I’m finding it harder and harder to write these, as in truth, this shutdown has become kind of all-encompassing, surreal and a bit monotonous at the same time. It’s been extended until May 5, still another three weeks, at least, and I don’t think many people expect things to come to an end then, either. Realistically, this could be a very, very long haul.

Hints that things might be peaking to some degree have started to come through, a little, but they do seem to be wishful thinking to an extent, like a false peak walking up a hefty mountain, another waiting on just the other side.

We’re well, physically, though I’m finding it increasingly difficult to sleep normally or keep myself on track mentally. It’s grindingly draining to experience this kind of separation from normal life, and anxiety can hit pretty hard. I’m very grateful I’m facing it with my family, not alone. The weirdest part is the dread that comes with normal activities (the local pharmacy has started a ‘two at once’ policy and it a serious experience, the supermarket feels awkward, dangerous, and overcrowded at half capacity). We’re avoiding these things as far as its realistic.

So, cases are up around 1.9 million, and deaths closing in on 120,000. Which is a mindblowing figure, really. The epicentre is now the US, though things are only slowing down slightly in Europe, and not as fast as perhaps we might hope for given the measures that are being taken keeping people at home. Ireland has closing in on 10,000 cases, most of which are in Dublin, so I really struggle with the necessary trips to get essentials, which are psychologically extremely straining. Taking delivery slots from those who actually need them would be beyond the pale, so we’re stuck with it.

I’m running pretty much every day, trying to write, and finding things to do around the house. Books from the to be read pile are slowly being devoured.

Our six-year-old is coping surprisingly well, especially when he doesn’t have to do school work, or we don’t have to do our work from home stuff, which unfortunately is not most days. He’s resilient, but it’s hard to push him to do much school work in an environment that’s so obviously not suited for it or sustainable interesting.

So we plod on, privileged to be somewhat bored and frustrated during a disaster, but anxious and clinging to normality. A month down.


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