Wednesday, March 18, 2020

responsibility vs. fear

Today, I decided I needed more sugar if I was going to switch to tea sometimes, given the past few days have been mainlining from my french press in the morning, and cold brew in the afternoons, and have been feeling a little more anxious than I should be. I feel like there's a battle in my brain between isolation as a tactic to reduce spread, and isolation as a tactic to not get sick by any means. To not go outside and risk touching door knobs and elevator buttons.  Both obviously, accomplish the same goal, but I feel optimistic about he first and panicky about the second.  I could easily hole myself completely in my apartment and be afraid, or I could venture outside when necessary and maybe even take a walk a safe distance from others.  Today, it was drizzling and dreary, but I did manage a walk down the alley to corner store to pick up sugar and more eggs (and some eat your feelings pint of Ben & Jerrys).  They were well stocked and not chaotic and even had plenty of toilet paper.   There were still actually people out in singles, not groups, all respectfully distant from each other.  The neighborhood, with Loyola folks leaving out, is a little slower in general, but most restaurants were still open to takeout, the smoke shop next to market still open,  Metropolis coffee. The Thai place across the street. I feel like this might change, but for now, we are holding.

I got home, changed clothes, washed my hands after putting away what I'd purchased. Today, I am set to really dig in on a lib guide about zines I've been picking away at for months. The last one I made was devoted to Afrofuturism and I was rushing to get it up to accompany related programming, but now I have nothing but time outside of some general housekeeping things working from home (not having access to the physical collection puts a dent in my responsibilities.)  Still, I keep getting lured away by a panicky scrolling through my facebook feed and the news.  We are discussing making some of the content that would have been in person online--the Book to Art Club, the propaganda workshop, since we have our own library canvas page (which til now, we were just using for student worker training & communications..)

So how to hold down the goal of making things less likely to spread by self-isolating, and yet not succumb to fear every time I need to take out the garbage, run to a store, or wind up in the elevator with someone. (today, it was a woman with two kids and I stood right against the doors and nearly tumbled out when it opened on my floor.)  How not to let fear induce panic attacks and yet still be careful.  I am still looking for balance in this, and hopefully find it in these uncertain weeks. Today, I was nearly in tears that I probably wouldn't get to witness two of my favorite signs of spring--the tulips blooming downtown and the boats beginning to fill up the harbors. Instead, will be watching from my window as the trees begin to sprout and the days get longer, which may be my only saving grace (if this were happening in November, I'd be drowning more.)

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