I was supposed to be in Paris right now. There were some work meetings happening over there and I also wanted to see a friend who is moving back to the States. The meetings ended up getting canceled so I called off my trip, unable to justify going to Paris if there wasn’t work to be done there. I guess it’s a good thing I did, as France seems headed for a lockdown – the cafes were ordered to close until further notice at midnight last night. Let that sink in. Cafes are a way of life in France. They weren’t even shut down after the November 2015 terrorist attack that targeted them. This is some serious shit.
Ireland currently has 129 cases of Covid-19 and two people have died – there was a jump of 39 new cases overnight. Schools have been closed and people have been told to practice social distancing, including working from home. I’m lucky in that my industry can easily move to a work-from-model. Everyone in my company can continue to do their work and continue to get paid. We are very lucky in that respect. And I actually have a ton of work to get done this week!
I’m not overly concerned about myself getting Covid-19 – my brand of hypochondria doesn’t extend to infectious disease – but I am being cautious and practical. I’m certainly not going to tempt fate with this thing. And I wish others wouldn’t either. Temple Bar was crawling with revelers Friday night (and probably last night too) who apparently consider themselves immune to all of this and don’t care if they spread it to others. It’s St. Paddy’s Day weekend here in Ireland – the biggest holiday of the year for the pubs. Dublin’s pub culture is akin to Paris’ cafe culture. I can’t help but feel that we should be following France’s lead on this one. If France can sacrifice going to the cafe, surely Ireland can sacrifice going to the pub.
I’m also worried about the reaction in the States. I feel like they don’t realize that what we are currently experiencing in Europe is on its way there. We are their looking glass but they seem to be averting their eyes. Some schools have been canceled and some events as well but I don’t see much in the way of social distancing happening. On my social media I’m seeing pictures of dinners out, birthday parties, etc. (If my parents are reading this – I really, really wish you’d stop going out to eat. Do it for your paranoid daughter!)
So, I guess I’ll be spending even more time at home over the coming weeks. I’m pretty well-stocked with food, though I’ll probably have to actually cook for myself. I’ve always been a hand-washer, so I’ve plenty of soap. And I have a genetic predisposition to toilet paper hoarding. I haven’t had to buy any since this crisis hit and I still have enough to last me several weeks. That’s just something I always have stocked. That, and wine. And really, what more do I need?! 😉
In all seriousness though, I’m a bit concerned for my mental well-being during all of this. It’s no secret that I’m an introvert and like spending time by myself. But forced introversion? I’m not so sure. I live alone. I don’t even have a goldfish to keep me company. It’s going to be hard to not see my friends in person. Thank goodness for the likes of Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts. Later tonight, I have a Skype with a friend who lives about just a bit away from me. We were going to meet up at the pub today. Instead, we are each going to open one of our good bottles of wine and have a catch-up that way. Not as good as in-person, but it’s something. And I feel I’m going to need those “somethings” to keep me sane over the coming weeks.
I suppose everyone is going to need to find their “somethings” to help them through all of this. So, do that. Do what you and yours need to get through this, but do it safely and thoughtfully. Think of others. Be kind to yourself.
And wash your hands.