A Day in Our Pandemic Life by Shane Joseph
How does a typical day in Covidius Times flow by? Let’s see, I wake up late, around 7.30 a.m., and play with Facebook. Amuse myself with jokes and insults, while inhaling voluminous doses of cyber gloom. Finally, I rise around 9.00 a.m. when my body is stiffening from exercise limited to thumb movements. Breakfast is the old oatmeal and almond milk routine, spiced with raisins, wild blueberries, and cinnamon—the anti-cholesterol concoction that I can now make in my sleep.
Then it’s to the newspaper for a nostalgic view of historical pictures of sports when they once existed. There are more opinions in the paper nowadays, as science is learning on the fly and changing its mind daily. I switch back to my smartphone—there is more interesting stuff here: Twitter, YouTube, Goodreads, e-mail, and all the non-fake-news, like CNN, CBC, BBC etc. (is CNN fake yet?).
I go into my writing studio, in my pyjamas. Nothing imaginative emerges. Last year, despite publishing four books for my publishing company, launching one of my own, running a busy travel agency, taking four extensive trips abroad, playing a lot of golf, and recovering from a cardiac arrest, I wrote two complete novels. This year, with all the time on my hands, I have written one measly short story. Is Covid-19 a disease of the mind? Does it cripple with paranoia while enveloping our headspace in an ennui that says, “Ah, well, I can always get it done tomorrow”?
Soon, it’s lunch time; for soup, bread and a dessert treat of two squares of dark chocolate. Then back to the computer, trying to write a review of a book I took two weeks to finish. At 4 p.m. I wrap tools, book review unfinished, shower, change, and head out on my walk. This is the highlight of my day. I walk fast, down to the water and along the two beaches our town is blessed with. The occasional pedestrian hurriedly crosses the street upon seeing me barrelling down as if I were His Excellency Covid himself. I stop to take pictures of the serene townscape and lake, to post later on Facebook and one-up my friends who live in crowded cities or curfewed locales. I must capture some beauty during these Covidius Times.
Returning, I do my stretches, an important activity, as my muscles are atrophying from stasis and statins. Then it’s time to cook – another highlight. I am a daring cook these days. A pinch of this, and a touch of that; notch up on this, tone down on that, and when in doubt use everything on the spice rack. Oh, and a double shot of Irish whiskey goes well while cooking. And don’t forget to top up the drink regularly.
By the time, my wife comes home (she is an essential worker, I am considered non-essential), dinner is ready, and I am in fine fettle. After a sumptuous repast, I start getting drowsy. Time to crank up Netflix, but the download fails again on an internet connection stretched to the limit in our neighbourhood full of self-isolationists.
So, I turn to the e-book purchased off Amazon, one I have been trying to get into for the last four days. Midway, everything goes quiet. Suddenly—crash! I jolt awake. I have fallen asleep reading in my comfortable chair, and my tablet is prone on the floor—mercifully, it is not broken. “I think it’s time for bed,” my wife says knowingly. I hastily concur.
Tomorrow will be another day, much like this one.