Corona Deployment

I got canned on a Tuesday, the same day Forrest Gump lost his mom if you recall. Her box-of-chocolates wisdom applied within roughly 48 hours, as companies across the country including my freshly former started sending employees home in various capacities.

It’s a weird time to be unemployed for the first time in a decade. It’s a weird time for any health insurance qualifying life event: wedding, divorce, birth, funeral.

It’s a weird time to try a diet, jump on Tinder, bring home a pet, be a child, be an adult. It’s just a weird time, period, obviously. Kobe Bryant died this same quarter, and it feels like a hazy afterthought already.

Under normal circumstances, it would be disingenuous to blog this month about anything other than getting fired. I definitely want to unpack the experience for your reading and my reflective pleasure, but Covid-19 is the most prolific postponer we’ve ever seen. Let’s push the job termination debrief to next month.

For now, I want to Corona it up with you. What a novel virus indeed, creating a never-ending stream of things for people to talk about, and, simultaneously, the space on their calendars to do so.

I’m loving daily life right now. I naturally enjoy the seclusion and consciously try to appreciate this incredible experience. This might be the only time like this I’ll ever see, when how we interact with other humans — which is what makes us human — is so different. Not only are we not obligated to be around others, we are obligated not to be around them. It’s fantastic.

Of course I realize people are living nightmares right now, sick and dying and terrified. A disproportionate amount of the millions who scrape by paycheck to paycheck don’t have jobs that can be done and kept from home. I empathize with the anxiety of certain future expenses against uncertain future income, although I’ve built some financial cushion (a beautiful irony given I joined Acorns to help folks with that).

People suffer every day though, pandemic or not, and it doesn’t mean I can’t have an honest perspective on my parcel of reality. I pay my taxes, maintain behavior in the polite-to-kind range, and ultimately will fight alongside you.

I want the whole world to be happy and healthy, but I simply don’t miss social interaction yet. How much I yearn for over 10 people, under 6 feet is close to zero percent right now.

Covid-19 is weeding out the fake introverts. It seemingly becomes trendy as we age to trumpet how we like to stay home Friday nights and be old and boring, similar to how nerdy is considered cool after high school. Then you have all these 3.0-GPA bros wearing prescription-less glasses and quoting Gladwell.

I’ve heard the definition of an introvert as someone who needs to recharge alone. I came up with this alternate: someone who does not get bored alone.

You’re not going to outlast me on this one, hipster introvert. I was built for quarantine. The hours are flying by faster than I want frankly. I can do this all day, every day.

My bravado here may ring hollow because I live with wife and child. I wish there were a way to isolate their contributions because I assure you I would thrive in absolute solitude too.

The wife pointed out I shouldn’t take physical touch for granted, and it’s true this is my love language. When safer-at-home bonding time first began, she was driving up my hormones walking around 24-7 in her lululemons. I was being “rape-y” and “Harvey” according to her inventive verbiage, but really I think it was more of a communication disconnect.

Delivery is important when it comes to sensual subject matter. It’s not what you say but how you say it. I just wanted to be clear about what I wanted, as I always am. I mixed in some curse words because the only time I use them is when talking dirty. It’s never resonated well with her or produced the desired effect because the words probably sound awkward coming from me. Again, it’s all about the delivery.

When you’ve been together seven years and are halfway through your 30s, sexy talk usually stays mired in the innuendo stage anyway without reaching action. Although to be fair, we did run it back to the 1990s Dallas Cowboys in a nice stretch of back-to-back days and three out of four.

Other than that, we generally just try not to annoy each other rather than actively support. In many ways it would be easier or at least more interesting living alone during this incomparable time.

The 8-month-old has not reached an intellectually stimulating age. It, or “he” if you consider babbling and giggling a personality, is intensely adorable. But you can only play with cute things for so long. Ideally the baby would serve as a 10-minute break every 1.5 hours.

I do credit “him” for generating our largest laugh of the coronavirus era, albeit unintentionally of course. I found an old headband and mindlessly tossed it on him, not expecting an adult size with eroded elasticity to fit.

Anyone who’s seen the monster in the flesh knows it has a disproportionately large cranium. The headband held perfectly. I had a moment of initial shock and comprehension, and then went into hysteria. I could not breathe. I was dying laughing.

I knew I needed to carry him upstairs to show my wife, but my high-pitched shrieking rolled in waves with sharp peaks. I kept doubling over every few feet, which was dangerous because his head already made us so top-heavy. I was basically crawling my way to the bedroom, like Rob Stark at his unfortunate wedding.

Typically my wife does not tolerate any ridicule of her child, but even she started dying instantly upon first glance. The headband is not supposed to fit! I was thinking if we were sitting courtside and LeBron wanted to give my kid a souvenir, he could just put it right on his head.

So I suppose the family helps absorb hours, but what a wasteful way to think of this unique time period. We are presented with a singular opportunity to do the things we think about but never do: learn the intriguing language whether Arabic or JavaScript, read a great American novel, write a great American novel, become a master chef or amateur handyman, meditate, podcast, compost bro, dream up a screenplay or business plan, play an instrument like it’s your job, shred your body free of weights or charge while staving off a Chris Hemsworth-induced boner, build West Elm-replica furniture like my buddy does for us in his garage.

This is a chance to get to know yourself without other people getting in the way. It can be an epic reallocation of time. Or as my beautiful wife put beautifully about losing my job: “This can be an exciting time if you let it be.”


Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.