I got a text from my shul (synagogue) chairman this morning, checking I was OK and offering to help if I needed anything. I thought that was really nice and made me feel that I’m more accepted at shul than I thought.
I used to wonder how people would cope – how I would cope – with a war or other disaster. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our society has become too selfish and narcissistic to make sacrifices and would fall into anarchy or just lethargy at the first sign of trouble. I guess so far that’s mostly been proved wrong. There are exceptions (someone set fire to a car parked outside the house of an aunt of a friend of mine and this story is disturbing), but mostly people seem to have done a lot to help others, albeit that there is still some laxity about social isolation.
I turned off all my screens by about 11.30pm last night (bar wishing E. good night right before I went to bed) and was in bed by 12.40am, which, sad to say, is early for me. I still struggled with exhaustion to get up in the morning, but I got up around 11am. I also got dressed and davened (prayed) before turning on my computer. I did, however, go back to bed for fifteen minutes after breakfast. It was still hard to find the stamina to face the day.
After that, today was a mostly good day. My rabbi mentor has reassured me about some stuff, including about not needing taking apart the oven fan when doing Pesach (Passover) cleaning/kashuring. I went for my blood test, walking there and back (thirty-five minutes each way), which made me feel awkward. Where I live there was hardly anyone around, but there were still quite a few people on the high street and I couldn’t always keep two metres distant. That’s made me vaguely anxious. Then three nights in a row now, I’ve been feeling really uncomfortably hot around dinner time and worried I’m getting a fever… then realised my parents have the central heating up too high again. My desire to have the house cooler than my Mum wants is an ongoing issue, but it’s never been as anxiety-provoking.
I cooked dinner and listened to some online shiurim on my walk and while cooking, then I polished more of the silver after dinner, so I did quite a bit plus I Skyped E. for an hour. I feel tired now though. I tried to push through the tiredness and work on my novel, but I ended up procrastinating. Then I was suddenly overwhelmed by sadness, which I think is just an emotional response to the stresses of the last few days. So, I decided to push my novel off again. To be honest, I think it’s unlikely that I will make much progress before Pesach, which is now only two weeks away.
The other thing I did today was give in to panic buying in the geekiest possible way. The DVD of Life on Mars season two arrived today, prompting fears that if online retailers are closed down like real-world ones, I could be stuck in isolation for weeks wanting to watch the concluding series Ashes to Ashes, but unable to purchase it. So, I panic bought all three seasons on DVD for rather more than I would have usually spent. It worked out at £2 an episode, which is a few pence more than watching via Amazon Video (I don’t use any video on demand services; if there’s something I want to see, I usually buy the DVD cheap second-hand).
Albert Uderzo, co-creator of Asterix, died. His death was not coronavirus-related. I used to read Asterix a lot as a child, although unlike some childhood reading habits, I never got back into it as an adult. I may try re-reading when I’ve finished The Complete Peanuts. I still remember a lot of the silly names in the English translation (Getafix the druid, Unhygienix the fishmonger, Romans with names like Crismus Bonus and Gluteus Maximus). The sky may fall on our heads tomorrow, but fortunately tomorrow never comes.