• Keren

My Brain on Pandemic

This is my 38th day at home. I have ventured out on a few walks and to get curbside fruit, but other than that I have not left the confines of my simple apartment complex. Despite waves of sheer terror and anxiety, things have finally started to feel, OK. I stopped checking my temperature for no reason, I only allow myself news ever other day from a couple of sources, I am trying to really understand what is in my control, and what is not. I have figured out a new routine, a new normal. I was marveling at how well I was juggling things when something finally reminded me that maybe I didn't have it so under control. I decided to hard boil some eggs during my lunch break since I'm working from home. I set them to boil, then followed an email ping from my computer in the office, which led me to going back to my tutorial, which led me to the Instagram post I had to respond to which led me to…

You get the point.

While putting the finishing touches on an awfully recorded tech tutorial, I was nearly scared out of my chair by a loud bang. It was so loud it prompted me to yell goddamnit at the top of my lungs as I stormed to the living room to shut the window to my neighbor’s yard. (Neighbors that are always doing construction and have two obnoxious children that scream all day long right outside my window). These last few weeks with them has been a bit of a challenge.

The smoke and burning smell as I reach the living room leads me to assume they have now set up a BBQ or smoker in their yard which is, undoubtedly, flying into my apartment through the windows. When I realize the smoke is coming from my own kitchen, my brain clicks, and I remember the eggs. The water has boiled off and the pan is burnt, one of the eggs has exploded out of its shell onto the counter and floor, the whole ordeal is smoking. I panic grab the pot and start towards the door when another egg explodes in my face, leaping out of the pan and speckling its intensely hot insides all over the wall and floor in front of me. I get the pan outside and place it away from the house in the shade to cool off. I wonder if this is a good idea but can’t think of a better one.

I feel like this is a perfect metaphor for my current mental state.

Remember that commercial from the 80’s?

*Man holds up egg* “This is your brain”

*Man breaks eggs into frying pan and egg sizzles* “This is your brain on drugs”

Look I found it on YouTube for your viewing pleasure…

All I could think about when I was picking up the shattered burnt pieces of egg from the floor and wall was: This is my brain on pandemic. And it’s true. Every day I feel like there is this giant undercurrent of confusion, disorder, grief, sadness, loss, terror, hope, and love. I can barely form a cohesive sentence. I forgot what human interactions are like. I cry at Instagram posts, and two seconds later go on anger tirades when I read national news.

What I am saying I guess, is, whatever you are feeling, it’s normal. I feel so grateful for what I do have, but at the same time guilty for it because others are in a much worse situation. I am trying to help where I can with small business and reaching out to those who might need it while at the same time falling apart. I am trying to work from home as many of you are trying to do the same, on top of attending school from home, home schooling your children, dealing with other family or relationship problems you may have, or even being homeless and food insecure during this time.

This is fucked up. Let yourself be fucked up about it. But know there are helpers.

Take some deep breaths, try to do one thing at a time, one day at a time, and breathe again. Find the things that you can control that make you happy and give you normalcy at this time. Tell people how you are feeling, even if you are worried it may make you seem weak or vulnerable. Do the bare minimum. Wear a mask and stay safe out there , only go out when you need to. Oh, and if you are going to boil eggs, please watch them, you could lose an eye, burn your apartment down, or at the very least, be so disappointed that you don’t have your afternoon snack that you have to write a blog post about it.

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