The world around me has changed in the last month, but not in a way that has impacted me significantly. I write this and have mixed feelings. Guilt, embarrassment, and the need to justify. I am living in the COVID-19 bubble.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way because I’ve talked to other people about it. As I’m writing this, I’m not even sure if I will post it. I don’t want people on the frontlines, risking their lives, to read this and think I don’t appreciate them or that I am naive. I’m not a COVIDIOT and believe this is less devastation than it is. I do, however, have some fortunate circumstances that have allowed me to live in this bubble. Others like me whisper it like we are afraid others will hear “my life hasn’t changed that much” or “my life is good right now.”
I may look back on this post a month or year from now and want to delete it. Things change from day to day. I’ve cried exactly three times since this all happened, but for the most part, I’ve been a 7 out of 10 on the happiness scale.
When did I cry?
- Listening to a story on The Daily from an Italian doctor who said he had to make choices on who would live and who would die.
- When I talked to my best girl Michelle, who we have had monthly dinners with as couples for two years, and wondered if we would go back to that when it’s all over.
- Seeing my Instacart driver spray down her trunk, outside door and inside her car after delivering my groceries. All while wearing a facemask and gloves. Bless you, Instacart driver.
I am in the COVID-19 bubble.
I have a business that has not been impacted; instead, I have actually gained business. As a professional speaker, I was already doing virtual presentations and webinars. I have been training companies to transition and work remotely for years. When it all hit the fan, I reached out to companies to remind them of my experience and immediately started getting booked to help. I got new clients out of it as well.
Other speakers are struggling. Either their message isn’t appropriate right now, or they targeted industries that are deeply hit. Also, since I focus on health behaviors, people reached out because habits started to go in the toilet. They could see where this mess was headed if it kept up (a 20-pound weight gain and a mental breakdown).
I’m very healthy and don’t take that for granted. I work for it and focus on nutrition, sleep, and exercise. I don’t have to leave my house (and have only two times in almost a month) and am not exposed. My autoimmune disease causes me to fight myself. Still, I rarely get sick otherwise, and even when my husband had terrible flu in February, I didn’t catch it. I practice healthy choices, and it’s the highest priority in my life, but COVID-19 doesn’t care about that. My bubble keeps me safe.
My husband was able to transition to virtual drum lessons. He lost his gigs for a few months, but he maintained all but two students. He lost about 1.5 weeks of income, but after figuring out how to set up his studio, he now in some ways prefers teaching remotely.
Speaking of my husband. I like him. Of course, I love him, but I also like him. We enjoy hanging out together. I have seen only him for the last three weeks except for about 10 minutes when I dropped off a package to a friend and stood in her yard and talked to her. We’re not sick of each other, and since he has no reason to go into the studio early anymore to rehearse, we eat lunch together every day. He has a different schedule than me and works afternoons and evenings, so we each have our own time since I work during the day. Since he’s not going out with his bandmates, gigging or rehearsing at night, he is home at a reasonable 8:30, and I see him before I go to bed.
I’ve been Zooming for years. I see all my coaching clients over video conference, so none of this was new to me. There was no learning curve (until they made security updates!). The people who need virtual happy hours or virtual meals together are feeling isolated or lonely. I do not. In fact, Zoom is the last thing I want to be on at the end of the day because I’m on it for several hours already. I’ve asked precisely one couple to Zoom with me. It’s because we will be missing our weekend trip to their house and I KNOW we would be talking about the new season of Ozark, so I gave that option.
As an introverted extrovert, I need a lot of privacy. I’m someone who is not often bored. I can always find something to do or like the time to think or read books. I like people, but I love my privacy. Since I’m Zooming all the time anyway, I’m good with my interaction. Ask me a month from now when it’s been sixty days, and I may feel differently, but for now, I’m okay.
My family lives far away. I’m not used to seeing them, so it’s our regular chatting on the phone while I’m walking around my neighborhood.
So there. This is my life right now. I definitely miss some things, like monthly dinners with Matt and Michelle, going to Full Bloom on Sundays for our family meetings, mountain biking at the park, and my Mom and Dad’s trip here in April. But for the most part, I’m good. Not great. Not fantastic. But good.
I do not take it for granted.
I am grateful every day.
I am sorry for the lives of the people who have been turned upside down with an illness, kids at home because they can’t go to school, job losses, and lack of cash flow. My heart goes out to you.
I’m in the bubble and will stay here as long as I can. I hope wherever you are, you can find a safe space as well.