Everything and nothing has changed

The world is all kinds of upside-down right now. I hope everyone is safe and doing alright so far. ❀

I know international media seems to believe Sweden has done nothing at all during the outbreak but that isn’t true. There hasn’t been a strict nationwide lockdown, but there are many many restrictions put in place and life is far from normal. High schools and universities are closed and have online education only. Many shops and restaurants have closed or only offer takeaway now. Almost all events are cancelled or moved online. Everyone who can is working from home and people stay away from each other even more than before.

But for me personally, this hasn’t had a huge impact on my life. Or it has, things are obviously different now, but it’s not all negative.

I live in the sparsely populated north of the country so my town wasn’t exactly crowded even before the pandemic. And I’ve worked from home for the past 3 years, so I was already used to never going anywhere or seeing anyone.

Under normal conditions, I sit at home, alone, in front of my computer and rarely speak to anyone other than on Slack or Messenger. All our relatives live in other towns several hours away, so we’re used to not seeing them all that much either. But now we avoid seeing our friends unless it’s one-on-one and/or outdoors. I also only go shopping once a week max and only for food and necessities. And of course we don’t go to restaurants or pubs anymore either.

Markus is considered a high-risk patient because of his heart condition so we’re doing all we can to minimize the risks. I’m not too worried about myself but I don’t want him to get sick.

Catkins in a forest
Sure sign of spring: catkins!

Speaking of, the biggest difference is that he too is working from home now. It’s nice to have his company but it also requires some adjustment on my part because his job is 90% meetings. Team meetings, workshops, training sessions… His side of our home office is never quiet and his web cam is always on. I’m good at tuning out the outside world so the noise isn’t that big of a deal, but it has made me realise how tiny our house is. And how often I change clothes…

I have special forest/dog clothes that I wear when I go out. We have very active walks where we play and train etc. and the forest is dirty and Runa is a drooler. So I don’t want to walk her in my indoors clothes.
The problem is I keep forgetting the damn camera is always on and have nearly flashed his whole team multiple times by now. πŸ˜–πŸ˜¬

Still, I like that he’s home. I’m re-learning how fun it can be to have coworkers. 😊

My work has also cut everyone’s hours so I only work ~5 hours/day now. The government covers most of the lost salary though, so I still get almost all of my usual pay. It’s honestly pretty nice. Who doesn’t want extra free time? I just hope I don’t get completely laid off before all this is over.

At least the dog is happy. Both her people home all the time? She’s living the dream! 🐢

Markus and Runa sitting on a bench in the woods
Lunch break in the forest

My own parents are older but they are also retired and live even further up north in the middle of absolute nowhere. Their little village was borderline deserted even before this, so they’re pretty isolated.
My husband’s parents live in a less-empty town further south but they are retired too so at least they don’t have to work. And they all take the virus seriously and do what they can to protect themselves.
Hopefully, they’ll all be alright. Our parents are my main concern after Markus.

But all together I feel strangely calm about the whole thing.

I rarely talk about it online but I’ve had problems with anxiety and depression since my teens. I’m used to my brain jumping to the worst possible conclusions at the drop of a hat. I can have a perfect breakdown and overthink the most mundane shit. But now that something actually dangerous is happening my brain is all… sensible?

The main reaction so far is “You’re doing all you can and can’t control it any more than you already do – so just take it as it comes.”

Guess it’s good but it also weirds me out. Of all the things to feel anxiety about this should be highest on the list, shouldn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I am worried. About Markus, about our parents, about the world at large… But it’s a sort of down-to-earth manageable worry. There’s no panicking or obsessing. Maybe my anxiety only works with imaginary dangers? Or maybe it’s realizing my privilege of living where and how I do, where social distancing is relatively easy.

Anyway, we’re doing alright here. How is everyone else holding up?

Ghost hug made by Chibird

Comments

  1. May 10, 2020

    I’m very glad to hear that you’re doing well. I’m going to limit my thoughts about the whole situation here, otherwise I would write a 5k words rant and this is not the space. I have to say that being an introvert helps in situations like these!

    I’m currently having fun watching all sorts of cartoons and movies on Disney+, I’m very grateful they released the platforms months in advance in my country so I could finally watch the last Star Wars movie (I made a sort of solo party on May 4th!). On a personal level, this whole thing has affected me in a strange way because I realized I don’t feel like sharing much lately, I archived my blog for now and stepped away from social media. But I’m still writing (just not publishing) and reading blogs and forums, a bit like the old-school internet days and I’m enjoying it so far.

    My cat is loving all the people at home all the time as well. 😁

    • May 25, 2020

      The horribleness of the situation aside, I think this is the perfect time to reflect on one’s life and step away from things that no longer feels necessary. Just doing your own thing sounds very healthy. Besides, blogs can be re-opened and social media won’t go anywhere soon if you ever start feeling differently πŸ™‚

      You’re lucky you got Disney+! Looks like we won’t have it until autumn at the earliest.

  2. May 13, 2020

    It’s true that it seems Sweden didn’t do much in terms of lockdown, so I’m surprised to see that quite a few measures were taken.
    My life changed quite a lot. We were already working from home, but we couldn’t go out for fun and that was quite hard. Also, now, at University, I learn from home and that is harder than before. I used to love commuting to University each week, going to the library, and chatting with my colleagues.

    • May 25, 2020

      Yeah, there’s a lot of misinformation going around. Not just about Sweden but other countries too I’m sure. I’ve started taking the news with even bigger pinches of salt than normal.

      I can imagine studying from home is more difficult, or at least much less fun, than physically going to school. I hope you get to return to University soon!

  3. May 21, 2020

    Well, I’m glad to hear you’re okay and doing okay with all this. Try to stay safe!

    I feel you with the anxiety stuff. I suffer from that as well. I tend to worry about every possible thing you can think of so I get you there. XD

    • May 25, 2020

      And the worst part is that even when you KNOW it’s all in your head and you KNOW you’re being ridiculous it doesn’t make any difference. Still anxious. For being so smart, brains are really stupid πŸ˜›

  4. June 20, 2020

    It’s such a beautiful nature in Sweeden!
    I hope you all staying safe and in good health, take care 😊