I made a bunch of tedious phone calls last week – boring life admin stuff, doctor’s appointments and insurers and so on – which didn’t take that much actual time but felt like a stupendous achievement. Stupendous, I say. I am my own hero for ticking off all those boxes. But I tell you I was exHOSSted for the rest of the week. (Well, for other reasons too, but STILL.)
As of today, masks are compulsory on Swiss public transport. Which is clearly a Good Thing (TM) as friends have reported being yelled at for wearing masks – and, more generally, it’s just helpful to have a clear guideline as to the right thing to do. There’s a huge cognitive load right now involved in just making constant micro decisions as you live your daily life: go out or not? greet with a hug or wave from a distance? take kid to the shop or leave him at home? All these questions can in theory be answered quite simply (the safer course is not complicated) but because life superficially looks so nearly normal, it becomes remarkably stressful. Anyway, so yay Maskenpflicht, but boo for the reasons behind it; rising infections, though relatively small in number, are not at all a good sign. Venice holiday looking doubtful.
Like many people, I’m finding this in-between stage a lot harder than lockdown. I might have mentioned that. But I’m still among the lucky ones – healthy, solvent etc – and have the great privilege of being able to choose to hang onto the good parts of lockdown: the slower pace, the lessening of outside pressures. So I’m aiming to do that. It’s complicated though. And a big part of the complication is engaging with other people’s expectations, trying to be “normal” and “reasonable” in what I take on, in a situation that is clearly neither normal nor reasonable.
Really as soon as I write this down it’s totally clear that I should just be saying no to a lot more. Staying home. But in practice, I’d feel ridiculous. It’s so freaking hard.