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Life During Plague Times

I’m writing this on Day Three of my self-isolation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Laura and the kids and I are hunkered down for at least the next couple of weeks.

It’s a Monday and my first official day of telework, though I’ve really been at it since Saturday. In fact, I didn’t have much of a weekend at all. VCU made the decision to extend Spring Break another week and switch to exclusively online instruction starting 3/24, which puts me in the hot seat as the university’s Zoom account administrator. We’d already set the wheels in motion to move to an enterprise plan — thank God — extending licenses to all faculty, staff and students, but it was all supposed to kick in this Wednesday. Missed it by *that* much. So I’m doing what I can to keep people happy until then. And there’s a lot of people at VCU.

Keeping so busy might be a blessing, though, because the new reality is only sinking in at random moments. And it’s weird. I don’t remember feeling this strange since 9/11 when all of life turned upside down, knowing the towers were gone, hearing no planes in the air, not being able to find an American flag in any store anywhere. Luckily we’re well stocked on toilet paper and soap and food, so I’m not having to fight off crowds in the stores. Or go anywhere else for that matter.

We’ve built a pretty insular society as it is, all of us in our little tech-driven bubbles watching and listening to whatever we’re into and ignoring everyone else, “Socializing” virtually through facebook and what not. But it’s different when you HAVE to do it, instead of choosing to.

Anyway, I’ll try to look at it as a gift: more time to spend with the kids, time to read or work on projects, maybe time for Scott to teach me guitar.

But not til after Wednesday, if I live that long.

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