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#COVID19 Cat Lady Chronicles, Day 43? Day 44?

Last week, I sort of felt like I was living two alternative realities. One is the Shanghai city that is slowly returning to what’s popularly dubbed now as “the new normal.” Temperature checks everywhere I go, masks on every face, but everything seemed up and running again. Except my gym. The other reality is traveling back in time two months to the same anxieties and uncertainties of late January. Flights being cancelled. Travel restrictions changing day to day. Scary numbers. Everything shutting down.

It is weirdly validating to see the world handle quarantine as badly as you did.

But I can't lie, it hasn't been pleasant seeing all these people complaining left right and center after a mere week of inconvenience when most of Asia have been on high alert for two months. This hasn't been easy on anyone, and we can all do our bit to help, but OMG there are some whiners out there. So let's just all whine for a bit? Because I am TIRED of everyone doing the right thing and being selfless and shaming and policing each other. Because this situation plainly sucks. So let’s just complain, SHALL WE?! Because that’s what we really want to do. Because doing the next right thing is noble but largely unpleasant. The unpleasantness combined with constant anxiety turn us into mean people who yell at strangers in bars. Or maybe it’s just me. I miss the gym.

I miss movie theaters and eating with my hands without tasting evaporated hand sanitizer.

I miss karaoke, because singing into a microphone shared by half a dozen people in a very cramped room with no windows seems like such a rebellious idea right now.

I miss lipstick.

I miss live concerts and theater.

I miss going out and dancing.

I miss Disneyland and caramel popcorn and parades.

I miss having PLANS.

I miss mentally entertaining vacation ideas with some sort of a timeline in mind.

I miss vacation days actually meaning something.

I miss having my friends come and go into my apartment, city, or continent and do things without everything being somehow reckless or catastrophic. And you know what? I also miss working from home and napping in the middle of the work day with my cats. I miss the sunshine on my desk after 10 a.m. I miss the absence of construction sounds and honking. I miss the birds and the squirrels and that one yellow weasel (I swear I saw it). I miss the sense of solidarity and purpose we shared for a brief few weeks. I miss having no social obligations and sleeping 10 hours a night. I miss reading 3 books a week. And because I didn’t have to go outside, I didn’t have to check the news to see how scared I was supposed to be. I miss staying home and not being worried about door knobs and handrails. Your turn.


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