During the coronavirus pandemic time has taken on new dimensions.
Sometimes it stands still and I get lost – is it Monday or Wednesday? Does it matter? My routines have changed or disappeared. My new reality is far less structured by time than my normal life; I’m still adjusting to that. Keeping a calendar is a useless activity.
Sometimes time closes in on me and I am frightened. Will I continue to be safe tomorrow? This is a collective trauma and just because I am safe at home now doesn’t mean the threat is over. But, there’s not much more I can do to hide from it.
Sometimes time pressures me to be productive. All these free hours–I must do something useful! Sunny Fitzgerald in today’s Washington Post had some good advice in his column, “Don’t feel like getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic.”
This pandemic is a new experience and a significant threat, and we deal with it one day at a time. It’s hard to plan ahead. My new book is out and I want to promote it. I sit down once in a while to figure out how to do a virtual book launch, read about how to do podcasts, think about all the people I want to tell about the book, and ponder corollary issues in equality for women. The thoughts wander just like the days do, and time expands and contracts, keeping me from completing my plans.
I’m confident we will survive because we are resilient. We have shown before that we have the audacity and courage to do so. It’s just that time now swirls around us and tosses our plans around, and we can’t quite get things under control. I can’t even get my hair cut, and both my dog Moonlight and I are looking a bit shaggy.