I’m afraid that I have used these last five or six months as an excuse to become even more squirrley and sequestered than I already was. I’ve had all of my groceries delivered, I haven’t dined out at restaurants, and I haven’t seen friends or family since March. Other than leaving the house for a diagnostic boobs squish and a few dentist appointments, I’ve been nowhere and have seen no one. And little by little, I’ve become more scared and small as a human. I don’t care for that.

Today I made a resolution. I put on my favorite shoes, I donned a nice mask, and I made a Very Important Outing. Here are the fruits of my courage and reclamation!

I know you know I am just kidding about that last part. I’m seeing lots of friends going out in the world – – safely – – and doing things and seeing people again, and I admire you all for that. This really isn’t a big deal, I guess, except… for me it is, just a little.

I’m curious, though. How do you decide when it’s okay to do these non-essential things again? I can’t even imagine going to a restaurant at this point in time (but obviously I felt the need to mask up and run to the store for candy corns, so no judgment) so…how do we prioritize and decide? What is OK and what is not?

I am almost asking from a social perspective rather than a safety perspective, although I am not sure it’s wise to separate the two in this instance. I suppose part of me is asking this– because if I am being perfectly honest–I am nearly as concerned with what people think of me as I am with my health and safety. And the thought of someone saying “wow, that is super irresponsible and selfish!” with regard to me starting to do normal-outside-the-house things again is just as much, if not more of a deterrent as actually becoming sick or making others sick! So…I might not be venturing out again for a while. I can’t deal with that kind of scrutiny and the consequences. But I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Dana says

I've been furloughed since March and until this past Friday, I had only left my house for a few appointments. I decided to go to Joann Fabrics and look at their Halloween stuff. Everything was fine until I went to check out and the woman behind me didn't stand on the circle that designated 6 feet of distance from me. She was RIGHT BEHIND ME. I started freaking out a little and would edge forward and then she would do the same thing! I was afraid to say anything because you see those stories in the news where people get violent over these kinds of things. It may be awhile before I do that again. I feel safe in the clean cocoon of my house. And I don't know when I will ever eat out again....I don't trust it!

Aly says

Well done you for your constraint *and* your bravery! I do think outings are still important for our mental wellbeing, even though they have to be planned more carefully now.

I try to consider the importance of whatever the thing is and then talk to the folx my action will potentially directly effect. Mostly we keep ourselves to ourselves and are still minimising trips out. I’m trying to keep up with the (actual) science findings and base my decisions around that- which means I use my most well-fitting, best filtering mask for any indoor endeavours (work and the infrequent grocery run for things I can’t get delivered) and try to keep the time inside to a minimum. For outdoors I use the less well fitting masks (porch visit with these badass fans my friend has blowing between us, walking spaced out with friends {which sounds like we might be stoned, lol}). Work is at the library and we have restrictions, but the folk who don’t keep their space wig me out. I’m the only one working in the house at the moment, so ultimately I’m the main potential vector for my DH, which is pretty stressful. I really want to go to the thrift store for books and a nice wander, but haven’t quite worked up the nerve yet and I keep coming around to non-essential and what are the numbers doing in the area, etc. My area is chock full of folk who don’t think any of this is real or concerning, sooo... yeah.

What’s a restaurant?

Haven’t eaten out since March- indoors, outdoors, or carryout. We had to do an 8 hour road trip recently and our cooler was packed like we planned to feed an army (there are only 2 of us). I’m trying to figure out how to normalise all this so I don’t feel like I’m operating in a constant state of gaslit emergency (even though we kinda are?) but it’s a process.

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