you make a trip to Target and see empty shelves where the toilet paper should be and you start to wonder what you should be grabbing. A mental switch flips and you realize how the psychology of hoarding works. Even as I tell myself there is no need to start grabbing, say, bandages and shampoo, there is this tickle deep inside of me that wants to begin filling a shopping cart with anything we could possibly use.