Life In The Time Of Covid-19

“When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…”

If you write a blog and you’re reading this, you know we always write ahead. Just to beat the deadlines of our own publication. I’m a huge fan of planning and staying ahead of what I want to publish here. 

But tonight, I’m just going to write something for right now.

This is new to us. We’ve lived through 9/11. As terrible as that was 20 years ago, it happened to other people. It was an isolated incident that changed America forever. When I say ‘other people’ I mean the rest of the country watched in horror at the events that unfolded on TV that day, but we lost nearly 3,000 lives. (2,977 to be exact.)

We’d never seen anything like it. The worst attack on US soil in the short history of our country.

But today’s different. 

A virus that’s transmitted from person to person like a cold. We’ve all caught colds, had the flu, stomach viruses, etc.

But nothing like this. 

A virus so strong that it’s easily transmitted and passes between people. No animals are affected by this virus.

Just humans.

This is just a taste of how fragile our existence is on this planet.

I don’t know where this came from, but hopefully we’ll find out, and create a vaccine for it.

But for right now, we’re all behaving very well in the first few days of this quarantine.

 

I tell my stories here about all of my dating foibles and relationships on this blog. I’ve been a decent dad and a fun boyfriend, but when comes to domestic relationships, I’ve never been able to submit.

I appreciate all of the friend and fan support on here, but as I dish out all of the dating and relationship advice, I’ve found that very thing quite the quandary.

I give advice on what to do on a date and how to maintain your relationships.

I’m good at that. I like to write words and lyrics.

But words are hollow unless applied to deeds.

I’d like to believe that my words mean something, and maybe make a small difference in the lives of the people that take the time to read this blog everyday.

And for that, I’m grateful.

 

For the moment, I’m employed by a restaurant in this city. So is my daughter, Lorelei. We’re both in the hospitality industry.

I worked last week. It was business as usual. We were gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness was on the way. We should have made a bundle last weekend. A payday so big it would have covered the last two months of winter.

But none of that happened. No one came in. No crazy drunken crowds of people wearing green, or funny beads, or fighting, getting shitfaced for no reason, and throwing up in plastic hats at the curbside.

None of it.

Are they all so broken that they need to drink to the point of illness to celebrate the dissatisfaction and mediocrity of their lives here in Philly on a designated day?

Nothing happened.

 

Nah, something did indeed happen.

Covid-19.

 

Saturday I normally work from 2pm until at least 11pm. I came in at 5pm and was cut at 8:30pm. It was so slow that even being scheduled was a gift from the owner. When I got there, he told me I was off on Sunday. Normally, I work from 12:30pm to 10:30pm. But I was off. I haven’t had a Sunday off since August of 2019.

Monday I was scheduled to come in at 10:30am and work until 10:30pm. My typical Monday is a twelve hour day on my feet. I don’t mind. I like to work and be busy.

But by Sunday night, I was told not to come in until 4pm that day.

By 2pm I was told not to come in at all.

Off again.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now today… Friday.

Still off.

Why?

Because every restaurant in this city has been closed for the next 14 days because of what’s happened. I was on the phone with a friend when my daughter called and told me she wouldn’t have to go into work for the next two weeks.

I told her the same.

I’ve had my share of struggles financially in the past and also with employment. Many times by my own design.

But this was different.

Everyone in the entire industry was affected.

I think they told us two weeks so we wouldn’t lose our minds. But I don’t see this ending anytime soon.

Restaurants can only do pick up and take out. No one is allowed to hang out in any bar or restaurant in this city.

That leaves most places with scheduling one cook, a clerk to ring up and take out orders, and a delivery guy.

That’s it.

The rest of us are fucked.

Well, we’re all currently fucked.

One of my brokerage accounts is down over $7k. Bills and rent are due. So yea, if my little life is an example… then yea, we’re fucked. 

Forget me for a second. Think of the people that already have the virus.

How about the people that have it and don’t know it?

But are we?

Let me take a moment as the phicklephilly guy that you’ve been reading for the last 4 years to say a few things about this.

We’re all stuck at home and can’t go out. Income is either running out or is gone. I don’t expect to be paid anymore from my current employer. I think this could go on for awhile. But here’s what I’m thinking about, and I’m going to share it with you all.

If you have your health right now, embrace it and help others that need you.

I know that sounds a bit cliche, but hear me out…

Call or text all of your friends and loved ones today and through this weekend. Just check on them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to connect and reconnect with everyone you know. It won’t be weird. Don’t make it weird. Just call and check on them. This is your perfect opportunity. Because for the first time in the history of this country, we are all experiencing the same thing. 

This is what we have in common right now.

Exactly the same thing.

The enemy is the virus. Not a man, or a country, or a race, or an idea, or a religion. This enemy doesn’t care about your race or your religious beliefs. A virus is a living entity that wants to take you over for the last time.

As a species we’ve been a scrappy lot. We’ve successfully moved to a spot that isn’t even in the food chain anymore because we’re so good at killing everything.

We are the best and the worst thing that Earth has ever known.

But we’ve made it ours and for now, Earth is where we’re hangin’.

This is an opportunity.

Right now you have your health.

Appreciate that.

Got laid off from your job? Cut your hours? Not allowed to come in because of the virus?

Use this opportunity to plan.

Humans have always been great planners. That’s how we beat everything else. Plan for the rest of your life. You’re alive now. What if you get it and you die?

Embrace this time. This forced quarantine. Think! What are you grateful for? Do you really like that job you’re currently not having to go to?

I’m a writer. I’m always planning the next few chapters in anything I’ve ever written here. 

When playing billiards with my father he always said… “Don’t just make the shot that’s in front of you, son. Think of where the cue ball is going to land AFTER you hit the ball you want in the pocket. That way you’ll be ready for your next shot. And the one after that…

After that…

After this.

This global pandemic. 

That is some scary shit. 

I’m actually surprised in the moment that I write this. The the films, Outbreak and Pandemic are very popular on Netflix. Oh, the irony of our own fate! I’ve always been a huge fan of Art imitates life, imitates art.

There’s no anarchy.

Not yet.

I’ve been off work for over 5 days now and I haven’t had this much free time in years.

Monday I went to breakfast, wrote, talked with friends and loved ones, had dinner, and watched my shows. I, for once… had nowhere to be.

Tuesday, pretty much the same.

Wednesday, More of that just living and breathing thing. Daughter came home. I was happy to see her. She went to the supermarket and bought a bunch of food. She cooked dinner for the two of us and we actually sat and ate, and chatted like a real family.

It was elegant and beautiful.

We never do that.

We work in the industry and pass in the night, and crash here.

But for the first time in a very long time, we actually sat down as a family and broke bread together.

Lorelei made an amazing stromboli from scratch. She’s vegan, so she made it that way. But for the life of me I couldn’t tell, and it tasted so delicious, I went back for seconds!

That wouldn’t have happened if not for today’s circumstances.

Embrace that. Your partner. Your children. Your health. Yourself.

(ok… here we go)

You beat 250 million other sperm to get to here.

You were racing for your mom’s egg, and there were 249,999,999 dudes chasing you.

You got there FIRST.

You won.

Embrace and appreciate that. You’re partner, your children, your friends, your employer… everybody you’ve ever met got here the same way.

You’ve earned your right to be here on Earth today. 

 

Embrace what’s good in your life right now. We all have the same problems at different degrees in this life.

But in this moment… Today. You are reading this and I hope you’re okay. If my blog suddenly stops you’ll know Capt. Trips got me. (look it up!)

Be thankful everyday for your health.

Surround yourself with good people. (But no more than 10, okay? Just for now!)

Find something to do. If you’re home, find something to do with your free time. For a workforce that’s accustomed to working themselves too long and too hard, you may find this sudden stop a bit jarring.

Are you in love? Are you feeling loved? If you have it, embrace that. It’s the strongest force in the galaxy.

No love? Stop lying. Somebody’s worried about you right now. Give them a call. This is your opportunity to forget the past. All bets are off. You can call anyone, ex, old flame, enemy, frenemy…. reach out and just check on them.

I’m going to call and check on my landlord. Who knows, maybe my diplomatic charm will get her to slide me a free month during this crisis.

Think of all of the projects and other thing you’ve been saying you want to do. But you never have any time to do any of them because you’re always working, and when you have free time you need to rest from the life of work you don’t even really want.

Go clean your house. It’s Spring! Clean up. Get rid of stuff. Have fun. Take a nap. Have a drink. Smoke some grass. Call your mom.

Have something to look forward to. Remember what I said about planning? This is your opportunity to plan for the future.

The world is on pause right now.

(I wish the fucking Dow Jones was on pause right now!)

Take this time to do whatever you want. Lean into your free time.

My goal is to crack off 3 volumes of Crazy Dating Stories by the weekend. And I’m going to fucking do it.

All I do is cry about how I don’t have anytime to write because I work so many hours.

I have no excuse now.

And neither do you.

Do something. Anything. Try something new. Even if it’s you having the ability to be at home alone in the quiet of your own mind and just take a break.

Here’s your break from everything.

 

I’ve been walking the city. This is MY city. I’ve walked it’s streets. Drank it’s wine. Danced with it’s women. Taken my share of the money that’s available here. (In my jobs, you idiots!)

The city is deserted. Sure, there are some people and kids about. Folks out walking their dogs, but it’s different right now.

It’s like nothing any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.

I’d like everyone that reads this today to contact just one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s not like you won’t have anything to say to them! We’re all experiencing the same thing right now as a species.

You can do it!

I’d like to see some comments about this idea and what you folks did.

I have a translator widget on this blog so no one has an excuse to not do it.

Contact someone, and write your results in the comments section.

Stay safe people.

 

“Don’t be the tree that falls and makes no sound.” – Phicklephilly

 

 

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Author: phicklephilly

Copyright © 2016 by Phicklephilly All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. All stories and characters are based on real people and events. The names and images have been changed to protect their privacy. Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!”

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