I was laid off today.
In any other scenario, I would be devastated. Right now, I do feel worried for what my future holds. I am inconvenienced. I’ve filed for unemployment for the first time so I feel a little bit humbled as well. I feel sad for the company I worked for and I feel surprised that it has come to this. But I am not devastated. I realize an unprecedented amount of people are going through this. I actually feel pretty lucky that my financial stability wasn’t pulled out from underneath me the moment the government began mandating closures. We are living in a time that I can envision telling my kids about someday.
Oh you’re bored? One time mommy and daddy had to sit in our apartment and weren’t allowed to socialize for weeks because someone close to us tested positive for Coronavirus. Oh you don’t want to go to work? Back when I was your age people were lucky to be able to go to work. Go wash your hands until they bleed.
Anyways as I was saying, every day I wake up and for a moment forget that this is happening. Then I look out the window at my view of downtown Minneapolis and every metered spot is available on the street. I see a singular person and their dog cross the road and as one car drifts past I swear I can hear every rain drop spray from beneath its tires. All the restaurants are dark and even at four in the morning, the city never sounds like this. It’s calm and honestly, I’m calm too.
Kids in Miami complaining about COVID-19 ruining their spring break, doomsday preppers buying out toilet paper as if the virus causes 200 bowel movements per day, idiots I’m somehow still friends with on Facebook acting like their sports intake is more important than the health of our nation… it’s difficult for me to fathom that the severity of what’s at hand is still being ignored.
This sucks. Sitting at home sucks. But I can picture my friends staying in bed for an extra thirty minutes with their babies. I know moms and dads are reading to their kids more often. Families are eating home cooked meals together. A lonely writer is finishing her novel and an aspiring musician is spending quality time with his violin, tuning it to perfection and finding new notes. Someone’s finally using those home workout tapes and executives all over America are learning the resilience of their employees as they hop onto conference calls before their toddler wakes up from his nap. My dog doesn’t even know what to do with herself having me around to play with her all day.
How many Americans were laid off today and instead of saying this sucks for me they said this sucks for all of us? Because that’s where my head is at. This is a wildly uncharted time for our country. So wild that it’s actually driven me to write in the midst of a hefty writer’s block and general hiatus from this blog. So wild that I sit here jobless, still smiling at the fact that a mom reached out to me on Instagram to tell me she’s using this time to teach her child sign language and wanted to know if I had any tips.
A shit as massive as this one still has its silver linings. Even if there’s no toilet paper left to clean it up.