Day: March 17, 2020

Yep, Socially Distancing

Ok, not much interest in a microfic contest here, so I won’t run it. I am, however, running one for real (and already getting a bit swamped with submissions) on my fiction website, so if you want to partake and aren’t already following me on literary Twitter, shoot me an email.

Well, that’s out of the way.

We’re in Week 1 of quarantine here. I did tell my grad students to start working from home a couple of weeks ago, which is one of the ways in which my hypervigilance (often unflatteringly referred to by family and friends as “panicking” and “worrying too much”) paid off. Other ways include having enough food and supplies without having hoarded¬† like a maniac, just by having started weeks before most , slowly buying a little extra every time I went to the store. No one’s complaining now.

My concern is my eldest son, who remains in his apartment in town. He says he mostly stays put and goes out only to buy food, but I’m worried about the hygiene standards, what he’s eating, and if he’s lonely. He, however, doesn’t believe that he should be entirely quarantined and prevented from seeing his friends, and this continued socializing seems to be something many of his generation insist on. On the one hand, I understand, as I was his age back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. On the other hand, this is not a joke. I wish he’d just come home, at least I’d know what he’s eating and that he has at least us to talk to, but if he did come home, he’d just be in and out the door all the time, putting us all at risk. He’s 20 now, so I guess he does what he wants to… But he’s still my baby!

It’s really hard to be creative these days, be it for work or my extracurricular activities. I try to do at least something productive every day, which usually means reviewing a paper or proposal, tending to my duties as associate editor, revising student drafts. But the motivation is low. There is an ominous air around all we do, mostly because this otherworldly state doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon. My university canceled in-person instruction through the end of the semester. Public schools will be closed for three weeks, likely more; I am dreading having to homeschool my headstrong soon-to-be teen, considering he’s been battling me to the bitter end over the half hour of math I’ve been making him do at home each day to compensate for the fact that he doesn’t do jack shit in class (this is a whole other rant). Today we had the first videoconference piano lesson for Smurf, my youngest, which was logistically weird (we will need to optimize laptop placement for next time) but the to-be-nine-in-June Smurf handled it with confidence and flair.

OK, so this wasn’t a very academic post, but hey, I’m on sabbatical and in quarantine, the double whammy of non-academy!

How’ve you been doing, blogosphere? I hope you’re healthy. If you’re teaching, has instruction moved online? How are you feeling — physically, mentally?¬†