OK I’m done now

I made an attempt to leave the house today– we have something we need to pick up from the post office, and my wife is home today too so we’re not abandoning the boy to his own devices all day, and I thought I’d go ahead and take the hit and go pick up the thing at the post office and maybe hit up Target or something for some printer paper, which we also need to print out his thousands of e-learning assignments.

We have two aging N-95 masks in the house, and my wife has been wearing one of them during grocery trips. I checked out the other one and decided that the elastic didn’t seem likely to hold up for the duration of my trip, so I grabbed one of my bandanas, which, folded properly, makes an acceptable mask– I couldn’t blow any air through it, which, I understand, is the standard to look for for these things.

Turns out that the line at the post office was long, reaching to the door, which got me a dirty look from the dude who I came within six feet of while attempting to actually enter the lobby in the first place. Then I forgot the number for my damn PO Box (I need to write it on the key; this is not the first time this has happened) and while I was putting my key in the wrong box I got hit with a full-fledged nope nope nope nope nope get this thing off your face off off NOW panic attack.

So, no standing in line, no even finding the right box– I hightailed it back to the car and sat there for ten minutes or so, trying to get my heart rate back to something approximating normal and looking up my damn PO Box on my website (PO Box 2663, South Bend, IN 46618! Send me stuff! I’ll never actually pick it up!) and it never actually happened so eventually I just went home. It was a good 10 minutes after I got home that I started feeling normal, too.

This has happened once before while trying to wear a mask– those of you who have been around a while and have really good memories might recall me trying to wear a faceless mirror mask for Halloween one year, and that was before I was actually on anti-anxiety meds.

I guess I’m just gonna stay on quarantine for a while longer, then.


2:28 PM, Monday April 20th: 766,212 confirmed infections and 40,905 deaths.

Graaaah cannot brain

… you ever have one of those days where you are convinced that you have several hundred tasks, mostly mid-sized or smaller, that all need doing today but at any given moment you can’t remember what any of them are? And simultaneously you feel like you’ve been working on those tasks all day but actually naming anything you’ve done is also something you’re not capable of?

… what’s that you say? That’s every day now? Oh.

Damn.


2:09 PM, Friday April 17: 679,374 total confirmed cases; 34,180 Americans dead.

In which nobody is kidding and this shit is real

There needs to be a word— there probably is one, in German at least, but I don’t know it– for simultaneously 1) recognizing how incredibly lucky you are compared to a whole lot of other people, and 2) feeling like you are completely unable to manage your own life. Because … holy shit, y’all. And also a word for I am complaining about this, but I am also not complaining about this because the thing I am complaining about is the right thing to do. That needs to be a word too. I assume y’all understand me.

(Cue absolutely everyone nodding.)

The governor closed down all schools in Indiana until May 1. May fucking 1st. And the mayor– the new one, not the dude who ran for president– put us under a travel advisory today. It’s an advisory only, mind you, meaning that there’s no real teeth to it, but it’s a sign that more may be coming. I am not going back to work for six weeks. And I have to figure out how to educate the proportion of my students who can be counted on to make themselves available for said education for those six weeks, and figure out what to do with the (probably over half) group of them who are not going to do anything at all during that time.

Now, this feels overwhelming, but balance the fact that I’m going to get paid to work from home for the next six weeks against that, and that my wife also has a job where she can relatively easily transition into working from home during that time if necessary, and that unlike a whole lot of people my job is not suddenly going to actually go away, and I really should be outside dancing in the streets at how lucky I am. Because my immediate family, at least, is (within the world of those of us who are not so rich that we don’t have to worry about it at all) basically as set up to weather this storm as we could possibly be.

In the meantime, though, and with that said, I’m trying to figure out how the hell any of this works on the ground, especially since the governor just de facto cancelled state testing, which is kinda legally mandated and has a whole lot of money attached to it, to say nothing of the fact that it’s supposed to be a factor in all of our performance reviews at the end of the year. And, like, school letter grades, which were already a massive mess. The entire window for testing was in April, y’all. That’s done now, and I don’t think anyone thinks we’re gonna bring these kids back on May 1

(we are not going to bring them back on May 1)

and immediately throw state testing at them. It’s just not going to happen. Also, like, every IEP in existence is getting violated right now, because as far as I know none of them are written in a way that acknowledges the possibility of six or seven weeks of e-learning. Those also are all legal documents that we can be sued for not following correctly.

It is, in short, one more huge mess in the thick of all the other huge messes that are taking place right now. The unprecedentedly, ridiculously huge pile of huge messes.

… and meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the US just crossed 10,000, mostly on the strength of New York State starting to take testing seriously and somehow getting a ton of kits from somewhere. Expect that to increase by a staggering amount over the next few days.

I’d say “take a deep breath,” but doing that might trigger another coughing fit, so I’m not gonna. Still sick, and still not with the ‘Rona, if anyone’s wondering.

Stay safe, y’all.

In which this is happening

All four of my mom’s sisters are going to be in my house, along with my brother and sister-in-law, within an hour or so.

As an atheist it feels odd to be asking people to pray for me but I need all the help I can get.

In which I’m not here right now

This song has nothing to do with the post.

I slept last night, at least in the technical sense, and I vaguely remember even being pretty comfortable, so it wasn’t a tossy-turny sort of night, but hell if I didn’t spend the entire night having constant, vivid anxiety dreams of the sort of “I’m late for work/unprepared for class/can’t find my clothes/everything is going wrong” sort of genre, along with a handful of actual nightmares that I don’t remember as specifically. I still owe you guys a post about the training last week and I want to review a game called Salt and Sanctuary that ate a large chunk of my free time last week (and is about to eat an hour of tonight) but I’m going to bed early tonight and I’m going to hope I’m more of a human being at work tomorrow than I was today.

That said, briefly: I’ve had a couple of days recently where I know good and goddamned well that I’d have come home from work and immediately spent the entire evening stressing out and looking at want ads, and since I’ve been on the Effexor … well, the job and the kids aren’t better, but my reactions to them have been a hell of a lot healthier. Like, I can have a bad day at work now and come home and just lay the shit aside and have a nice night with my family. This shit is a miracle drug, which is not something I’d ever have said about Lexapro. I could be writing more fiction, but … well, that’s never not true, so meh.

I’ll try and be more productive tomorrow.