Rumor Has It
My Pandemic Diary
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
I have not left my apartment in nearly a week, except to check the mail. I have not changed out of my pajamas in going on 72 hours—although I have made an effort to dress in normal clothes during those times when I go to my new office in my living room. I find myself growing envious of people with yards, even though I abhor landscaping in any and every form.
I want to say my lack of motivation has more to do with my inherent laziness than it does with pandemic-induced melancholy, but truth is, I’m not really a lazy person.
I remain healthy, but COVID is still getting to me.
And yet, even with all of the darkness and uncertainty, I am still so lucky. For the moment, I have a job. I am able to pay my rent and other bills. These are enormous gifts in our troubled times. I remind myself of that whenever my vision starts to narrow.
Music has long been a saving grace for me, and Bellingham’s music scene even more so. Having so much less of that to lean on is tough, but not because it affects my personal mental health, and more because I worry for the future of our robust music community and its many venues. This is mitigated somewhat by knowing the people who populate our music scene might not have infinite financial nest eggs from which to draw, but they are some of the more creative and resourceful people out there.
But when I start to get really down and my worry trends toward panic, there are so many things that keep me going, keep me inspired, keep me keeping on.
There is the friend who, although worried about her own small business and livelihood and that of her laid-off employees, has sewn and distributed masks to nearly everyone in her peer group. I got mine in the mail today—she made it from skull-printed fabric and I shall wear it with great pride.
There are the various organizations—the Riveters Collective, WECU, and others—that are helping both local restaurants and health care workers alike by ordering meals and keeping our frontline medical staff members fed as they take on the scariest thing they’re likely to ever encounter.
There are the out-of-work people who have joined together to feed, deliver groceries, run errands and otherwise assist vulnerable populations of people who are unable to do those things for themselves safely.
And there is the friend who is accustomed to saving the day, who now finds himself unable to fix all that is going wrong and has reacted by cooking vast quantities of food and delivering it to people he loves, myself included.
All around me, I see people not only rising to meet these unprecedented challenges, but also reaching out and making sure everyone in their lives can rise as well. COVID has taken something from every one of us—and in doing so has firmly restored my faith in humanity. That’s not nothing. In fact, it’s really something.