How I’m staying (in)sane during a pandemic

Picture courtesy of author

I watched Contagion. Not sure if that was a good idea. Hang on, another snack. The grass is getting greener. I’ve made an imprint on my couch. Huh, I haven’t left the house in four days. Ouch, I shouldn’t have stopped running. Oh look! Another bud is blooming. How many origami frogs can I make in a minute? Maybe I’ll mulch. Let me be helpful, I’m gonna clean the WHOLE HOUSE. Nope, you can’t enter my blanket fort. I have to catch up on all of the news… all at once. I’m going to listen to this album until I know all the words. Wow, sitting outside does make a difference. Look at that, finished two books in a day. I HAVE BAKED SO MANY COOKIES. And eaten them all. The sun is shining, maybe I should soak up some rays. I made a rainbow and put it in my window for the neighborhood kids who go on scavenger hunts to find. I watched a cardinal have a sing-off with its potential mate (I think… I don’t know that much about birds). Maybe I should learn about birds. I’ve made awkward eye-contact with my neighbor on our respective back porches too many times. Walking the silent streets is both peaceful and a tad creepy. Especially when the church bells ring. Someone yelled at me for not wearing a mask… in the woods. I’ve restrained myself from petting everyone’s dogs and cats on my walks and my heart is broken. I’ve watched my own cats sleep. I’ve watched the Hunger Games series through and am reading Harry Potter out loud with my family one chapter per week–– at this rate we might still have time to get through all seven books while still in quarantine. I’ve declared many goals to complete for this time. I’ve already forgotten to attempt some of them. Others, I’ve worked on. I went through a week-long enthused guitar-playing bender, only to fall right out of it again. Oh, and the ukulele. I’ve actually been watching TikToks… and recreating them… I’ve fallen so low. I’ve taught someone the difference between a robin and a cardinal. Again with the cardinals. Maybe I do know about birds. How can I complain when so many people are suffering and dying? I’ve been making dinner and exploring different recipes. I actually made bread! I’m still working on Tiger King. I painted each of my nails a different color. I’ve spent days upon days in the same pajamas. I’ve gotten dressed, put on makeup, and even bedazzled myself with jewelry to motivate myself. It works. I exercise a few times a week, look at me being productive! But hey, we still have the chocolate cake we made… maybe another piece. Look at the flowers exploding everywhere! The world really is happy. How many trips can I make to the refrigerator and not tread a path into the floor? My mom went to Costco and we had to wipe down each individual item. Never. Again. I’ve sorted through all my old stuffed animals that have been sitting in my closet. Maybe someone will want them when people can touch things again. No but I’m doing fine. I am. Except asynchronous lectures mean I can’t watch them during class-time. So do I have a schedule? I made a household schedule. Color-coded and everything. But this is a PANDEMIC, how can we focus on the mundane? How is it that I have so much time and I haven’t called everyone I know? I’ve perfected the headstand. I’ve stared at the floor for so long that I’ve found faces in the wood. I’ve color coded my sock drawer. Maybe I can start wearing shorts? I’m going insane. Nope, still here, still sane. We’ll get through this.

Elya Kaplan

What The F Magazine Staff Writer

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