Pandemic Lockdown Day 19: 13 April 2020

Rolling rice paddy fields on the side of hills facing a village in the valley with mountains beyond it. The sky is filled with clouds with the sun breaking through.

I seem to be talking about dreams a lot lately, but it might be me sleeping more naturally / not being woken up by an alarm that has me remembering my dreams more. I don’t know.

One of my best friends John, his brother Mike, and I went to Bali in one of my dreams last night. We ended up in some sort of cafeteria / food hall / waiting area in a building near a lake or ocean.

On a side note: this ties in with a few different dreams I have had about being in a large building by a lake or ocean, on the beach / shore area. One was in Delavan, where we had a cottage when I was a teenager; another few times were fictitious places a mash between America and New Zealand. In one instance, my husband’s cousin lived in a holiday home there were doing up, but right down the block was the house of my famous relative-in-law. I couldn’t access the house while he was home, but in the end of the dream, I was invited to stay inside an extremely large (but somewhat old / dilapidated) guest house near or at the gate. It was a dark but interesting dream.

In the Bali dream, one of the first things that happened to me was a creepy guy asked me where I was staying. I lied and told him the name of some hotel down the street. It wasn’t that I was afraid of being gay — and he was gay as well, or that’s the vibe he gave off — but I was wary of the opportunistic nature of his approach and the tiredness in his eyes. It actually scared me a little.

We were waiting to be transported off the island. At one point, bored in transit, I asked either John or Mike if they wanted food from a small vendor there. Neither one did. I wasn’t too sure if I did either.

But then, there was panic. Someone was after one of them, or me; I wasn’t sure. It emerged (strangely) they had been there before many times as children with their parents, so they were very familiar with the resort. We ran up and down many stairs, intercepting elevators, the whole nine yards. One level had a bunch of movie theaters. Another seemed devoid of anything except perhaps ball rooms not being used.

The cat-and-mouse game with whoever was chasing one or more of us kept up throughout the dream. And, at one point, I think we were suck in an elevator with one of them. I can’t remember quite what happened though.

My one work-related thing I needed to do today for The Place Where I Work was to email the students with additional instructions about signing in to Moodle. One group, a smaller intake in a smaller program, had everything under control, and I needed to let them know they didn’t need to worry about Moodle. A larger group, two intakes in similar programs, had about 20 out of the 50 or so students not signing in yet. The emails were issued on Friday, and here it was Monday (granted, on a holiday weekend), and 20 hadn’t signed in. By the time I checked again, it was down to about 10 who hadn’t signed in. I emailed them all.

I went on to my PlayStation 4, which I haven’t played in forever, looking to perhaps purchase Final Fantasy VII Remake on a friend’s suggestion. That was the original Final Fantasy I came to know and love, and I did want the new version. I read reviews online, New Zealand reviews, to say the digital file was absolutely huge — about 82 gigabytes — which would take up most of our monthly allowance. I decided against downloading it. Besides, I had a ton of games I hadn’t played fully. So I set my PS4 to update all my games. A marathon right there.

My husband and I went for a walk. The weather was supposed to turn nasty later in the day, and the sun kept disappearing behind massive clouds. We went for a long walk, and many people were out. It appeared those people heard the same things we did, and we all went out to exercise before the storm hit.

Once home, our Principal called. We had a discussion around the email I’d sent out — she had somehow lost it on her iPad, so I’d resent it to her — but a student had told her one of the lecture videos I’d uploaded to YouTube had no narration with it. Odd. I had uploaded 4 videos, 3 with audio, all of which worked when I tested them in PowerPoint. I only sampled 1 lecture with audio on YouTube, and it was fine. I assumed the student wasn’t being patient or her sound wasn’t turned up, but I vowed to listen to them and find out. The conversation ended at about 20 minutes later. The corn muffin mix I’d put out to make and have for lunch was still out on the counter.

Despite being starving, I checked the videos out. No sound. The student was right. I was trouble shooting on where the actual problem was. During that time, my frustration grew exponentially. So much for having a day off! I’d only had 3 days in the last 22 days off, and this was supposed to be another day off, but it wasn’t working out that way. My husband asked if he could bake the corn muffins for me — yes, please — and he went off to do that while I tried to solve the issue.

Depersonalization has been a very difficult disorder to deal with. Even when I am feeling my best, I find simple tasks sometimes overwhelming. Dealing with more than one issue at once is very overwhelming as well. I used to be able to multitask; I can’t do this any more. I am a shell of the person I used to be.

The challenge became overwhelming, especially as I got another email from our Principal to say she wasn’t able to access some of the modules on Moodle, which made it two (at least) problems I had to deal with. My husband told me the Prime Minister was coming on at 1 PM — the normal time for the COVID-19 updates from the Government — to speak, so that set off a deal of anxiety in me too. I decided to step away from Moodle for a while (after telling the staff and students via email there was a problem with the audio on the videos, and I was working on it) and watch the Prime Minister on TV.

Another person had died from COVID-19. Another person in Christchurch. Another person in the nursing home cluster here in the city I live in. That made 3 out of the 5 COVID-19 deaths related to the same rest home in Christchurch. Very saddening.

In a ray of light, though, the new and probable cases were at 19 today, 1 up from 18 yesterday. The recovery was at 75 people today too. And, as the Director General of Health said today, it didn’t matter if they were testing less people (due to the Easter holiday) or more people (during normal times), it was showing about a 1% positive result of COVID-19 infection (probably and confirmed) every single time, which indicated that the testing was rigorous, working, and accurate. So that put my mind at ease a bit.

No quick lifting of the lockdown despite the good results. The Prime Minister (quite rightly) said that even 1 infectious person could lead to dozens being sick and dying, and we needed to remain vigilant and ensure this progress would be for something rather than nothing. I agree with her wholeheartedly. We have an amazing chance to severely cripple, if not eliminate, this virus in New Zealand, and how stupid would we be to not go for it when it was looking so good? Otherwise, we risk a relapse or a far worse scenario.

More good news: our Prime Minister said there’d be a slew of Government officials talking about the economy, about emerging out of our top emergency level, about the annual Budget and the way forward. To me, these show positive signs that our Government is feeling somewhat confident of moving out of this highest lockdown level sooner rather than later. Why build up this confidence, why sent this message, when it will only upset people if it didn’t happen? I hope I’m right.

I spent most of the afternoon getting the damned audio on the lecture videos. Once I got that done, and after a bit of testing, I was able to upload them to YouTube and make them live on the site. Then I wrote the students to tell them it was all working again now.

By about 3 or 4, I finally got to play a PS4 game for a while. Not the best choice, but something to get my mind off of work and finally relax. Well, kinda. There was a huge discussion around what my colleagues were doing (or not doing?) and it led back into work again. I got frustrated and angry because A) again, I can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time any more and B) here we were, talking about work again on what was supposed to be a day off and C) fuck, he’s the boss. Can’t he deal with some of this shit? I’m not the only adult here. I’m not doing all this hard work and then firing bullets as well.

Of course, it ended up in a temper tantrum. I was very extremely disappointed.

This bobbed back and forth throughout the night.

I’m not really how much clearer I can be.

I have a mental illness.

I am not the person I used to be.

I cannot process multiple things at once, especially complex conversations while I’m focusing on something else, or repetitive or drawn-out conversations while I’m trying to focus on something else.

Right now, I’m at a point where I am very tired and I am beyond frustrated at repeating myself about this.

I have had this now for over 5 years. Surely, the basic messages must penetrate at some point.

Tomorrow, I have to have a day off and I have to not deal with anything work-related all day. No conversations about work, no thinking about work, no delegating problems or solutions at work, no problem solving for anyone at work.

I have done my bit.

I have gone above and beyond, and there and back, and there and back again some more, for work.

And, quite frankly, it’s enough, and I need my own time and space to do something I enjoy before I go stark raving mad.

I am pissed off and I am pretty tired tonight. Mentally, physically, emotionally tired.

Today, I heard that it seemed like I was depressed again, and I scoffed that I’m always depressed, it’s just high-functioning depression which made it look like I had my shit together.

But I am depressed. I’m more than depressed; I’m burned out. Completely, utterly, overwhelmingly burned out.

Hopefully a few days off and some sleep will help. But that would require no work-related anything being thought-about, discussed, dealt with, nothing. And the pessimist in me says, “Ha! You fucking wish!”

We will see what happens.