More thoughts on life in the times of Covid-19
Just some blogging:
So far, disruptions due to panic have happened earlier than I expected, but fortunately I'm pretty well prepared. At the same time, we don't really know how many people are infected at this point, and it's pretty obvious just walking around that there are wildly varying degrees of taking this seriously.
I've been taking medium precautions, I think. I'm shifting towards cooking at home and I'm walking or biking over taking public transit or rideshare. I'm avoiding crowds and being aware of what my hands have touched since I last washed them. I'm not completely isolating myself in my apartment, but I'm planning to scale back how much I go out pretty significantly soon, and not making plans that require that I go out. For existing plans that I have, I'm making decisions based on if I think I can avoid interacting with other people. I'm trying to pay enough attention to the news to know when to switch strategies. I feel like I'm doing all the reasonable things I can do to keep safe, which is helping keeping me from getting too stressed.
Staying healthy and happy
My last post talked about how, when preparing, I'm trying to have more than just rice and beans on hand. I still feel comfortable getting groceries during hours nobody else is there, but I went during the day recently and it was absolute chaos so it seems like the time to start going less. I've been vaguely planning out food I like based on what I have. If I'll be home more, I'll have the time to put more effort into cooking and baking than usual. I'm looking forward to improving my sourdough bread, and I might actually make pie crust from scratch.
Some people are quite comfortable being at home all the time, but I personally found (especially in grad school) that being stuck at home away from other people does not help my stress levels. In the absence of other plans I tend to go on the Internet, but now is probably not a great time to spend all your time reading social media. So for me, I think it's important to keep busy doing things that I enjoy. It's also helpful to plan things that I'm excited to do that involve staying inside.
- I've started a new knitting project I'm pretty excited about. I also want to get better at sewing and have the materials to do so, so I'm looking forward to having the chance to work on that.
- It'll be a good opportunity to work on my backlog of books. I also went to the library and got out more books - according to the Internet, libary books don't transmit these illnesses.
- I've kind of wanted to write more. Obviously I'm already doing that, but I might dabble in fiction as well.
- If I decide I want to do other things, maybe I'll try and learn a new language, or learn to draw, or read Wikipedia a whole bunch.
- I'm hoping some of these things - e.g. crafts, reading - are something that some of my friends will also be doing more of, and something we can do in a somewhat more social way, albeit over the Internet.
- I plan to play more video games. In particular I've been looking into multiplayer games I can play with friends.
- Fortunately I have some friends within walking distance, and at this point it seems safe to hang out so long as they are also taking precautions. That might change though, hence the above points.
- I have an ongoing tabletop RPG game, and we have plans to switch to playing over discord. I'm also planning to try and get people to play D&D with me.
- I plan to ride my bike regularly; it gets me out of the house and gets me to get exercise while at a distance from other people.
- Going for a walk should also be safe, especially since I live near a park. It's important to remember that (unless you get sick) you aren't stuck inside entirely.
Ignoring vs reading the news
I'm actively avoiding reading anything about stocks or markets. There's nothing I can do about it at this point, and those problems are farther down on my Maslow's Hierarchy. I also think trying to "buy the dip" or whatever is a bad idea.
It's not realistic for me to avoid thinking or mentioning COVID-19. At this point, it's at the back of my mind in every decison that I make. I also do feel like I should know what the current situation is so that I can keep doing things that are safe to do. I am however trying to stay aware of first, what information is actually useful and accurate, and second, of when I'm getting information that is useful versus just making myself stressed.
Written Mar. 8 2020