I sit here less than 12 hours before this blog post is scheduled to be posted, and at least 9 hours after it was originally due, feverishly typing away on my laptop. You want to know why? Because we are now in our ninth month of this pandemic and quarantine. The days have all started blurring together. I can barely remember if I have taken a shower each day unless I do it first thing in the morning. Needless to say, I apologize now for any grammatical and typing mistakes below.
Remember when this all started in March? We had Tiger King to tide us over and forget about what was happening outside of our homes. The government gave us a $1,250 check to sit home. Those were good times. I want to go back to those times. While in some ways it feels like time is passing super quick, all of that seems so long ago. Living in quarantine is like living in dog years. These nine months have actually been 6 normal years.
Philadelphia, along with many other municipalities, have recently announced new restrictions. We can’t go to the gym, sporting events, work (unless you absolutely can’t work from home), dine indoors (because so many people are going to eat al fresco in 45 degrees weather), have holiday gatherings, and they want us to wear masks inside our homes. Look, honestly, I’m just going to say it. I think our country needs to be shut down harder than an overeager guy on prom night. But the reality is without a functioning federal government willing to help out the general public, that can’t happen. People need to work and that anxiety from being able to pay for basic needs would be too much. I mean I tried to voice this opinion to my apathetic brother and before I could even get the full sentence out of my mouth, he threatened to take to the streets and riot like he was Che Guevara.
If it weren’t for meetings at work, I would seriously have lost all concept of time and probably be halfway to living like the Unabomber – you know minus the whole mailing bombs and killing people thing. We had a town hall meeting at work a week or so ago and they said that we won’t be required back into the office until at least July 2021. That means we are only about halfway through this. At this rate, I might end up like Jodie Foster in “Nell” and need to be completely re-socialized when the time comes. I’ll have de-evolved into just grunting things. Most days the only time that I speak to anyone is when I check in at the gym.
The one upside to all of this is that during the pandemic I have forced myself to take steps towards new things. I’m slowly learning to play the drums. I also took steps towards something I have talked about for a few years now. I signed a contract to write my first book. That is keeping my busy – although because I have so much time in my apartment, I have also taken to using notecards to map it out. I’m at over 500 notecards and counting. Pretty sure that if this pandemic doesn’t end soon, I’ll be found dead under this note cards at some point. But at least they are color coded. I’m not basic enough to just use plain white index cards.
I am risking it to have Thanksgiving with my brother, the newly mint revolutionary, and his family. Although, before agreeing to come, I demanded to know that no one else was attending. But this is all hinging on the fact that my three-year-old nephews are currently being quarantined at home because one of the kids at their afterschool care was presumed to have COVID. Their time in lockdown will be up on Thanksgiving eve, so assuming nothing comes up I will be able to join them. Otherwise it’s Zoom for them.
It’s amazing to me that with all of this going on that people are still so blasé about everything going on. Walking around the city I see half the people not wearing their mask correctly, or not wearing one at all. I was speaking to a former neighbor, who’s a nurse, who was just like I’m going to live my life. We are all going to get this. Not many people are dying from it. As a medical professional I was shocked by what I was hearing. She was actually more annoyed about COVID than anything else.
Frankly, I’m annoyed about having to stay home.
I’m annoyed that I don’t know what day it is.
I’m annoyed that I’m probably only about two months away from becoming a hoarder.
I’m annoyed that people I know have died and had lingering aftereffects for eight months.
I’m annoyed that I have to use my sense of smell to know if I showered today and am quite certain I have accidentally doubled up on medications and vitamins.
But I’m most annoyed by the fact that so many Americans can’t think enough about other people to do simple things that would help get this pandemic under control and help us move forward.
(Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!)
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob