Slow apocalypse

Despite my best efforts, I’m still only putting out one blog post a month. But what is there to say about March?

My office closed fairly early in the pandemic, so I’ve been working from home for most of the month. I now only leave the house to go to the grocery store. I know I’m lucky to have a job at all, but it’s been difficult to adjust.

Nearly every coping mechanism I would normally turn to in times like this is unavailable. Sometimes I feel as though I’m slowly unraveling, like HAL 9000 being disconnected at the end of 2001. Other times I only feel like I’ve not had a good night’s sleep. Usually, I haven’t.

Like a lot of video game folks, I’ve spent as much time as possible in the new Animal Crossing for the Switch. Even when I’m just mindlessly fishing or running in circles, it occupies me enough to give me a temporary reprieve from anxiety. Since its release I’ve spent more time hanging out on my imaginary deserted island than I’ve spent sleeping here in real life.

Usually my avoidance of both Facebook and television is enough to separate me from the background radiation of the news cycle, but not this time. There is nowhere to hide. Even checking my email isn’t safe—it seems that every website I’ve ever visited needs me to know they’re “here for me in this difficult time.”

Yes, this too shall pass, but the world we knew is being unmade in the meantime. Trying to reason about any of the costs of this pandemic feels impossible—the personal, the economic, the political. There will be no normal to go back to when it’s over.