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Friday 8 May 2020

The ‘rona report, part 3: Where’s my head at?

At least this dude is enjoying himself.

Seems we’re all a bit woo-woo, mentally speaking, at the moment. But what I don’t get is why Rob and I are affected. We blasted through the first month of lockdown feeling very pleased with ourselves for being in rural Bulgaria, where the number of cases is low. We smugged to each other about having a big garden and a chest freezer. Then a few days ago we just … deflated. Why, when our life is carrying on pretty much as normal?

I mean, we already had the skimpiest social life going. This whole not-going-out thing is normal for us, and that’s the way we like it. So why do we suddenly feel so claustrophobic and antsy?

We’re used to living in each other’s pockets 99% of the time. So why are we getting on each other’s tits so much? Why does he seem glum and why am I so irritable this week?

I work from home and ordinarily display Spock-like levels of self-discipline. My working life hasn’t changed, except for a slow-down in the volume of work. So why can’t I concentrate for shit right now?

Example: I just did an online Moonpig order for a friend’s 40th birthday. Ten minutes later I get that pee-your-pants feeling and think, ‘Wait, did I even sign my name at the bottom of her card?’ I go back to Moonpig and discover that, yes, thankfully, I did sign my name, but that’s all. No customary post-name kisses. And I left off Rob’s name. It’s too late to change it, so my poor friend will just have to put up with a very curt birthday card that completely excludes my partner of 14 years. 

I wander off and forget to reply to WhatsApp messages. I read emails about 14 times in a row because I can’t seem to remember what the previous sentence said. I walk into the pantry, switch on the light and think, ‘What did I come in here for then?’ I call things by the wrong name so often, Rob’s stopped correcting me (and he fucking loves correcting me).

Why? Why, when our life is very much fine? We’re taking our vitamins, eating well, and sleeping well. Folks back home are as safe as they can be (*touch wood*). We’re having more video chats with people than ever. The garden explodes a little more into life each day. It’s asparagus season. And, obviously, we’re safely tucked up at home, far removed from the realities of frontline work.

It's been a slow spring, but things are greening up at last.

A good haul, earlier this week.

So why are we morphing into crap, sad zombies?

One theory, of course, is that the lockdown novelty has well and truly worn off. But I’m not so sure. I think it might be the opposite. I think we might be (whisper it) a bit sad to hear talk of lockdown measures easing, both here and back home. I’m not ready for it to end. Setting aside the bigger picture of whether it’s even safe to ease restrictions, I just haven’t got anything meaningful to show for it yet. I had all these grand plans to be creative and active and productive, and other things that end in ‘ive’ (reproductive? deductive?).

Instead, life outside is already returning to normal (in BG, at least) and I’ve done nothing useful except not get sick. Oh, and we’ve frozen a lot of lemon slices. So I guess that's good.