I was deemed an essential employee from the onset of the Corona panic. Military bases don’t close unless necessary. That is understandable, as many bases function as self-contained cities. For me, life is unchanged. My world marches on the same.
The entire world has jumped into lockdown but I can’t relate to organizing basements, baking marathons and getting sick of spouses. I spend 45 hours a week at work and another 15 commuting on public transportation. The apartment is a mess, I’m surviving on whatever’s on offer at the bakery and I see my coworkers more than my family. In this last respect, I’m thankful that many of my coworkers have become very good friends and are my home away from home. We are a great team and are supporting each other through these strange times.
It’s fortuitous that my team is on par, because work is harder than ever. The only thing more difficult than setting up elaborate daily schedules for dozens of technicians and building managers is dismantling the entire thing over and over. As the list of quarantined or closed buildings changes by the hour, we schedulers scramble to pull techs out of assignments and reassign them. I’ve resorted to sometimes printing out stacks of orders and sending the guys out to wander the various bases, knocking on door after door to see if any lone sentinel will let them in.
In the beginning, instead of worrying about getting Corona all the time, we said we wanted to get it already. The suspense itself was worse than anything. But time passed. As everyone at work stopped wondering when we were going to get it, we started wondering why we weren’t. There’s a strong possibility that we already had it. Around Valentine’s Day, many of us become ill. The symptoms were those of Corona. It could’ve been anything, but if it has already swept through our ranks, it would make sense as to why most of us are still healthily soldiering along. What should I focus on? Wringing my hands that I’m going to get it, or just letting go?
I repeat to myself constantly that I don’t care about contracting the virus. I make light of it, make a joke of it. I shrug my shoulders and get on with my work. If anxiety takes over, I could not make it through the day. I just repeat what FDR said: there is nothing to fear but fear itself. I can little afford to luxuriate in worry, much as I cannot afford to be out of work right now. I hope to remain healthy instead of fearing the opposite. I’m crossing my scrubbed fingers every day.