I’m not into conspiracy theories. But when this rumble first started, I wondered what powers were in play— someone in some realm far above my own is upset and caused this kerfuffle to rain down upon us.
Mostly, I feel trapped. Before, I could dream about an adventure and eventually make it a reality. But now, it stays a dream until an indefinite time to be realized. April is my birth month, and I had a big trip planned to Sweden— starting out in Gothenburg, traveling north to Luleå and Boden to visit my ancestral homeland, and finishing up by imposing a weekend at my cousin’s cliffside manor. But that is postponed for the time being. Even if I wanted to take a small venture to celebrate my 28th lap around the sun, where would I go? Would it even be open? I’m going stir crazy; I bebop from my friends’ house in Chicago to work and home in Missouri— that’s it.
This pandemic has all but shut down travel, both for business or leisure. I’m still flying, though not as much; many of my fellow crewmembers have graciously taken Leaves of Absence so that others can keep their jobs. At my company, we have capped the number of hours allowed for the month— when just a few months prior, they were begging us to work more. While I support our frontline workers, I notice that pilots and flight attendants are left out of the small, mentioned list of “essential personnel.” I fear that this only adds to the trope that air crew, especially pilots, are somehow invincible in all aspects of life. Passenger counts are next to nothing, and I would imagine my risk to exposure is decreasing. However, with the failed leadership across the board, I worry for my colleagues and myself.
Dating during COVID-19 is not fun— not that I was pursuing it much anyway. I’ve been dabbling on Facebook Dating, which, honestly, is not much different than any other swiping app. It’s proximity based on a set location. I have it set to Chicago, since I’m there more than any other place, and the dating pool is broader. (There’s also a “Secret Crush” feature with Instagram and Facebook friends, so perhaps you’re one of nine delightful people I’ve chosen!). Love and romance in the time of Coronavirus is anticlimactic and leaves a lot to be desired— even myself.
I’ve also started nesting— or at least the idea of owning a home has suddenly become attractive. I’m in the midst of some escapism, admittedly, and maybe I have no business getting a mortgage at such a young age (millennials don’t buy homes, right?). But I want something to call my own; I want to cultivate my own space, a welcome spot for friends and family, as I’ve been welcomed all over. I’ve been scoping out little condos in Missoula, Montana, where my mom’s family is from— I have no idea how that would work with my current base or commute or in this overall economic environment. I’d still continue the vagabond lifestyle, but at least I’d have a solid investment. It’s but a dream at this point. But y’all know I make my dreams come true.
And now for the woo woo:
The health and wellbeing of our populace is at stake. And I don’t want to diminish the lives lost amidst this tragic time. However, is this an opportunity for the world to reset? Is it The Universe’s not so subtle nudge to put things into perspective— to prioritize the people who really matter, the passions born from our lack of distraction, and the tasks that bring the most joy from idleness?
I’m waiting for that beaming light of hope to reappear, for the dread to dissipate, and for the sheer magic of human touch to reinvigorate our world. I’m fully stepping into the reality that this is far beyond any minor inconvenience and a step toward a forcibly different future. The heavens have mandated a course change. This is our contemporary’s second chance to reevaluate where we were heading as a society— and ask for better directions. Be well, stay safe, and remember to put on your mask before helping others.
Soundtrack: Maribou State – Glasshouses