It’s me. I’m writing from my apocalypse bunker, and by apocalypse bunker I mean my third floor apartment in Athens. It’s been a whole week since I last went outside, and from what I’ve gathered, you haven’t been out for a while, either. Trust me, I wasn’t planning on being such a killjoy right off the bat (pun unintended, but it stays), but right now we’re sitting on 387 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths and a general statewide lockdown. A month ago I was sipping gin at my cousin’s fancy dress party. I worked. I joked around with my students. I had a trip to Milan lined up, and I was very much looking forward to it. I went to concerts and the theatre and to the movies and the supermarket, which apparently is the only place I can still visit, but only with a special pass, and there can only be a few of us at a time, and even so we have to keep our distance from each other. I’ve never been one for excessive physical friendliness, but this is a bit much.
I miss normal life. I’m sure you do too.
There’s only so many things you can do while in quarantine, and I’m running out of ideas. I’ve been cooking and cleaning more than usual, which is nice. I’ve been decluttering my closet, which is pointless, since I’ve been living in the same three high school t-shirts and sweatpants, and the feeling I get from the rotation of said tired and tattered attire is eerily similar to that familiar twinge of depression creeping its way upwards from my gut. I don’t know if I’m supposed to wear my “work” clothes. How ridiculous would that look? Wandering around in button-downs and khakis and blazers just to do chores, waste time online and longingly stare outside the window into the empty streets. I guess that’s sort of the modern day equivalent of Victorian ladies poured into corsets and sitting pretty in huge, musty palace quarters. Guess I’ll stick to my old Metallica tee and flannel.
I’m worried, because there are people in my family I love and care about and they happen to be over the age of 60, and I know that they too will inevitably contract the virus at one point or another, no matter how effectively they isolate themselves. No matter how long I stay away for. No matter how well sterilized the world around them is. I’m worried because Greece is still very much a failed, struggling state and the system could never handle the incoming numbers and I’ve seen enough of hospitals for a lifetime.
I know you worry too. I know you want this to be over.
I wish I were writing, but I’m not. At least not creatively, let’s put it this way. I’ve seen the whole “Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine” motivational going around, and let me tell you, that’s one crappy motivational. The ongoing situation makes me feel closer to Jack Torrance than the Bard. Cabin fever is real, kids.
I don’t have much to offer, other than a small list of things that might make your social distancing more bearable, so here goes:
Stuff to binge watch:
True crime picks:
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. (TW: extreme child abuse) I’ve been following true crime cases since I was a teen and this is sincerely one of the most gruesome and heartbreaking cases ever, viewer discretion is advised.
Don’t F**k With Cats. (TW: animal abuse, violence)
Bit of Noise:
Viagra Boys have a new EP. And I had tickets to their show, and guess what? Cancelled and rescheduled for early September. Let’s hope the world hasn’t exploded by then.
Bad Bunny. He’s a delight, and the whole album is ridiculously catchy.
Lil Uzi Vert. 🔥🔥🔥
Leonard Cohen’s posthumous release is beautiful and esoteric and great for all these quiet nights in.
Slay The Spire, aaaand the Sims 3. (Nobody’s perfect.)
The above is what’s been sustaining me lately. Let’s strive for sustenance, for the time being.