For the first time since the pandemic started and I placed myself into a quasi self-quarantine, I had a very bad night. A sense of anxiety overcame me that, even during the sleeping hours, I kept waking up, staring in the dark, and trying hard to fall back asleep.
The lack of political and civic leadership might be contributing to the sense of anxiety and pending doom. That doesn’t usually affect me, but the chaos and mismanagement are starting to eat at my sanity. I am worried sick about my elderly parents in India. I don’t know what is happening there — the level of competence of their elected officials is as questionable our own. I mean, who in their right mind thinks that, if a gathering of 251 people is not okay in California, a 250-person event should proceed? It makes you wonder if California’s governor is any more rational than the televangelist peddling silver as a silver bullet against the virus.
Of course, on a more personal basis, heightened anxiety has not been helped by being cooped up indoors for days on end. Everything they say about cabin fever is true. We have become so accustomed to the whole idea of constantly interacting with each other that the lack of that interaction is quite jarring. With the time I would have previously spent going places to meet others, I have been writing, communicating (via video), and finding other ways to stay in touch. And when I am done with that, I turn to meditation to stay calm.
I have found that maintaining contact with people is vital. I would be lying if I said that I have not felt a little lost, asking myself completely pointless questions and suffering an existential crisis, only to move forward and get back to communicating. I guess having too much time on your hands can do that to you.
Of course, my inbox is down to about 50 or so unanswered emails (an event as rare as rain in California these days). It has helped me rediscover my love for old fashioned blogging — finding something worth reading and sharing it with a small bit of commentary. That is what I loved about blogging back in the day, before it became all hot takes and long reads.
On today’s to-do list: start reading Hannah Fry’s book, Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of Algorithms. It arrived in the mail yesterday. It seems like a good one to read if we are going to live in an online society for the next few weeks.
March 12, 2020, San Francisco.