Life in the time of COVID-19, part 2

I’ve been hearing reports that Ohio isn’t supposed to hit the peak of this virus until mid-May, and Terry just told me Virginia’s stay-at-home order was issued to last through June so… seems like this will become a recurring series for now!

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First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my Dad today! He’s turning 73. My brother turned 44 two weeks ago. And for anyone else who has a March birthday in their life, you know March birthdays just suck this year (and seemingly April and May to follow). Thanks to the internets I was able to “take my parents to lunch” for my Dad’s birthday this year, sending them delivery from one of their favorite restaurants. But man, knowing that I won’t be able to see them for at least two more months is definitely getting to me. I last saw them at Christmas, and normally would see them in April (probably for Easter). I talk to them on the phone a lot and text with my dad pretty much daily but it’s still not the same, and this is probably the longest I’ve gone without seeing them since I moved out in 2003.

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I mentioned a couple posts ago that we’re planning to buy a house sometime soon. What I didn’t mention is that we’re also planning to relocate back to my hometown of Toledo, a couple hours away from where we’re currently living in Columbus. We had no reason to move to Columbus other than Terry getting a job here, but he’s been working virtually for a company back in Chicago for about a year and a half now, so we don’t really have a reason to stay. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people here along the way that I’ll miss seeing, but I miss living by my family more. Anyway, as you can imagine, the quarantine/self-isolation and all non-essential businesses being shut down is throwing some snags into that plan. We were hoping to close and move in April but that’s definitely not happening, and I’m not sure how soon we’ll be able to find anything. Our lease was originally up 5/31, but our landlord agreed to let us keep renting on a month-to-month basis into summer until we find something. I really hope that’s all the time we need, but who knows at this point.

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I’m now into my third week of at-home workouts with my gym, Burn. I really appreciate that they’re providing online workouts for members (especially since we’re all still paying our monthly dues) but I have to admit that, for the most part, I was phoning it in with my workouts. Then the online workouts had some guest trainers last week that got me really fired up and I remembered what it felt like to really be pushed during a workout. My trainer here in Columbus is offering more live classes via Zoom that I’m able to attend (previously they were 6:30am and 6pm, which aren’t ideal times for me), which is helping. I took one over my lunch today and I’ll be damned if she didn’t kick my ass as if she was right in the room with me!

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Today on a work call, people new to working from home were looking for advice from seasoned veterans. As much as I hate “tips” posts, I’ll say that the one thing that is helping me through this “new normal” is sticking with a routine. I’m still waking up at the same time each day, eating consistent meals 3 times a day, working out each day, etc. I haven’t missed a workout yet in 2020 (today was my 78th boot camp of the year!) and am still consistently tracking my meals M-F each week. In part, I feel like I worked way too hard to establish good habits to just throw them away now, but also sticking with my routine is giving some sense of normalcy to an otherwise weird situation.

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I normally have a huge salt tooth, but something about the last few weeks has reawakened a MAJOR sweet tooth. It’s ridiculous. The other day I just had to have some cake with frosting, so we ended up ordering cupcakes from a local bakery. They were much more expensive than making them myself, but I’d rather just have a few to satisfy that craving than be stuck with 2 dozen of them. And we’ve been intentionally trying to support more local restaurants right now, so ordering those cupcakes was selfless, really.

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I haven’t had a problem finding most of what I need in stores (I even snagged 4 rolls of TP this weekend!) but I’ve been hearing that there’s starting to be a shortage of baking supplies! The reason behind it is cute – more people are baking with their kids now that they’re home. But I’m still anxious thinking about the fact that there may come a time through all of this that I won’t be able to bake, since I find it so enjoyable and stress relieving.

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Generally speaking, whenever I’ve been out of the house it’s been pretty refreshing to see other people and interact with them (albeit at a distance). The exception being one night last week when I went to pick up food from a local food truck. I happened to see on their Facebook page that morning that they now partner with an app for online ordering. So I placed my order, got a response that my food would be ready in 30 minutes and waited at home before heading over. When I got to the truck there was a long line full of people. I double checked the text from the truck that said to just come right up to the front of the line to pick up my food. When I did, the woman at the front of the line yelled at me to go to the end of the line. I told her I was just picking up my online order, and she lost her shit and said I STILL had to wait in line. The poor employees on the truck told her that I was indeed able to pick up my food that I had already ordered and paid for and she went off on them and on me, saying how unfair it was that I was just “cutting” in front of the line when she had been waiting for however long. I found this irritating, but basically told her to STFU and try online ordering to skip the line next time. I just felt bad that these employees were working hard (and putting themselves at risk for getting sick by interacting with so many people) and getting yelled at for something that stupid. (Note that I emailed the restaurant the following day and suggested they add a sign somewhere for “online order pick-up” to prevent this kind of situation)

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Strangely enough I’ve been more social now in self-isolation/quarantine than I have been in years. Since moving back to Ohio I almost never go out anymore, which has been fine with me. Then last week I found myself with 3 different virtual happy hours on my calendar, in one case even being double booked! I’m not quite overwhelmed, but it’s definitely a change. The first invite I got was from my old running club, the Wurst Running Club Ever, which was a group that hung out while I was still living in the city of Chicago, around 2013-2014. I hadn’t seen most of those people in person, or really even talked to them online, in years. So when I was invited to join them I thought what the hell, this should be fun. And it was! I also had a birthday happy hour for two of my friends here (who, as previously mentioned, had sadly uneventful March birthdays), and on Friday got to catch up with Kim and Xaarlin (neither of whom I’ve seen in person for at least a year). Part of me is like “why didn’t we do this before?” on video chats and “why didn’t we hang out in person” with my Columbus gym friends, but it’s all better late than never! It also makes me feel better about moving away from my friends here because keeping in touch with them has been extremely easy through all of this! What an odd blessing in disguise. Also note that despite all the video calls and chats I participate in with people I like, I still f*cking hate video calls for work. “Cameras on!” during a call is like nails on the chalkboard.

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Lastly, my mom and I went “shopping” together over the weekend, which is to say I helped her order some stuff online while talking on the phone. Not quite the same as walking around stores together, but good enough given the circumstances.

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How are you keeping in touch with people now? Do you feel more or less social than before?

7 thoughts on “Life in the time of COVID-19, part 2

  1. I saw that about VA! Crazy! I wonder if our governor will extend ours past the end of April.

    Happy Birthday to your dad! I hope you get to seem them soon and that the house hunt becomes less ridiculous.

    I was just thinking yesterday I wanted to ask how you were accessing your Zoom Burn workouts (still paying or not) so thanks for telling us! I am glad you got fired up again! I miss my workout buds, but am finally starting to get in my groove at home too. I actually love lifting heavy, and I can do that more easily at home 🙂

    That’s so lame that the woman was acting that way at the food truck 😦 That would have had me so on edge. I hope they took your advice and added a sign, and I hope the food was worth it!

    I think all the virtual socializing is a blessing in disguise too 🙂 I feel the same amount of social as before, I just see more people reaching out, which is nice (like, my FiL actually called me to see how I was doing, what?! He also called Gina, so he must be hella bored). I hope that continues after this! I loved our call and appreciate you setting it up! ❤

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    • Yeah I’m definitely wondering the same thing. I would imagine they’ll err on the side of caution when re-opening things but who knows.

      Right as Ohio was shutting down gyms I guess a few members of my Burn asked about suspending their memberships. The owner (it’s a franchise, so each location is owned as a small business) wrote a very long and thoughtful explanation for why they would be unable to do that (mainly that they’d likely fail and have to close), although I think they’re making exceptions for people whose financial situations have changed as a result of this. I’m still getting a new workout 6 days a week, so I’m happy to keep paying, especially since I know some of my dues are helping to pay my trainer’s salary – she’s been working her ass off from home this whole time. The CEOs are doing live workouts on YouTube each morning (via a private link that only members receive, although that is an honor system thing) and my trainer is doing 6-7 live Zoom workouts each week, also with a private link.

      So jealous of your ability to lift heavy while at home! I do have a set of plates and a bar but the squeezy things (technical terms) barely fit on the bar, so it’s a pain to set up. Have you been getting many strength workouts in?

      LOL at your FIL being bored and calling everyone! My parents are still in “polite, don’t bug anyone” mode, so I only talk to them on the phone on weekends. But agree, it’s been nice to get back in touch with people this way 🙂

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      • I hope they err on the side of caution!

        I think it’s awesome Burn is doing all that and that you can support your trainer. Is that their full time job? I wonder what Efit will offer as we stay at home this month, too.

        Ha! I can’t remember what those squeezy things are called either but they are a pain! So far I am still doing 2x a week like I did before but I may go up to 3 🙂

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  2. Sorry you didn’t get to see your parents for your dads birthday. I’m sure they appreciated the food.

    Our shelter in place is supposed to expire on April 7- but like Ohio, I know Chicago hasn’t seen the peak of cases yet either.

    Boo to that miserable lady. People will always be jerks and miserable regardless of the situation. I hope the restaurant puts up a sign too- but reading comprehension is lost on so many too. Ugh

    It was so great to see you and Kim last week! And why didn’t we do the virtual chat sooner!?!

    I was wondering how the “shopping” with your mom went? I’m glad it worked out.

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    • Yeah, I feel like we were all optimistic a few weeks ago that things would go back to normal by April but that seems unlikely (no matter how “important” it is to reopen the economy for all the rich d-bags).

      I feel like this kind of situation just brings out the jerks too. Most people I’ve encountered have just been happy to interact with another person, so I was so not expecting that!

      I keep wishing I had gotten on board with video chats years ago, when I still lived in Illinois, because that would have been a fun way to keep in touch with my family.

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  3. So many good things to comment on.

    Happy birthday to your dad! Pandemic birthdays sure will be memorable this year. I’m sorry you won’t be able to see your parents for the foreseeable future (I understand). It’s hard not having a date on the calendar to look forward to. :/

    I’m with you on the “keep your habits your habits” stuff. I’m much the same – still running, still food journaling, still trying to sleep at reasonable hours, and trying to get the girls to do the same (though admittedly I don’t wake them up at 7am anymore). I think it’s hugely helpful to have at least one thing, or a few things, in our lives be unchanged right now.

    I’m sorry you had a crappy experience with that woman. Ugh. I think people manifest their stress differently right now than normally, and you were the unfortunate recipient. (not an excuse though) good for you for giving the truck feedback; hopefully they’ll heed it.

    Good luck on the house hunting and move. Man, that’s stressful any time of the year, but to be doing it in this backdrop…ugh. Do you think it’ll be hard to stay away from your parents though (or to limit your interactions with them) if you live nearby, with all of this going on?

    Hope you had a good week and that you have a relaxing and baking-full weekend. xo

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    • Happy birthday to your husband too!!! What a bummer that his 40th is now. Hope you can do some make-up celebrating later this year! (incidentally we’re planning to go to Cali for my 40th next year!)

      Yeah, I think not having a date for the next time I’ll see them IS tough because I always have my next trip planned! I hope things are back to normal for your Ohio trip this summer. I think we’ll probably move in June at this point. If things aren’t totally cleared up by then I’d at least be happy to get groceries and run errands for my parents so they’ll just stay the f*ck home.

      As we say in the leadership training I facilitate at work, feedback is a gift! 🙂 Agreed, hope they’ll make some changes as a result! I don’t think their workers want to deal with angry mobs now.

      I just stocked up on flour so yes, baking is in order! Hope you all enjoy your weekend too!

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