So (you might be wondering), how will I keep myself occupied during the coronavirus pandemic?
So glad you asked 😉
I have prepared for a pandemic as best I could. I have stocked up on food and toiletries, soap and hand sanitizer, and I have three months’ worth of all my prescriptions, plus a supply of over-the-counter medications.
I only expect to have to leave my apartment for appointments with my psychiatrist over the next few weeks (and perhaps the occasional visit to my mother and stepfather for supper, and to my best friend John’s house). There will be no other outings unless I have a damn good reason!
As you might already know, I have received permission from my employer, the University of Manitoba Libraries, to work from home, starting on Monday, March 16th. I do expect that, during my regular workday hours, I will be taking many shifts at my university library’s virtual reference service, answering users’ questions via live chat. We still don’t know how a pandemic will impact the usage of that service.
I have actually been manning our virtual reference service all day today (Sunday, March 15th), just to get a better sense of how busy we will be at off-hours (so far, three questions since 7:00 a.m. this morning). As a hermit who already lives on the internet, I do assure you this is hardly a additional burden. 😉 I also will be keeping a window open to my work email, which will be the primary way I communicate with my coworkers (along with my personal cell phone).
The many evenings that I used to spend hanging out in the chat rooms at the now-folded site gay.com—often having as many as four conversations at once—have thoroughly trained me for this work! 😉 and trust me, I am quite fast on the keyboard.
Of course, I will still be blogging my little heart out, sprinkling my coverage of social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse, with blogposts about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (you can find all of them here).
As well, I have received all the raw footage from the unfinished episodes of the Metaverse Newscast, and I intend to use that footage to learn how to edit digital video using Adobe Premiere Pro and Lynda.com! I’ve got a lot to learn.
As somebody who regularly went out to restaurants to eat, I now intend to try my hand at a little more more cooking and baking, having stocked up on the basic ingredients. I have stocked up on flour, sugar, and yeast, and I intend to try and bake my first bread, since I will probably run out of fresh bread fairly quickly! (Wish me luck.)
I also have tons of books I have bought over the years and never got around to reading. The Japanese actually have a word for this: tsundoku (積ん読).
In addition, I intend to convert my stationary exercise cycle from its current use as a glorified clothes hanger, dragging it from my bedroom to the living room and setting it up in front of my television set, so I can exercise while I follow the news channels (CNN, CBC, and CTV).
Also, I am an infamously relaxed housekeeper (“slob” is such an ugly word)…so I have stocked up cleaning supplies and I intend to thoroughly clean my apartment! It’s way, way, waaay overdue!
So, as you can see, I have lots to keep me occupied.
How about you? What will you be doing as you practice social distancing, and stay at home rather than go out? Please feel free to leave a comment on this blogpost, thanks!
I leave you with this thought-provoking YouTube video—quarantined Italians sending messages to themselves ten days ago:
We must all listen to these Italians. STAY HOME IF YOU CAN.