. A lot has happened since last week.
Honestly, not much has changed for me day to day, as I work from home already. Same clients, basically the same work. There’s just more of it, since all eyes are on the internet in this strange time. It had never occurred to me that working from home, communicating solely through a screen, would one day be seen as healthy. Ha, I feel so vindicated by my oddball lifestyle!
The one new thing that I’ve found myself thinking: Will I get COVID-19 from the people around me? (Or from the grocery store? Or my bank? Or from my own steering wheel?)
I can’t remember where I read it but sometime last week I saw the term “COVID bonded” and it really stuck with me. If you’re not familiar, it’s a play on a term I learned a long time ago from friends in the poly(amory) community — “fluid bonded.” What? Ok, forgive me for getting a little graphic here, but if you’re fluid bonded with someone, you’re sharing, yup, bodily fluids with them, primarily through sexual activity. But plain ol’ spit counts too.
Ok, so COVID bonding. It’s kind of like that but it refers to who you are in close contact with during this time of sheltering in place (your “germ pod,” as my friend Amani calls it). My germ pod is complicated. (Ok, writing that just made me chuckle. Is “my germ pod is complicated” the new way to say “my relationship is complicated”?) Ok, who am I COVID bonded with? There’s Andy, my sweetie. He doesn’t live with me but we do see each other several times of week. Then there’s SJ, my 15-year-old daughter. Now, and here’s where it gets complicated, SJ bounces from her dad’s house to mine frequently. Over there, besides her dad, SJ has three siblings and a stepmom. And, her stepmom works at a local medical facility. I’m told she doesn’t have patient contact but certainly the risk of exposure is higher for her, and possibly (probably?) SJ, and therefore me.
So, I’m essentially COVID bonded with quite a few people. You might be thinking that I should stop sending SJ back and forth, or that I should stop seeing my sweetie. Or both. But I don’t think it would help at this point. Though I have heard of divorced families around here who have sequestered their children to just one house and did it right from the beginning.
But now I’m wondering if I’m also COVID bonded with the people at the grocery store, and the people who just left the grocery store. The grocery store is one big ol’ germ pod, if you ask me. I’ve been there twice this week. [throws hands up]
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not freaking out. It is what it is. I’m doing my best, and am hoping it’s enough. Acceptance.
Hey, I hope you’re all staying safe within your germ pod, washing your hands, and that no one you know personally has been affected by COVID-19. The reports say that in the next couple of weeks, we’ll really start seeing cases pop up here in the U.S. I hope it doesn’t hit you, or me, or anyone in our collective germ pods. We’re all in this damn thing together. Separate, yes, but not alone.