I wake up to Max checking his phone to discover his weekly Sunday morning brunch gig is canceled. It's the first Sunday we get to sleep in together with nowhere to be for a long time. I'm not set to do anything until 3 PM when I have another video chat lesson. Any other Sunday we would have been happy to have the extra time together. I think we pretend that we are happy.
I decide from now on I am going to stick to an eating schedule and eat full meals at every scheduled eating time. I will get up at 11 am (I am a night owl by nature) and eat breakfast, then lunch at 3, dinner at 9, bed at 1.
Max's mom Carol texts us to check in. They live in town and we usually go and see them on Sunday and have dinner. Carol says we are welcome to come over, but she's not sure she should cook us anything. She just got back from Los Angeles earlier on Tuesday from her two week stay with Max's sister, Lakisha. Lakisha is 28 weeks pregnant with her first kid and has been hospitalized for two weeks for complications. It's not a great time to be in a hospital, if such a time even exists.
We decide not to see Max's parents for a bit. Anyone in their generation is at higher risk and people in our generation are more likely to be carrying Covid and not know. Plus Max is still a little stuffy. Carol is glad we feel this way and looks forward to video chatting with us later in the week. It doesn't feel good to turn away family but it does feel right.
There's lots of things that I know I can do to take care of myself during limited social contact. I love playing cello, reading, writing, cooking, and yoga. What I know I will need most of all is walks in nature and friends.
It seems like the internet says walks outside with friends are still okay. The suggestion is to stay six feet away from each other at all times and avoid groups of more than 10. The governor has prohibited all gatherings of more than 250 people. A walk with three friends seems just fine.
I meet Ezra and Conner at Conner's house. We arrive in separate cars even though Ezra would have been on the way for me to pick up. We text Conner when we arrive so we don't have to touch anything.
As soon as we get to the wooded trails we can hear the birds. We walk and walk, enjoying conversations about how strange life is. The trail shifts between tall trees with oddly shaped roots sticking out of the damp dirt to straw grass that's been bent and crushed by other trail wanderers. We take the path that leads through the underpass of the highway, a graffiti covered tunnel with wooden planks aiding our walk over the smelly murky water. At one point my band BRIGE had planned on recording our album in this underpass. As emerge from the underpass to a park by the river, member of BRIGE Ezra says he still wants to record our album there. I'm no longer so sure.
The path by the water is nice. Lot's of doggos. I think of how happy many doggos must be to have their people with them all the time now. They sure do look happy.
At some point I express my concern about food and grocery stores. Conner and Ezra assure me grocery stores will not shut down. "And if they do," Conner says, "Let me know. I've got lot's of farm friends that are still growing food."
Max and I make dinner (some sweet potato, onion, rice, and quinoa stuffed peppers) and watch the Democratic Primary Debate. There's no audience for the debate. At first it's kind of weird, but then it is kind of nice. The debate itself is pretty terrible. Biden has had many recent moments of being a blubbering idiot when talking out loud, mixing up words, saying incoherent sentences, calling people the wrong name.... and he's honestly outperforming expectations by speaking in full sentences. They talk about Covid-19 for awhile. Two men in their late 70s, telling the world about a virus disproportionately killing the elderly.
I spend the debate feeling either angry, annoyed, mildly enthused about the messages, or unenthused while imagining what most Americans will see when watching the debate. It's not great.
The last hours of the night are spent playing cards with the house mates. We play, laugh, drink, and eat homemade bread. I could get used to this new normal.