After over six months of being quarantined indoors, I should by now be quite used to staying indoors. And I am.
We humans can adapt to changes very fast. As someone who was in perpetual motion and going to different places and meeting other people all the time, I quickly embraced my inner hermit. And I found a way forward.
I have formed a simple routine to get through the pandemic. I go for a morning walk when roads are empty. An afternoon stroll to the park, where I sit down, read a book and sip on some fizzy water, and then post-dinner stroll to the water, sometimes with my camera. I strive to walk 10,000 steps every day. Going out gives me a reason to wear different outfits and adds a real-world texture to life.
Last week, however, I had been unable to do any of that. I have made some attempts to take photos of the MARS skies and the smoke-filled city. The past six days, however, due to incredibly lousy air quality, have been locked indoors.
The dark, smoke-filled skies are for sure messing up my body clock. Over the past few days, my sleep schedule has become completely messed up, and I am waking up at 3 am and then falling asleep in the afternoon. As a result, now I have a throbbing, low-intensity migraine, which usually happens when I can’t sleep properly. Who knows!
Still, I feel shitty complaining — after all, people are losing their homes and lives — and yet I am. Maybe it is because of this feeling of the proverbial walls closing in. Or perhaps, it is a realization that humans staying indoors will be part of our collective future reality because of pandemics or climate change.
I have meager expectations from reality. Any more adaptation is just too much, too soon. I want to return to what was a week ago: a sad imitation of society. I want to sit in the park, drink some water, and watch the dogs walk their humans.
Today, I can see the sunshine behind the gray wall of fog, smoke, and ash. But the air is still terrible — the air quality index puts San Francisco on par with Delhi.
It is only Monday.
September 14, 2020. San Francisco