Sunshine Does Not Negate Social Distancing!

social distancing, health, Modern PhilosopherI’m a bit pissed off at my fellow man right now, Modern Philosophers.

Don’t worry.  I’m probably not angry at any of you.  Unless, of course, you were out on the river walk this morning during my run.

As I’ve related in previous posts, I’ve continued my running routine, and have seen next to no one else on the road.  It’s gotten to the point that I’ve wondered if everyone else in the neighborhood moved away.

Really fueling my abandonment issues, but that’s an entirely different blog post.

This morning the narrative changed, and we all know how much I hate change.  As I approached the river walk, I saw several cars in the lot.  I immediately felt a disturbance in the Force, but then again, my natural introvert’s instinct is to avoid the world.

Today was much sunnier and warmer than usual, so it made sense that other people would take advantage of the nice weather to do something healthy.  After all, as long as everyone follows the rules of social distancing, it’s okay for more than one person to be outside at a time.  I just knew to be careful.

Because I don’t trust people.  And the reason for that was proven almost immediately.

About 100 feet into my run, I spotted two older men chatting in the middle of the path.  These are gentlemen I’ve seen before on my runs, and they are probably in their late 60s or early 70s.  They always say hi when I pass, and they seem nice.

But that was in the world before the Coronavirus.

Now, I see everyone as a threat to my health.  And these two were in the middle of the road, mere inches from each other, not giving me much room on either side to pass.

Not cool.  I might have growled in anger, but that has not been confirmed.

social distancing, health, Modern PhilosopherI pulled up my face mask, looped out onto the grass and rocks, and sprinted past.  I could not believe they didn’t even move once they saw me coming.  I’m not hard to miss at 6’3″ and wearing a mask.  I’d clear the hell out if I saw me running at me!

I hoped this was a one time issue, but soon enough, I picked up someone else coming towards me.  Of course I did.

Let me point out here that I run on the extreme right hand side of the path even if I don’t see anyone else around.  I just want to get into the habit of leaving plenty of room for people to pass.

Because that’s was social distancing asks us to do.  So we can flatten the damn curve, save lives, and get back to living in a more normal matter.

The person coming at me, however, was smack in the middle of the path, and made no move to widen the gap between us.

Again, I put up my mask and swerved out onto the grass and rocks.  Keep in mind, of course, that the river is right there on the other side of the rocks, and I am not much of a swimmer.  But I’d rather take my chance with the water than with someone who might be carrying a virus.

This continued to happen for the duration of my run.  I’d gotten so used to having the path all to myself, that I was upset to actually see other humans.  I would have been fine sharing the path, but these folks didn’t seem to care about social distancing rules.

Hence my being pissed.

During my run, I passed both a group of three and a group of four.  In both cases, they walked abreast, taking up the entire path.  Since I saw them coming, I was able to run up on the grass and give myself a wide buffer.

social distancing, health, Modern PhilosopherBut never did they make a move to give me more room.  And this was a game of chicken I was absolutely not willing to play.

I’m all for people wanting to be healthy, but this is not a normal time in our history.  If you’re going to be out, just respect the rules of social distancing.

How hard is it to move over when you see someone approaching?  Why are you stopping to chat in the middle of the path to talk, when you’re not six feet from the other person?  Why are you walking three or four abreast?  That’s not safe for anyone in the group, let alone an unsuspecting stranger who is out for a run.

Maybe I’m overreacting, but this seems like a situation where my losing my cool is completely understandable.  The only way to flatten the curve is to avoid contact, keep our distance, and show some common courtesy to our fellow man.

Sure, you might feel entitled to walk wherever you want and take up as much space as you want, but you can’t think that way anymore.

Just be a decent human.  Remember you’re not the only one in the world.

End of rant.  Thanks for reading.  Stay safe and practice social distancing!

Has it been your experience that people are following the rules of social distancing?  Do you say anything to people who do not?

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Roger The Dodger

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern PhilosopherHe entered the office with some trepidation.  The couch was his obvious destination, but he approached it as if he were afraid it might spring up and take a punch at him.

The Psychiatrist observed this from her chair without a word.

Finally he arrived at the couch.  He regarded it for a moment, like was now trying to figure out how it worked.

“Is it okay if I just sit?” he asked her.

“Whatever makes you comfortable,” she answered with a smile.

He sat at the end of the couch furthest from her chair.

“I read someplace that the shrink judges you based on where you sit, and whether you decide to lie on the couch,” he told her.

She jotted down something on her pad, and then smiled at him.  It was a polite smile, with a hint of disappointment.  The kind of smile you’d get from your stepmother after you used one of her special occasion glasses for your very mundane after school chocolate milk.

“We don’t like the term ‘shrink’.  Doctor or Psychiatrist is fine,” she scolded him.

He nodded liked this wasn’t the first time he’d been corrected on that exact issue.

“Sorry,” he was quick to seek her forgiveness.  “I’ve been told that before, but I still do it when I’m nervous.”

“So you’re nervous?” she asked and wrote something else on her pad.

“Well, yeah,” he admitted.  “You’re a total stranger, and I’m about to spill my guts to you.  Wouldn’t that make you nervous?”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“We’re not here to talk about me,” she reminded him.  “Speaking of which…”

He was more nervous than he’d let on because it took him a moment to understand that he was being prompted to open up the discussion about why he was there.

“Right.  I should tell you why I’m here.”

“Your referral was very vague, but that’s perfectly fine,” she assured him.  “This is a safe space, and I am here to listen.  Why don’t we start with your name, as if we were just two regular people meeting for the first time at a social function?”

His initial reaction was to ask her if she was implying that they, or more specifically he, was not a “regular person”, but years of therapy had taught him to not say the first thing that came to mind.  He mentally counted to five and then answered.

“My name is Roger,” he said in almost a whisper as he picked at an imaginary piece of lint on his jeans.

He swallowed hard and continued in a louder, more confident manner, “I have never been a fan of the Dodgers, be it the Brooklyn or the Los Angeles franchise.  I hate dodge ball, and used to feign injuries in gym class to get out of playing.  It’s a barbaric game that preys on the weak and non-athletic.  Finally, I’ve never owned any car from the wide range of Dodge vehicles.”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern PhilosopherAfter the last line, he let out a heavy sigh, and then decided to lie on the couch.

She waited for him to continue once he was settled in his new position, but apparently that was all he had to say.

“Nice to meet you Roger.  I’m Dr. Hecht.  What brings you here today?”

Roger lifted his head to ensure she could see the confused, yet annoyed look on his face.

“I just told you, Doc,” he said with the sass of a teenager asked to talk about his day at school.  “Dodgers, dodge ball, Dodge.”

He let out a sound that might have been a clearing of the throat, or more likely, was a growl at having to repeat himself to the shrink…no, to the Psychiatrist.

Now it was her turn to be confused.  She’d seen and heard it all in her many years in this profession, but this had the potential to be something new.  Even though it was probably just an inability on the patient’s part to correctly express himself.

“You want me to help you root for the Dodgers, enjoy dodge ball, and finally buy a Dodge?” she asked and hoped she properly masked the condescension in her voice.

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“I knew this was a waste of time!” Roger blurted as he sprang up so quickly from the couch that he startled her enough to cause her to yelp.

“Please, Roger, explain this to me,” she pleaded.  “I truly do want to help, but I have to admit I’m not at all sure with what it is I need to help.”

Roger looked at her, and something in her face convinced him that she was sincere.  He let out a heavy sigh, and sat back down on the couch.  This time, one cushion closer to her.

“Why do you think I was so nervous?” he asked with a chuckle.  “This isn’t exactly your run of the mill psychiatric problem.  Essentially, for the past month, every time I’ve introduced myself to someone, I’ve launched into that whole spiel about the Dodgers, dodge ball, and Dodge.  I don’t know why the hell I started doing it, what it means, or why I can’t stop.”

She blinked for just a moment.  She hoped he didn’t notice, but she knew she’d done it.  This was out there.  She loved a good challenge, but this was something more than that.

“This just started out of the blue?” she asked more to buy time to form a plan of action than anything else.  “And it’s the same wording every time?”

He nodded.  “Totally out of the blue.  Pretty much the exact thing every time, but sometimes I’ll say Los Angeles before Brooklyn, or maybe throw in a specific model of Dodge vehicle.”

She wrote something on her pad.  “How do people react?”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“That’s the thing, Doc.  They look at me like I’m crazy,” he said in frustration.  “I’m socially awkward as it is and have a hard enough time making friends, so this little tic, or brain fart, or whatever the hell it is isn’t helping me with that issue.”

“Why does the opinion of others matter to you so much?” she steered the conversation in a direction she knew how to handle.

“Gee, Doc, I don’t know,” he threw up his arms in anger.  “Maybe because I’m a warmblooded human being, and I crave love and acceptance from others.  Wouldn’t I be a nutso psychopath if I didn’t want that?”

His outbursts both worried her, and gave her better insight into what she was working with here.  She decided not to write that down because she could sense that every time her pen hit the page, something inside him cried out that she was not accepting him.

“It looks like we’ve touched on a sensitive subject,” she offered a push to move him off the anger path and to get him to open up again.

“Maybe.  Who knows?” He shook his head like he was baffled and didn’t expect anyone else to be able to figure it out.  “But I don’t want to gloss over the whole what I say whenever I tell people my name is Roger.  Can we get back to that because that’s why I made this appointment and jumped through hoops with my insurance to get them to pay for this appointment?”

“By all means,” she agreed because she just wanted him to talk and give her as much information as possible so that she could help.

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“This really has me freaked out,” he confessed as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.  “I mean, where did it come from?  Why now?  Why those exact words? And more importantly, why am I telling people for the past month that my name is Roger when it’s really Dale?”

She dropped her pen, but fought the urge to slam closed the portfolio that held her pad.

“Your name is Dale?” she demanded even though there was a question mark at the end.  “And for a month, you’ve not only been telling people your name was Roger, but also adding a little coda related to your alias?”

“That’s right, Doc,” he confirmed.

“Why didn’t you lead with that?” she asked already exhausted from the session.

“But I did!” he insisted.  “I got right into the whole Dodger, dodge ball…”

She held up her hand to signal that he should stop speaking.  Silencing a patient was not a move usually in the Psychiatrist Playbook, but this was not your typical patient.

“We’re not going to make any progress if you lie to me, Dale,” she warned sternly.

He nodded sheepishly.  “Then let me be straight with you, Doc.  My name is actually Stephen.  And that’s with a “ph” not a “v”.  Full disclosure and total truth now.”

Now she slammed closed the portfolio.  She really had no other choice unless she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs to let out the frustration that had built up inside her since this man, whatever his name was, had entered her office.

“Please tell me that when you were jumping through hoops with your insurance, you got them to authorize more than one visit.”

He nodded again.  This time with a little confidence.

She thought to herself that at least he’d managed to do something right…

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Social Distancing Doesn’t Have To Mean Antisocial

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherAs much as I embrace all the perks of the Introvert Lifestyle, Modern Philosophers, I know it is not for everyone.  This time of extended social distancing brought about by the spread of the Coronavirus must be difficult for those of you not used to being quirky loners.

And if I’m being completely honest, his whole Nation in Exile vibe is starting to get to me.  Sure, I like having the road all to myself when I go for a run, but the other night when I lost Cassie, I really could have used a hug and some time with friends.

So this morning, before I left for my run, I posted something on Facebook.  I asked how everyone was doing, and offered to chat with anyone on Messenger who just wanted to chat, connect, and feel social.

Wasn’t I delighted when my phone immediately began to chime with new messages!

At one point, I was chatting with friends from Ireland, Florida, and California.  It was cool to connect with them, and to learn how that part of the world is handling the outbreak.  We were talking about baseball, writing, and how hard it is to find bread.

My phone has continued to inform me of new conversations all day, and I’d really like to keep this going.  I understand the need for us to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we all have to become antisocial.

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherIn fact, I would argue we need to do the exact opposite.

Is prosocial even a word?  If not, I’m making it one.  I’m a writer and we have the authority to create new words.  Just ask Shakespeare.

This is a situation that screams for us to be overtly social, but in a responsible way.

In the Age of Social Media (capitalizing it makes it sound even more important!), it is easy to reach out to others and maintain that six feet safety perimeter.  Hell, you can be social without ever leaving your couch or bed.

Remember when you had to dress up, worry about your make up, and fix your hair before you could socialize with your friends?  Then arrange for a ride, make sure you had enough cash for the night, and pick up that gift because only weirdos show up empty handed?

That nonsense is not required in today’s prosocial world.  I’m siting on my couch in raggedy sweats, an old fleece, and contemplating cutting my own hair because it’s out of control and I don’t think my barber can do her job from six feet away.

I’m sorry I didn’t put on my Sunday best to have this chat with you, Modern Philosophers, but the focus here should be on the fact that I’m reaching out to talk to you, not on how ridiculous I look.

Or the fact that I don’t have a gift for you, other than my words and attention.

Now is the time to check on friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and that annoying guy who still owes you twenty bucks.  Make sure they know someone is out there thinking about them and wishing them well.  See if you can make a grocery run for elderly neighbors.  Ask if that sick friend is feeling better.

social distancing, communicating, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe might be stuck in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t venture onto the internet to hang out, spread a little sunshine, and chase off cabin fever.

If you’re lonely, bored, or plotting to cut your own hair, I’m definitely available to talk.  Reach out to me on Messenger or in the comments section of this post.  Let’s be prosocial.  Deep Thoughts are much more powerful when shared with others.

Let’s keep the virus outside, but open our virtual doors to anyone who needs a little social time and a reminder of how much better the world is with chatter and laughter in it…

Do you want to chat?  Let me know!

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Running To Do Something

pandemic, health, running, Modern PhilosopherIt was a rough week at The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, as I tried to adapt to life in the time of the Coronavirus.

Sure, the social distancing is right up my quirky introvert alley, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely.

I do have some emotions like a normal human being.  Not many, but my programming does allow for some of the negative ones.

I suffered a horrible loss this week as my kitty Cassie crossed over the rainbow bridge.  Her passing came as a shock, and probably hit me even harder than it would have because of all the bottled up stress and anxiety.

I cried for a very long time, and maybe it helped my overall mental health to have that kind of breakdown and unleash some emotion.

I don’t want to gloss over Cassie’s death, but I just can’t bring myself to write any more about it.  Just doing this much has caused me to cry again, and I’m really trying to be strong for her sisters who are confused by her absence.

I might be (not so slowly) cracking up, I’m feeling perfectly fine physically.  Yes, I’m worried about catching the virus, especially since I work in healthcare, but I do take serious precautions at work.  I don’t mind being in the office, in fact, I want to be there.

It is a much needed distraction at a time when my mind is racing too quickly to process so many anxious, negative, frightening, and stressful thoughts.  Being able to focus on the task at hand has kept my brain from melting, or just shutting down altogether.

I’m a problem solver and there are lots of problems that need to be solved.  It makes the day pass quickly, and also helps me to feel like a useful part of society.

pandemic, health, running, Modern PhilosopherOf course, I’m very worried that we will be closed down and sent home.  While that is most likely the safest scenario to keep me from being infected, stress levels go through the roof when I think about life without a steady paycheck.  I’m losing sleep over that possibility, and when I’m sleepy, my mind is more open to suggestion from the side of my brain that secretes stress into my system.

I would love to work from home, which would give me the best of two worlds, but that option has not been offered.  How are the rest of you handling work closures?  I honestly think I would just sit here and worry about money, try to eat as little as possible so my food supplies last, and quickly go mad.

So to stave off the inevitable financial freakout, I’ve upped my running game.  Not only is it an excellent distraction (I tweeted the morning after I lost Cassie that it’s almost impossible to cry when you’re running), but it also makes me feel like I’m doing something proactive to fight off COVID 19.

The logic is sound.  If my body is healthier, it is more likely and better prepared to stave off an invasion from the virus.

DO NOT try to convince me otherwise.

That’s what’s keeping me going.  So I’m keeping up my regular running schedule and pushing myself to go longer and faster.

And for those of you worried that I’m opening myself up to exposure by being outside, let me assure you that my neighborhood has become a ghost town.  There’s no one outside.  Very few cars.  It’s eerily silent.

pandemic, health, running, Modern PhilosopherAs someone who grew up in the bustling borough of Brooklyn, all this quiet is a bit unnerving.  My neighbor knocked on the door last night, and it startled the $%^& out of me.  I think I had actually convinced myself I was the only one still on the block.

It’s nice to know the other houses are still occupied.  It would be too creepy for my overactive mind to know that I was the only one left in the neighborhood.  I’d never be able to sleep, and if I did, I’m sure the nightmares would be so horrifying that I’d never want to sleep again.

That’s why I need my runs.  I need to feel alive.  To know I’m not just sitting home waiting for the virus to come for me.  Every time I push myself a little harder, a little further, I’m telling myself that I’m increasing my chances of beating this damn virus.

Running definitely beats sitting home and watching the news.  MSNBC actually has a constantly updating graphic on the screen of how many people have been infected and have died.

pandemic, health, running, Modern PhilosopherI hate change.  This current version of life is not Modern Philosopher approved.  I demand we go back to the previous version very soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep running.  Stay safe, Modern Philosophers!

What are you doing to keep yourself sane during this insane time?

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thanks For The (Horrible, Unwanted) Memories

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherOne of the ways I’ve been keeping myself out of trouble during this period of intense social distancing, Modern Philosophers, has been to record old movies to watch when I need a good distraction.

Yesterday, I viewed Clear and Present Danger.  It was cool to see Harrison Ford young and spry enough to dangle from a helicopter.  I’d read the book a long time ago, and the movie was 26 years old, so I probably hadn’t seen it since last century.

It took my mind off the global pandemic even though the title was a subtle hint about what I was trying to forget.

Today’s selection was from 2006.  I’m a huge fan of Vince Vaughn, and Swingers is one of my all-time favorite flicks.  So when I saw that The Break-Up was on, I had to record it.  After all, Jon Favreau, the writer and co-star of Swingers had a supporting role.

Plus, who doesn’t love Jennifer Aniston?

I was hoping for a fun afternoon of laughing at Vince being Vince, of remembering how easy Jen is on the eyes, and maybe even being inspired to write a romantic comedy once my screening was done.

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherThat plan went straight to hell, however, when the movie conjured up memories of my divorce.

Let’s jump into the time machine for a moment to supply a little backstory here.

It all goes back to Swingers.  I have a very vivid memory of driving with J during our honeymoon, and discussing how badly we both wanted to see Swingers once we returned home.  We were in love, making plans, and enjoying our status as newlyweds.

I’ve mentioned many times in this blog that even though I haven’t seen J in about 15 years, I still have nightmares about her. They are always about the same thing: she has decided to leave me, and I am desperately trying to win her back.

The nightmares haunt me because I never think about J, I don’t long to reconcile, and I don’t ever wish we were still married.

But watching The Break-Up today brought me back to the conversation that ended with J informing me that she wanted a divorce.  I was in my study, writing at the computer, and she delivered the line as she started down the very staircase that I could see from my spot on the couch as I watched the film.

If you’re not familiar with the movie, Vince and Jen have a horrible fight at the beginning, she announces that she is done with the relationship, and instead of going to her to work it out, he leaves the apartment.

Man, did that resonate with me.  I still remember not getting up from the computer when J dropped the bombshell that she wanted a divorce.  In my mind, she was just being overly dramatic again.  It would all blow over like it always did.  Like back in the days when she’d pull off her engagement ring and hurl it at me.

The Break Up, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Modern PhilosopherLike an idiot, I didn’t move from my chair to go to the woman I promised to love, through better or worse, until death parted us.

As the movie progressed, I got pissed off with Vince Vaughn.  He really is a total prick to Jen.  All he had to do was go to her and talk, but he just accepted her word that it was over, and then made things worse by both his actions and inaction.

It reminded me of how I was the same way when J and I fought.  I was so damn stubborn and it was imperative to get in the last word and win every argument.

I’d let things stew and allow the silence to go on forever.  All I had to do was use my power with words to open up a dialogue and make things better, but instead, I chose to use my words as weapons.

I kept seeing myself in Vince Vaughn, which really sucked because he is an absolute dick.

Why did I have this sudden epiphany today?  It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve watched the movie.  Maybe I’m just getting more perceptive in my old age.  Perhaps I’m beginning to realize that the reason I’m still single is all my fault.

Maybe riding out a pandemic all alone in the house I bought with J to raise a family gave me a whole new perspective on life.

divorce, relationships, Modern PhilosopherI’ve always proudly touted my introvert status, but maybe I wouldn’t be leading such a solitary life if I’d been this understanding of my behavior back when J was something much more to me than a ghost that forever haunts my dreams.

As much as I like Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, and Jon Favreau, I’ve got to give The Break-Up two thumbs down because today’s viewing made me realize that I am the reason I have those nightmares…

Has re-watching an old favorite changed the way you look at it or your life?

Posted in Humor, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Social Distancing From Anxiety

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherI know times are changing because of the Coronavirus outbreak, Modern Philosophers, but some things can still remain the same.

Sunday mornings are for long runs.  I’m well aware that we are supposed to be practicing social distancing, but my neighborhood has been like a ghost town lately, so I knew I wasn’t likely to run into anyone along the road.

Just to be sure, I wore my gloves and cowl.  It was a cold, windy morning, so it made sense for me to have a facemask on anyway.

I wasn’t going to be stupid.  If I saw a large group of people that looked intent on surrounding me and forcing me to shake hands, I would run back to the safety of The House on the Hill.

I needed to get out of the house and do something healthy.  Even though I excel at social distancing, I do tend to watch TV once I get tired of reading and worn out from writing.

And when the TV is on, it’s hard to avoid all the news about the horrors of the pandemic.  It’s natural to want to watch and absorb facts, but after awhile, fact gathering morphs into absorbing anxiety.  And then falling down the rabbit hole.

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherI will confess that there was a point last night when I panicked about there not being any food on the shelves the next time I go grocery shopping.  From the sound of things, people are buying everything like it’s the end of days, and I’m worried that if I remain calm and rational, I will starve to death as a result.

That was why I needed to go for a run this morning.  I had to turn off the TV, distract my inner thoughts, and do something healthy.

Essentially, I needed to practice some social distancing from anxiety.

Like I said, it was a cold and windy morning, but uncoupling my car from the Coronavirus Anxiety Train was too important to let the weather derail my plans.

Unlike yesterday, there were several people out on the river walk.  I kept my distance, and then put up my mask whenever I got close enough to say hello.  Once I felt I was safely out of the danger zone, I pulled down my mask again.

There is something very settling about the steady pace, the gorgeous view, and the increase of my heart rate for non-anxious reasons.  It was a relief to let Runner Guy take the controls, and temporarily shut off the parts of my brain that insist on sending stress levels skyrocketing through the stratosphere.

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherOnce I got home, I settled in for a marathon of The Office on Comedy Central.  The gang at Dunder Mifflin may be many things, but they are not experts on global pandemics.  As a result, I didn’t have to think about what was going on in the world.  All I cared about was a paper company office in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

I’m aware that everything will change tomorrow when I have to leave the safety of The House on the Hill to return to the workforce.  It will be impossible to avoid talk of the Coronavirus and COVID 19, but maybe I will handle the stress a little better because I made time today for some social distancing from anxiety.

Are you practicing social distancing?  Have you changed your routine?  Has your work/school been closed because of the virus?  What are you doing to maintain a positive outlook?

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Social Distancing Is My Jam

Covid 19, Coronavirus, health, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherThis Coronavirus/Covid 19 Pandemic makes for anxious times, Modern Philosophers, but if you are an introvert, you should already be well prepared.

Introverts have been training their whole lives for something like this.  We never quite knew why, but we all had some inkling in the back of our minds that self-induced social distancing would come in handy one day.

Truth be told, I feel like I’m living two lives at the moment.  When I’m at The House on the Hill, it is business as usual.  Sure, I might have bought a few extra groceries at the store this week and put them in the freezer “just in case”, but other than that, life is normal.

There’s always a four pack of toilet paper under the bathroom sink.  I’ve always got plenty of writing projects and books waiting to be read to ensure that I will keep busy even if I can’t waste away my time watching sports.  There’s never anyone around to spread their germs, lick my doorknobs, or contaminate my air and water supply.

When I’m inside The House in the Hill, social distancing is the norm.  I’m not doing anything different here than I would were there not a pandemic sweeping the globe.

Once I leave the safety of home, though, life is different.  Everything is at Threat Level Midnight.  And, yes, I just watched that episode of The Office, so that’s why I went with the term, but it’s perfectly appropriate.

At work, there is Purell, facemasks, and ILI precautions.  I actually feel nervous once I enter the office, and a fluctuating anxiety level haunts me until I leave for the day.

Covid 19, Coronavirus, health, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherYesterday, a coworker sneezed, and I bolted the door between our offices.  I was just joking, trying to lighten the mood, but part of me was scared.

I’m a natural at cutting myself off from the rest of the world, and any germs that might be a part of the package, but when I’m forced to go out into it in order to pay the bills, I’m suddenly opening myself up to all the pandemics the other people on the planet have to offer.

When I’m home, I feel much more in control.  I don’t have to watch the news, I don’t have to read email updates about mandated precautions, and I don’t have to worry about what germs might be brought to me by others.

I’m very calm here.  This morning, I went about business as usual, which meant going for a long run.  Hardly anyone else was out, so it was like moving through a ghost town.  I felt like a character on The Walking Dead.  I kept imagining that the virus had left me as the only one still in the neighborhood.

And the thought of being all alone didn’t worry me one bit.  In fact, it made me smile.

Like I said, social distancing is my jam.  I’ve been doing it my whole life, and it is like second nature to me now.

Covid 19, Coronavirus, health, introverts, humor, Modern PhilosopherAs a Modern Philosopher, I have accepted that there is nothing I can do to control what is happening around me.  If I panic, if I lose sleep over my impending contamination, if I hoard toilet paper, if I walk around in a Hazmat suit, it’s not going to change the way the virus spreads.

I’m choosing to live my life as I always have, which just so happens to be what all the experts recommend.

All those years of extreme introvert training are finally paying off just like something deep inside me always knew they would.

Ironically, everyone who bullied me or made fun of me for being the quirky, weirdo loner is now trying to be just like me.

Stay safe.  Be strong.  Let your Inner Introvert keep you out of harm’s way…

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