Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Type Zs, Unite!

Comic by Eleanor, 17.

Looking at the blog, I'm shocked to see that we haven't posted anything since Monday. For us, this has been almost a busier time than usual. My teens are checking in with their school friends, scheduling calls and group chats, watching livestreams of Mass or youth group at usual times -- things that cut into our normal family schedule. And we're in a bit of vacation mode. My 16yo printed off a map of Ohio, and we've been tracking cases by county each day and keeping a tally. Our county has seen its first case, and Columbus to the south of us had seven cases as of yesterday.

This has been, in general, an easy time. I'm not prone at all to anxiety, and it doesn't faze me to have the routine upended a bit by a global pandemic of an intensely contagious disease. We homeschool anyway, so I'm used to being home with the kids and directing their work when they need it. We've been kept inside, but it's been raining, so the kids wouldn't have been outside playing in any event. We stocked up on toilet paper and paper towels and cleaning supplies when we had the flu three weeks ago, so the bare shelves aren't a problem. We can bake our own bread. We have lots of socialization -- lots and lots, by phone and by family. The greatest sadness is the loss of Mass, but we also have not yet missed a Sunday mass, so that deprivation has yet to kick in.

This is a very good time for me to be pulled back from social media. Many of my acquaintances are frightened by the state of the world, and their lack of control over circumstances, and are having strong anxious responses. This is not my struggle, and I don't want to be dismissive or insensitive to friends who are having a difficult time right now.

At the same time, I want to say: if you're not freaking out right now, it's okay! This is a time that plays to the strengths of us Type-Z people in other ways than it plays to the strengths of the Type-A planners and organizers. The world, the neighborhood, the family needs people who can be cheerful, unafraid, easy-going, roll-with-the-punches. I'm not talking about risk-takers, but about having a balanced outlook even in unprecedented circumstances. We love our families, we take precautions, and then we know: what's going to happen is going to happen.

All shall be well, said Julian of Norwich, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. May all manner of thing be well with you, my friends.


Literacy-chic said...

I'm not type A or type Z, and I need a letter t define me, doggone it! I enjoy the upended schedule. I'm loving being at home and resenting having to work almost more than when I'm required to be at an office, though the dialing in occasionally and answering a few emails is definitely my chosen mode. I want to be dong crafting and drawing and writing and other "alternative activities," but I can't. My creativity has shut down a bit even as I'm keeping my kids going outside--a thing I never do--and making sure I work in a little exercise each day. I'm not at all confident in my pantry-stocking skills because I was a little late to the party, and also because I am a "roll with it" and not a plan for every possibility person. But that doesn't mean that I'm not anxious. It hits me in the evenings. Like a cold shadow. And I just want to keep this thing away from my family. :(

I read your letter again last night, and referred a good friend to your emergency homeschooling posts! Glad you are well.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I don't know what letter type I am. All my married life I was pantry-prepared for disaster. We bought in bulk, rotated our stored food, and I even had a special cookbook on cooking throughout the year with your disaster supplies. (For the benefit of your readers, I hasten to state that we were not survivalists -- just inhabitants of earthquake country.) But at this particular time my cupboards were bare as I'd been dealing my elderly mother who had been hospitalized twice in the last month. And even before that, I'd been kept from much shopping by her regular care. So when I finally woke up and noticed the Corona Virus, I did some brief emergency shopping before we began self isolation together, and thanks to the help of siblings dropping off supplies, we won't starve right away.

But I am not noticeably panicking even though my Mom and I both belong to high risk groups. Never watching TV news helps. But sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me because I don't feel more emotionally involved. Is it because I've already faced the greatest possible disaster in the death of my husband over 12 years ago. (I remember the end of the book Cheaper by the Dozen where the narrator states that their mother, who used to be afraid of many things was, after the sudden death of her husband, never afraid of anything again because the worst had already happened.)

At any rate, it is good to hear how you and your family are weathering the storm. It actually sounds kind of cozy.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Your house sounds so wonderfully cozy right now.

I think I'm somewhat in the middle ground: alarmed but resigned? Staying on top of anxiety by watching the numbers, but also sticking to our regular routine and keeping things as normal as possible.

I was supposed to have hernia surgery next month and have found out the the hospital I was just at last week meeting the surgeon (our appointment was interrupted briefly while I took a call from his college age son whose school was sending him home) has now been named a dedicated coronavirus facility. I've read that local hospitals are canceling all elective surgeries. So I guess my hernia gets to wait a bit longer...

I'm in a higher risk category, having asthma and having had pneumonia in college that left scar tissue in my lungs, getting pneumonia again would be bad. And four of our kids are asthmatic. So I'd really really prefer to not have this go through our house. But we're pretty isolated. I suppose we could have picked it up at scouts, church, or the grocery store, but our social lives are already fairly constricted. Still, I kind of feel like I'm waiting for a shoe to drop.

Jenny said...

I am definitely concerned about how long this will last, but as for the day-to-day, I do not feel especially traumatized. The FB psychologists tell me this is a sign of trauma. Shrug. I suspect it has more to do with how disruptive you find suddenly staying at home. I've been waiting my whole life for someone to tell me I don't have to go anywhere.

I am, however, worried about the money, but we've been living on the brink for several years now. I am somewhat accustomed to that deep pit in your stomach of not knowing for certain if money is going to show up, but it always has so far. Not what I'd like, not how I'd dream, but enough that we aren't starving or in danger of starving. We get by, comfortably enough. It's going to take awhile before this latest crisis feels different. (Which isn't to say Dave hasn't had a spate of cancellations this weeks because, eek, he has.) Check back in June. I might be panicking then.