The brightly shining sun throws light across the empty streets of Paris this morning, but bad news and a sense of morbidity lurk in the shadows on day 2 of the quarantine. Our adaptation is continuing and there are markers of progress, but the pandemic is starting to hit home. For the first time I learned that someone I know very well has the disease.
The stories about people suffering are coming to light. Tom Hanks has it. The red-haired Viking from Game of Thrones has it. The mayor of Miami said that he had it and he wanted to put a face on coronavirus to help comfort those who are scared (or nakedly grab attention for a future Senate or Presidential run). Posts on social media about kids who had the disease severely but recovered, stories about people who got it only to fall ill and pass away. No matter where you look you see coronavirus.
The scariest place to look is the graphs of the growth of the disease. While China has managed to stem the tide, logging for the first time not a single new home-grown case since the start of this debacle, Europe has seen exponetial growth of the disease. We’ve always said that our brains cannot truly visualize exponential growth (fold a piece of paper in half 32 times and that piece of paper would touch the moon, yeah right!) but the tally of new cases and deaths is giving us a daily opportunity to see that in action. It’s a frighteningly fast spread that we watch play out almost in slow motion. The amount of cases doubles every 72 hours across Europe. That will probably shorten before it starts extending again – and if it start extending again.
Best then not to think too much about it. With the arrival of Spring I decided to clean out our building’s courtyard yesterday, sweeping away disintegrated cigarette butts, trash, and the remnants of baguettes that even the pigeons decided were too gross to eat. I put our little table and a few chairs back in order so that my son could ride his bike outside and play with watering the plants. During the cleaning I stumbled upon two beers that I had stashed behind a plant a few months ago when I was running late to a Darts game. It felt like that moment in The Shawshank Redemption when they are working on the roof and get to drink a beer together thanks to Andy’s ingenuity. Of course I have a bunch of beer at the house, and the store to buy more beer is open and stocked, but still, small victory.
The kids are holding up alright, the oldest opted not to take a nap yesterday, which severely cut into my potential work time. The youngest wants to be in our arms all the time, and can crawl around to our legs, pull himself up, and be in a precarious position where the only thing you can do it grab him so he doesn’t fall. He’s a sort of cuddling kamikaze. But he’s right, the best place for him in the world is in our arms.
Which begs the question: what is he going to think about going back to nursery? He’s going to have lost the habit of spending the day without his parents. Will that adaptation be painful for him? He was so young when he started, and I’m happy that we get to spend a lot of time with him now, it’s a true opportunity to feel like we couldn’t have spent more time with him, but what will the longterm effects on him and his sociability? Let’s hope none, but I can’t help but wonder.
After writing about snacking I managed to keep my eating down to a minimum yesterday, foregoing my right to go for a run. I didn’t even shower yesterday, and my beard is pushing out a bit too much. I woke up early this morning to work before the kids got up, that helped get some of the critical stuff out of the way, and I had another realization: there are no breaks in the day. A break from work means taking care of the kids. A break from the kids means work. A break from both means preparing a meal while the kids pull on my legs and Skype messages make my phone vibrate. The stress is tiresome too, at the end of the day yesterday it was finishing a few emails and then into bed for some Netflix.
I’ll try to take a running break today and maybe do some grooming. I’ve always wanted to try a facial scrub, so I guess I have that to look forward to.