Two months ago I wrote my first post about my feelings during COVID-19. I knew it would not be the last post, but I had no idea how things were going to take shape since then. And boy, I am glad I did not know.
Since March 11, I have run through the full emotional gambit. I thought everything would be fine. As the news got worse, I thought it was the end of times. Now, I’m in the medium space of “just take it day by day.”
I left my apartment in New Jersey to go to my family’s home in Virignia on March 15. The trip had been planned prior to COVID-19 and I figured instead of a one week trip, it would probably last two or three weeks, depending on how things changed.
It’s safe to say the rug was pulled out from under me. By the second week I was home, I went from writing remotely, to being laid off from my newspaper job. Losing income hurts, but what also hurts too is the meetings and interactions I no longer have. Connecting with people and sharing their passions is a huge part of my writing process.
As the news started to increasingly get worse, I began to revise how I consumed news. I started as a journalist hungry to read multiple articles from different publications, to someone who deleted their Facebook app and only allowed herself to read CNN 5 Things You Need to Know Today and Washington Post‘s daily newsletters. Sometimes you have to choose your mental health over your need for news. As a journalist, this task is difficult.
Life in quarantine
I have both hated and loved quarantine. I’ve had more time to watch both new and old Netflix series and read for fun. I also have plenty of time for working on all the personal writing projects I have put off for years for “when I have time.” Motivation is expensive these days and I’m fresh out of dough (techincally, I’m out of yeast which I cannot get delivered from anywhere).
The inability to see my friends and family has made social distancing immensely difficult. Not even Facetime and Zoom can replace seeing the in person. I’ve also gotten to spend a lot of time with my cats, time I never would have gotten if I was in Cape May. Time is precious and short, as I learned when we made the decision to put down our 15-year-old cat Henry on April 28. It is probably the only time I will be grateful to quarantine.
I miss my apartment, the life I’ve led the past three years in New Jersey. Recently, I had been feeling the urge to spend more time in Virginia as my schedule had allowed. “Are you going to move back to Virginia” is a question I am constantly asked. My answer has always been “No, I’ve worked hard to establish myself in Cape May.” Despite having spent two months back here, in my childhood bedroom…the answer remains the same. Cape May is still my current home.
Cape May has always been a special place for me and it still is, even though we are apart right now. I have no idea when I will be able to return, much less feel safe returning. It hurts my heart to feel this uncertain, but I have hope progress will be made with a coronavirus vaccine.
Until then, I enjoy pictures from my friends in Cape May, continue to connect with my friends and family via video chat and hope the future will be a better place.