Pandemic Week 8

4/29/20 Day 37 Sheltering

We have Stu, France and Gretel (rabbit, cat, cat) all hanging out in the apartment again. They are loving each other.

4/30/20 Day 38 Sheltering

We’ve crossed over into the creativity phase of quarantine now. I weeded my personal library of old books I didn’t need, and put them in the little free library down the street from my apartment. I also arranged our bookshelves by topic and #OwnVoices sections.

I found a love for colored pencils, reading one or two pages out of 15 books a day, making panang curry, podcasting with my girl Jess, and grinding hazelnuts to make my own hazelnut coffee!

5/1/20 Day 39 Sheltering

And the first day of May starts off with a panic attack, over nothing really- but everything of course. I am thankful that it has taken me this long to fall victim to depression/ anxiety over this quarantine. But it has definitely hit. I am no longer just reading quietly and feeling thankful for the time off work. I am getting antsy and wondering if this is a forever thing. It doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep well last night- something that almost never happens to me. I had stress dreams all night — one of which involved Panera bread bowls which were made in the shape of moccasins and could be worn on feet when you drank the soup out of it.

That being said, the great thing about panic attacks is they ALWAYS END. : ) Just have to wait it out. Sometimes that means laying on a futon and staring at a wall in between responding to work emails and crying to your partner.

We had to cancel a visit to Columbia this month because of quarantine, and I think it really upset/disappointed Carp. I am trying to focus on not letting others problems be my problems, and setting healthy boundaries. This is something I have always had a hard time with, but it is especially hard when we are mandated to stay at home all day with the same person. My skin feels like those Thai eggroll wrappers that are paper thin and you can see through… I feel like I can’t keep other people’s emotions/ issues out of my head. When I was working two jobs and constantly running, when my brain got stuck in a loop it was soon rerouted because I was so busy. Now, it’s hard to just find ME. Which is a weird thing to feel during quarantine, right?

Hazelnut coffee from a french press and sauteed mushrooms in curry helps.

5/2/20 Day 40 Sheltering

Costco is not letting anyone in without a mask!

My friend Tony visited on his way moving from Texas to Minneapolis.

5/3/20 Day 41 Sheltering

Chill day with reading, roasted asparagus, tea and jigsaw puzzles.

5/4/20 Day 42 Sheltering

Costco is now limiting how many steaks customers can buy. Also only one person per family at a time inside.

The state is opening up again today, but the city of Kansas City, MO isn’t opening up until another week and a half.

5/5/20 Day 43 Sheltering

Porch picnic with Diana, and a leash for Francis to join us outside! Plus everything is opening back up, and I got 24 fresh donuts from Lamar’s for $8 because the guy was super kind.

5/6/20 Day 44 Sheltering

Celebrating a friend’s birthday today, and looking toward roadtripping to New York this week for a funeral.

Below is an list of affirmations that have been circulating on social media addressing COVID19 and taking care of oneself.

“1. Feeling emotionally exhausted as I process the constant flux of this crisis only means I am concerned, compassionate and humanly vulnerable.

2. I rebuke the capitalistic conditioning that drives self-shaming, whenever I prioritize much-needed rest over grind culture and productivity.

3. My inability to focus or stay on task is my system’s natural response to being overwhelmed, and I only dehumanize myself by pathologizing how I adapt.

4. Mitigating my distress with good news, joy, pleasure and self-care is a healing act of self-preservation, not self-indulgence.

5. Small contributions to my community and within my networks are helpful and meaningful, even if I’m not on the frontlines.

6. Muting pandemic-related posts for the sake of my anxiety, or altogether “unplugging,” doesn’t suggest I’m apathetic, disengaged, or self-centered.

7. My method of staying up-to-date with news can differ from everyone else’s.

8. Relapsing into maladaptive coping mechanisms is OK, as long as I consult my own accountability plan, and/or am honest with my accountability buddy.

9. Missing the physical touch or presence of others doesn’t make me needy.

10. I’m never alone, though I may feel forgotten about while social distancing.

11. COVID-19 recoveries are happening every day, and there is a collective effort beyond my awareness that will see us through.

12. I’m allowed to feel simultaneously fortunate/grateful and miserable.

13. Reaching out for help with my financial struggles takes bravery and radical vulnerability.

14. People can relate to my anxiety, existential dread, fear, grief and hopelessness more than I presume, and if/when I open up to others, I’ll be validated.

15. Adjusting to change is difficult, but a new, better “normal” is underway, and my role in bringing it to fruition matters immensely.”

  • Araya Baker

midwestern librarian, writer, activist. subscribe —

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