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9:00 AM - Tues 3.17.20

My First Pandemic

Typically I'd be at work right now (I'm supposed to be there at 8:45, but usually roll in about now).

Sunday was the last day for physical meetings at Weight Watchers (As a couple of coworkers predicted on Saturday).

That afternoon the news came pretty fast - In the span of about two hours, I learned about the WW meetings, that Shameless was postponing production (We were supposed to start this week), that Zumba was canceled for the foreseeable future, and that I would soon be receiving a substantial check for the Coke Energy commercial.

(I know - that last bit doesn't seem to have anything to do with the current Covid-19 situation. But it was news, and it definitely had the effect of "lightening the mood" created by the Covid-19 news.)

I knew WW was going to shut down meetings eventually, so I'd had time to consider what I thought about it.

I won't bore you with all the ins-and-outs of my thought processes there (wondering if WW would pay us, if I could take my 90-plus hours of sick time, how long a potential layoff I could absorb, etc), but the big takeaway was to see the upside of not working being that I didn't have to work.

I was actually interested in the "science experiment" aspect of it (Without work, Shameless, Zumba, auditions, etc,, what would I do with myself?).

I assumed there would be no need for me during the "virtual meetings" that were being planned - If there's no checking people in, which is basically my whole job, what am I doing?

But as is often the case, I was wrong - They do want "Guides" (My role) to participate in the "virtual meetings".

Even after an hour-long group conference call with the Boss last night, I'm still not sure what the point is...but it seems the idea is just to be a familiar face for the members, maybe provide something of an "audience shill" function, I don't know (The "virtual meetings" are going to be offered at the same time as the regular studio meetings, at least as of now).

What I was hoping for was a lot to hope for (That WW would pay us for whatever length of time we'd be "laid off"...though they are paying us for meetings we're losing for the next couple days while they work out the "virtual meetings" thing), so it's actually good there will be an opportunity to work during this time.

But that was definitely not my first response to the news - My first response was more like, "You mean this shit is going to take away all the things I like to do - working on Shameless, going to Zumba, having auditions, etc - but I still have to fucking work?".

But it won't be so bad - As I've said before, I enjoy the work most times, and it won't be as much of a time commitment as real meetings (No driving, no check-in, no registering new members, no tally, etc. Don't even have to shower or dress-up if I don't want).

And who knows? This situation goes on long enough, and I may end up really craving the virtual "people contact"...

("Virtual People Contact" is the new hip-and-happenin' thing - Have recently started FaceTiming with Jane R., which has been fun. And Thea - My Zumba instructor - starting live-streaming her class last night. And in about an hour now, I'll be doing a test-run of the app I'll be using with my therapist for the immediate future.)

Some people online have joked that their introverted lifestyle is making this Coronavirus thing "their time to shine"..but really, for Yours Truly, it kinda/sorta is - I'm precluded from the socializing I don't normally do, and the activities I don't normally pursue, and practically ordered to do what I do as a matter of routine.

And unlike most "bad things", in this instance, there's a certain "solidarity" in knowing this clearly isn't a thing that's just happening to me (And I'm very aware that what's "happening" is likely to be worse for some other folks - I'm not in danger of going hungry or getting evicted or anything like that. At this point - And this might be "magical thinking", who knows? - I'm not even overly concerned about getting sick).

But I am concerned about "social isolation" to this degree (The things that now aren't happening are pretty much my entire "social life").

And probably more concerned about my mood in a time where, not only routines are being disrupted, but hope - of working on the show, of having auditions, of booking gigs, etc - has been put on indefinite hold.

But I really do think this period of time will be interesting. While I wouldn't say that I "like" that it's happening, I would say that I at least "appreciate the novelty" of an experience I've never had before.

And the chance to see who I am under this set of circumstances.

Till next time...


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