It’s the 9th of May and we’re technically still under an “intelligent lockdown”. This morning, as soon as my eyes were open, I needed to move and get out of the house. On Saturdays, we pick up bread that we have ordered the week before. I brushed my teeth and threw on some pants and ran for my bike.
First a stop at the tiny organic vegetable store. Since you have to have 10 m2 per person in a store, going to shop there often means standing in a line outside waiting for people to touch everything. For many people, grocery shopping has become the form of entertainment and diversion. People use this to get out of their house, to feel somewhat normal. So, it takes twice as long at least.
By the time I was checking out, there was already a line outside of shoppers. Jumping on my bike, I cycled to the coop as fast as I could because her doors open at 10 and the line for bread is usually quite long . Only three people are allowed in at a time. Since Dutch people often seem to be more talkative, everyone also wants to complain/talk with the people behind the counter. Luckily, there was no one there yet when I arrived. Within minutes though, the line was forming.
The common theme for me is that I am losing a lot of the patience I had. Going outside now really irritates the hell out of me, with all of the lines. As the weather gets better, more and more people are going outside. Also because people are tired of being indoors, which I completely understand.
Before this lockdown period, there were certain routines that were part of the daily life, primarily centered around the needs of the pets. Around those routines I had lots of freedom to live the rest of my life relatively unscheduled and unstructured – which is not the same as having nothing to do but rather not living my life according to a daily schedule.
Now that’s very different. My office is downstairs now, which has also become GG’s office, which occasisionally leads to tension over who has the most video calls per day. Going outside means taking the dogs for walks, accompanied by the cats when they feel like participating. For entertainment, it’s the grocery store. Everything is digital or has fallen away. Even my banjo lessons are now online.
What I find is that while this is absolutely a luxury problem to have, I have a lot of difficulty as a person with accepting the current state of things. Tomorrow I am going to go to my classroom and open up all the windows and just spend some time there. I need to feel like I can move freely, even if that isn’t quite the case. I am definitely also not someone who can live exclusively in the digital world. I need variety and disruption, I need the randomness that comes with being out in the world.
This afternoon, I will leash up the dogs and we will walk across the city center to go pick up our favorite 89 year old and go for a walk with her. She’s also someone who has very definitive opinions about freedom and restrictions so I can count on an interesting conversation! 😉