The last three or four days, I didn’t know what day of the week it was, but it doesn’t matter for me, so I didn’t bother to check. For a lot of folks, it’s been a few weeks at home. Today marks two weeks for myself, and my mindset has changed from that first couple of days.
First two days:
There was a 6-hour window where I lost my remaining five weekly gigs. Private events coming up in the following weeks were also starting to cancel. There were talks about the island shutting down the way San Francisco, Los Angeles, and then most recently San Diego had. We were starting to hear more details about the virus and how it tended to prey on those most vulnerable, like the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions and compromised immune systems. It made me instantly think of a handful of people in my own life that fell into one of those categories. I was scared. I was really scared. I was scared for my friends and family. I was scared for those vulnerable people. I was scared about how I was going to make ends meet.
I’m still scared, but I feel at peace knowing I’m doing my utmost to mitigate a shitty situation. I told my parents I’m going to stay quarantined for a few weeks before I come and visit them. Even when I do so, I want to practice social distancing. But knowing that’s the goal, I’m extra cautious when I go out and limiting the number of times I do so. Doing my best to support local business when I can, so every few days, I’ll go out and order a bunch of food from one establishment, or one or two things from multiple establishments. If I need to go to a market or store, I’ll try to do that during weird in-between hours where there’d potentially be fewer people around. Recently I started running again, so I’ll do that late at night to reduce the chance of running by someone. Also, it’s just cooler at night which is a plus!
As far as money goes, I’m fortunate that I can still do live stream performances on IG and FB, and put out my Venmo for people to tip me if they feel inclined to. It’s strange asking people for money, but luckily I’ve only had to post my Venmo handle one time. During streams, if people ask for it, other people will take it upon themselves to tell them where they can tip me. It’s touching knowing people are going out of their way to help and make sure I’m okay. People have been extremely generous that way, so I’ve been able to keep up with what little bills I do have. It’s been fun in the last week, brainstorming ideas to make the live streams more fun for people. I do feel it’s healthy to have purpose and structure, something I lacked in the first week.
Since I can no longer go to the gym, I’ve been eating a lot less. Taking advantage of intermittent fasting, and typically just eating one giant meal at night. It’s reduced my food costs, and also led to some weight loss! No “quarantine 15” for me. I designated a spot in my living room where I do pushups and air squats throughout the day, so it’s just become a habit to bang out 20 of each when I walk by there.
It’s still so up in the air when all of this craziness will end. At least in my life, it feels like this can be an acceptable norm for now. I know everyone is not in the same boat as I am when it comes to being in fortunate circumstances, so I count my blessings. I think about healthcare workers every day, and how challenging and stressful their jobs are right now. Even more so than it usually is when there isn’t a worldwide pandemic. Shit hasn’t hit the fan here in Hawaii just yet, as far as an outbreak goes, and I’m hoping it never does. The horror stories coming out of Italy and now in places like New York and Florida frighten me. I just hope everyone can be onboard with social distancing and isolation and not taking things lightly. The implications of not taking extra precautions far outweigh the effects of this shutdown. People can rebuild their lives and recover financially, but they can’t do that if they’re dead. That’s the honest truth right now.