Housebound During COVID-19 Pandemic

The room I used to love and now hate.

The moment when…your living room becomes your office/yoga studio/fitness center/rubber room.

I used to believe working from home would be a dream. I could sleep later, not deal with commuting, wear sweatpants all day, and do housework during breaks. Wrong!

I hate it. I’ve never been a homebody, but a week of  forced telecommuting and being housebound due to COVID-19 and already I’m stir crazy. And forget housework. All I want to do on “breaks” is get the hell out of the house. I go for walks, drive around in the car listening to music, run quick errands with gloves on, after which I wash my hands and wipe down every surface I’ve touched before I washed.

When my husband comes home from his “essential” job around 4:30 pm, I see his eyes dart to the dishes in the sink, to the stove where dinner isn’t yet cooking, and to me, looking for answers. I don’t say it out loud, but inwardly I dare him to ask the unspoken question: Why, when you are working from home? Something of my thoughts must show on my face  because he doesn’t, smart man.

He can’t comprehend why I’m going stir crazy, or how my desperate need to separate work from  home, my feeling of being trapped, the fear of the unknown, and the torture of limbo have taken over my sensibilities.  I can’t either, for that matter. I only know that I am not handling this isolation well and it’s both surprising and disappointing.

I know it could be so much worse – it could be war or famine or a layoff, or we could be homeless or ill – and I know containing the virus from spreading is critical. But man, I never thought I’d hate being in the house so much, and especially spending most of my time in this new multi-purpose space that I once loved and now hate.

Note to self and others like me:  Breath. Relax. Pray. This moment in time won’t last forever. Someday it will be a story to tell. 

I would love to hear how you’re coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. What has changed in your life?  Are you finding any magic in these moments?

10 thoughts on “Housebound During COVID-19 Pandemic

  1. Hi Kim, well I don’t know about finding any magic but I am trying to create some sort of semblance of routine. I try and be dressed by 9, eat some breaky, walk the dog (while it’s still allowed) and then well … I write, read, get out in the backyard and generally try and keep busy. Yep, these are strange, scary times but we’re all in it together. Stay well, safe and sane. x 🙏

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    • Hi Miriam! Thanks for commenting. Glad you’re doing well. I agree creating a routine is so important. I realized after two days that I personally need the structure to function efficiently and not fall into the doldrums.

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  2. Welcome back, Kim! It is good to hear from you. I know this pandemic is affecting so many people, my way is to think of all the good that hopefully will come out of this. I think of animals and nature during this time. The air is much cleaner, and perhaps it gives an opportunity for nature to somehow restore its land and sea without our (human) interference. No matter what happens after all that, I am planning to plant more trees and be more grateful when I do simple things like going to the movie theater or gym.

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    • It’s good to hear from you, too, Svet! I appreciate your positive outlook. You are absolutely correct. I read an article that the canals in Venice have turned crystal clear and you can see to the bottom. I remind my students and staff of all the great skills we’re learning, like adapting and problem solving on the fly, being more resourceful, technology we never knew before to work and learn remotely. I do worry about the spread and those people that are suffering and vulnerable, though.

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  3. Kiiiim!!! So glad to see you again! Nothing has really changed for me. Most of my job was done from home, but I can see how this would be difficult for you, especially because of the conditions and because there’s no choice. I think that’s what’s making it challenging for some…it’s like going on a diet when you didn’t ask to be dieted lol

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    • Hi Kathy! I’m glad to be back and I hope to stay for a while. I hope you’re doing well. I totally agree that the forcedness of it (if that’s even a word) makes it more difficult. I also find the limbo of it hard. I don’t do well in limbo. It’s like purgatory. Then there’s realizing the grass isn’t always greener part of it. Not knowing what you had til it was gone. All those cliches.Once I’m back at the office I’ll probably be wishing I could be home – ah, well…

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  4. Hi Kim…so nice to have you back, though the circumstances could be better. I think, like most people, I try to keep things as much as normal. We’re in NJ so we’re pretty close to the worst of it these days. I get up every day and go through my routines. The weather has been nice so long walks, some car rides and the ability to work outside in the yard has helped a bit. Of course rainy days are no fun. But reading and being here helps a bit. I’ve cleaned out too many closets lately to want to do any more. Stay well and take care of yourself..:)

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    • Hi George, good to hear from you! I hope all is well. I agree routine is key to stay sane. I realized that very early in. Morning yoga, walks at lunch, hikes after work at my father-in-law’s farm – weather permitting. We are in CT, so close to NY too. Stay healthy and well.

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  5. This is such a lifestyle change for us. I am working online now and find I have to take frequent breaks to keep motivated and to refresh. Good has come out of it as I have been able to read books and will get back into writing shortly. Enjoyed reading your thoughts!

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  6. Hi Dee, thanks for sharing. Working online can be tough and I know what you mean about having to take lots of short breaks. Staring at a screen all day can make one feel like a zombie! Glad you’re reading and inspired to get back to writing.

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