Self-Isolation Cabin Fever

My cat has no sympathy for this condition. He considers it a superior way of living, an acquired taste, an elegant life choice. He looks disdainfully at my melancholy. If I fill his food bowl, clean his litter and give him a treat, he will show me how to enjoy window views and play with the drapery cords. Life is what you make it. He’s getting along fine.

Normally I enjoy living alone. Control of the remote and a freezer full of nukeable foods are just part of the perks. Nobody cares if my dirty socks pile up. I run the dishwasher only when I’m out of clean forks. Paper plates come in seasonal designs. Amazon delivers. And when I change my sheets, I flip over the pillowcases and only wash them every other time. It’s not laziness, it’s efficiency. Turn up the heat, turn down the air, who is going to know? Nirvana is living alone.

Netflix and chill feels different when it is not a choice. I realize I am dependent upon the building cafeteria. I made a foray into a supermarket and bought peanut butter, crackers, parmesan cheese and a box of wine. I bought macaroni and cheese too, but didn’t realize that I need milk and butter for that. Neither do I have all the fixings for a sandwich. I miss the salad bar and my bottled ice tea. I miss piping hot french fries. I miss the news back when there was more than one topic coverage. I miss having a meal out with colleagues or friends or even a frenemy. I want sports scores. I want freedom. I want my life back.

A week into self-isolation and I have cabin fever. Life feels deserted. I am chaffing at the loss of control. I am exasperated at the uncertainty of how long this could last. I am terrified of all the people hoarding guns and ammunition. My mood can go careening out of control if I don’t rein it in. There must be something I can do. My four legged fur ball circles his water dish, dreaming of ice cubes. A simple thing makes him happy. I can be grateful.

I am grateful for leadership. Queen Elizabeth and Tom Hanks are my new heroes. I am in awe of the medical personnel and caregivers risking their health and their lives to fight the scourge, and grateful there are so many willing to do it. I am grateful for spring and for tulips and daffodils. I am grateful for puppy dog videos and the rhythmic sounds of rain against the windows. I am grateful for creativity. I can learn anything on YouTube. I love my kindle. I am able bodied and symptom free. And I live in America and we will come roaring back when this is over. I am grateful.

So I will enjoy the empty streets and the cavernous elevators. I will plan my next vacation. This will not last forever. And compared to the real hardships and loss in the world, I am outrageously lucky. I can survive Self-Isolation Cabin Fever.

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