The weird part, for me, is that quarantine life isn’t weird. I mean, the stuff going on in the world is undoubtedly abnormal, but being inside and not venturing out more than once or twice a week is my routine. Stocking up because it’s not safe to go outside is called winter in Finland. My whole aesthetic is minimalist/DIY/introvert. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve been longing to just go full hermit for years now.
As for the outside world, I’ve known that the United States was dangerously dysfunctional for decades. I’m not being so callous as to say “I told you so”, but I’m kind of horrified to see some of my worst fears becoming reality. The need for social safety nets, including health care, living wages, paid time off, and an education system that teaches critical thinking skills, is painfully evident all of a sudden. Well, to more people than before at least. Covidiots abound.
When we were in the United States and Katie was teaching elementary school, she would dig in during summer and winter breaks. We’d have breakfast, then she’d disappear into her studio to make art. Around noon I’d slip in and leave her a sandwich and something to drink. She’d come out for dinner, then go back into the studio until bedtime. That’s essentially how she’s dealing with it now, since all of her meetings and workshops and teaching gigs have been cancelled. It’s an opportunity to dive headlong into projects.
I don’t understand people that are bored. Lonely in this new quarantine life, sure. Stir crazy from being cooped up inside, absolutely. Bored? There are more books to read than I have time to tackle. I have a Gothic fiction reading last that I’m working through, nominally as research for the novel. There are books in my publishing niche that I want to at least skim as marketing research and idea mining. I foolishly allowed myself to be lured into buying a writing book bundle a few weeks ago, as if I need more books on the craft.
If all I did was read, I might get tired of it and need to change things up. I wish I had that problem. There are streaming services, though. We have HBO Nordic, Netflix Nordic, and I just broken down and spent the $5 US per month on a Fite TV AEW Plus subscription so I can stream professional wrestling instead of news when I run out of spoons. Even without paid services, there’s ample content to be found on YouTube and even broadcast television.
To maximize our budget and extend our supplies as much as possible, I stocked up on raw ingredients. I’ve been baking bread, muffins, and cookies. I’ve been making soup, canning vegetables, and filling the freezer. The goal has been to ensure our nutritional needs are met, while variety so we don’t get tired of eating the same thing over and over again.
How’s Quarantine Life Treating You?
Aside from managing supplies, I’m not thinking beyond today. There’s no way to tell what’s going to happen tomorrow, so it’s madness to speculate. If I started trying to suss out what our immigration situation might be in six months, for example, I’d have to do a deep-dive into what the American and Finnish governments might look like based on projected infection rates, economic forecasts, and historical data on how people handle long-term pandemics. I’m not emotionally equipped to do that.
Hey, we’ve got plenty of food, rent money, ample food and entertainment to keep us occupied, and the sun is shining today. I’ll take it and be grateful.
The Latest Information
On one hand, it’s mildly annoying that the official sources of information that I follow don’t updated on weekends. As if the pandemic takes downtime, sleeping in, maybe does the Sunday crossword puzzle. It has the potential to make Monday morning so much worse, because instead of a 24-hour incremental change we’re going to see a 72-hour progression.
On the other hand, it’s nice to have the respite. Unless something major happens, it can’t hurt to have the constant trickle of tragedy turned off for a while. I’m sure it’s a blessing for the people who have to compile the data as well.