I’ve been trying to figure out why the pandemic hasn’t totally freaked me out (so far). Oh, I’m stressed out, but I also feel a weird calm.
I think it’s partly because I’ve been mentally bracing for this day. As a science fiction fanatic, I’m obsessed with apocalyptic scenarios and therefore have an intimate acquaintance with what’s happening now. I was ready for this. If aliens land on the Minnesota Capitol lawn, therefore, I’ll be chill about that, too. I will take you to my leader.
I think it’s partly because I’m drugged up. No, I’m not a junkie or anything, but I have long been treating clinical depression with a miraculous medication that has been life-changing. Those who have known me for decades will remember what I basket case I used to be. Without my Wellbutrin, I’d be in a catastrophic mental state right now.
I think it’s partly because I am a journalist helping to cover the biggest story since 9-11. I haven’t been doing a ton of writing because I am more of a web editor lately, but the suddenly frantic pace of my work day is exhilarating. So is the novelty of an entire newsroom scattered to dozens of home offices. It’s exhausting but thrilling work, and I’m having fun.
I think it’s partly because, as an introvert, I am far from devastated at having to stay indoors and avoid people. Heck, I’m having a blast. I’ve been working from home since late February, so I’m going on a month of near-total isolation, and I have yet to go stir crazy. (Check with me in another few months and I might give you a different answer.)
I think it’s partly because I’m not cut off from those who are most dear to me. My wife is with me in the flesh (oh, my), and the interwebz keep me in touch with friends and family. We’re playing online games like Words With Friends and Settlers of Catan. We’re looking after each other — One pal just left some tea leaves on my front porch.
So, bring on the pandemic. I’ve got this. At least, that’s how I’m feeling right now.