A friend told me today that his colleagues in Hong Kong told him the first two weeks of a lockdown are the most difficult emotionally.
I live in Westchester County, New York, which per capita is the most COVID-infected population in the country. Though I suspect counties in New York City and in California will surpass us in the coming weeks.
Every day, we name and count our recent blessings. But we are also struggling with the suddenness of two parents working from home, and the loss of our babysitter, who had to stay home because of her own too-close-for-comfort nearness to some who have been ordered to self-quarantine. Fielding the emails from the various schools, pre-schools, and institutions that want to continue serving us and our children feels like another job on top of becoming sudden-onset homeschoolers. I feel guilty about the local businesses I’m not able to patronize. The thing that hurts the most is the loss of time on the weekends with extended family — the get-togethers with friends, in-laws, and cousins.
But a couple things are getting me through. Alan Jacobs, on his wonderful blog, recommended “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” which put together mandolin genius Chris Thile with Cellist Yo Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and bassist Edgar Meyer. Jacobs calls this “New Chamber Music,” and it is both cerebral and joyous.
But not everything needs to be cerebral. On one of the streaming services, Hulu I think, I somehow found myself re-watching the incredibly crass but undeniably hilarious 21 Jump Street, featuring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Some readers may have noticed a melancholic streak (defect?) in my thinking; crass action comedies are one way I correct myself.
What’s getting you through these days?