Livin’ on COVID Time

A pandemic pass for the to-do list
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When it started looking like the COVID pandemic was going to free up a lot of time for home and garden projects, personal errands, meditation and a meticulous nail regimen, I began making a mental to-do list. Never in my life have I had so much time on my hands – and initially, it felt positively glorious.

Having recently purchased a new home, Mr. Roth and I already had a multi-page punch list that would have kept us busy through the rest of 2020. Ordinarily, we’d chip away at it whenever we could find a block of time here and there, but thanks to COVID, the quarantine has cleared our calendars – we’re livin’ on COVID time! Translation: we’ve been as unproductive as ever, but now we have a pandemic to blame it on.

I’ve noticed we’re not the first to blame the pandemic for lack of action. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home, but my work requires an internet connection. Before the move to the new house, we prioritized moving the phone/cable/internet. We’ve now been in the new house for about a month, which is just about how long I’ve been on hold with “customer care” to move our service. According to the provider, COVID is to blame for its “uncustomary delay.”

One surly customer service rep advised me that a technician would connect my internet on Dec. 2, 2020. Smelling BS like bees smell fear, I suggested that this was an inferior approach to fulfilling our customer/provider contract. Living on COVID time, I announced that I’d be happy to wait on the phone with him for as long as it would take him to arrange to have a technician come out the next morning.

The guy came UNHINGED and spat out a rabid diatribe that stopped short of blaming me for COVID. “I hate this virus more than anyone,” he snarled, “but this is the way things are right now. Do you get it? There’s nothing any of us can do about it.” I could almost feel the vein throbbing on his forehead.

It was time to back gently away from the human powder keg with his doomsday forecast and his unrestrained use of superlatives, but one nagging question pulled me back in.

“What time is that technician coming tomorrow morning?” I asked.

My words were still hanging in the air when Agent Rampage hung up in a COVID-tinged huff.

I chalked up his ire to that annoying COVID cloud that seems to be hanging over all of us, a vibe with all the charm of a crowded ER during the full supermoon … on Friday the 13th … on crack.

By day four of no cable and no internet, paranoia kicked in: Agent Rampage, no doubt foaming at the mouth during his tirade, had infected me with his pandemic tantrum! He must have locked up my account, I surmised, fearing that it would be December 2025 before my life would return to normal. Sure, I could knock a couple of things off my unattended to-do list in the meantime, but when you’re living on COVID time, where’s the fun in that?

Stay well, everyone!

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