Tension: The one word that could best define the current situation all inclusive. Whether it’s between your loved ones at home, in the streets, or growing between your neighbors or colleagues, tension is everywhere. Being up close with some, and unseen by others, makes perpetual effective communication an issue. Tempers flare-up at home, colleagues feel left-out. The whole fabric of trust and separation of duties is falling into a black hole. Will this redefine society?
Spending 24 hours a day, 11 days in a row with your loving wife and children, confined to an apartment which could never be big enough, stretches the limits of patience. I think the children love the vacation with their parents; it is often written that travelling to far off lands on vacation fulfills the parent’s dreams and romanticism, not the children’s. The kids are fine visiting a new hill or being challenged with something new everyday! But the adults have other problems: The toilet seat was left up again? How hard is it to put your dishes in the dishwasher? How long can you possibly talk on the phone? Do I have to do everything around here?
Thousands of years of tradition in natural separation of males and females for comparison socializing, have allowed us a pressure valve for our problems. When the wives and husbands of the world compare their situations at home with their friends, it becomes clear that things are basically the same everywhere. All the men are lazy, disengaged and resting at work, while women have it easy relaxing at home, spending time with children and enjoying a fairytale life. But now we are together all day, every day. It is obvious what everyone does every minute. No friends are allowed over, we cannot run out and meet someone for dinner, nor can anyone get a break from our little bundles of joy! As I regrettably taught my son “we are stuck in the clink.” So we delay the battles with tension cutting patience. “I yearn to clean my bathroom” “no problem making oatmeal for the kids” “I love filling the dishwasher the wrong way” “we didn’t talk about anything.” Whatever it takes to delay the inevitable full blown argument.
Colleagues are also trying to gauge the new situation. We have at our disposition some amazing technologies but it is hard to suddenly replace meetings and planning, with phone calls from storage rooms, and conference calls beeping participants in and out. I forgot to copy someone in our work group today and at the end of the day I received an email asking if I don’t value my colleagues input. You can’t really answer that you do but Timmy kicked down your storage room/office door and then threw his apple juice at the key board. When you tried to catch it, you hit enter, and off went the email! Sorry Sally, Timmy bumped you from the chain.
The most bizarre tension is in the outside world, which we are yet to adventure into. My neighbor’s girl was outside today and my oldest went over to tease her. I actually told him to stay away from her, as if she had cooties or something. I blushed at my ridiculousness and hoped she didn’t understand my English. How am I going to act in the supermarket? I need one of those toxic cleanup suits which Putin wore when he visited the Coronavirus hospital in Moscow yesterday.
I was scheduled to make our first break of the lock-down and head out into the wild and scavenge some food and supplies. I was so excited. I love food shopping and haven’t been to a store in a record 11 days! I made all the preparations: cleaned out the fridge, cupboards, and storage room/office. We made a list and strategically decided where to shop in order to accomplish the greatest percentage of desired goods at one location. Facemask, gloves, disposable clothes and disinfection were ready. I felt like I was planning a murder or heist, not a shopping trip. But just as I wrote yesterday, the routine set in, we played some new game, did some work, and by the time evening came we made an excuse and delayed the adventure until tomorrow. I need to complete one more day on the dry goods diet.
As I looked out of the window and tried to find a jet engine trail in the clean blue sky it dawned on me that tomorrow I will be walking into a different world! It made me a bit uneasy. Hearing some screaming coming from the living room, I quickly returned to reality and dashed to investigate. Thinking about my exciting shopping trip tomorrow, I imagined a weekend of feasting and, actually it is hard to imagine another weekend at home. Let us do our best! Have a great weekend.
Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.