The Lethargy of Lockdown

“Really?! And they take public transportation?” I asked. I was sitting at the dining room table looking at my laptop. Skype was open and the display broadcast the familiar, warm smile and rosy cheeks of my dear college friend who’s living in Switzerland. “Yes!” she said.


I was jealous; the children there were already back in school! For me this seems like a far-off pipe dream. In my corner of the world, we’re still required to wear face masks, some items at the grocery store are still missing or have purchasing limits on them, and I will not be surprised if the kids are still at home this fall.

And yet, as humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years, we adapt. Sometimes, the adaptations have been welcome, yay automobiles and refrigerators, sometimes, like now, we’ve had to adapt to threatening circumstances; like war and famine.

One of the things that’s struck me as I’m adapting to this new world order is my perception of time. I've seen the memes, I know I'm not alone. How is it possible that I am moving and working all day, yet feel as if by the end of the day I’ve only just begun? How is it possible that I have nowhere to go, and should have more time, and yet it feels as if I have less? How is it possible that all the projects I’ve been wanting time to work on now seem unimportant to begin?

Our minds can be entertaining places, like a room full of funhouse mirrors. They take what is then twist and turn and expand and contract until the thing in front of us becomes unrecognizable. Obligingly, we walk forward into that which has been created and call it reality.

And so here I am. Is it Monday, or Sunday, or Blursday? Or, more importantly, does it matter?

Does it matter that I’m working at 11:30pm on a Saturday night and sitting to watch movies at 11:00am on a Monday? Has the world stopped spinning now that some of my projects have been replaced by hot chocolate and drawing with my daughter? Will anyone notice that I've scheduled my calls around the weather forecast, so I can be outside when it’s nice? I doubt it.

How many constructs, ideals, barriers, and blinders have I established in an unwitting pursuit of normalcy and predictability? What fun-house mirrors have I been staring into, thinking the image projected back was accurate? And now that some of those mirrors are shattering, what's possible?

We’re clearly at a turning point in history, one that future generations will read and watch movies about. There will be stories of death and hardship, there will be stories of heroes and heroines. There will be stories of renewal and innovation. My question is: what story are you writing? What new future are you conceiving? What illusions are you unveiling?