I’m Still Here

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I got my monthly billing statement for the blog this week, and it’s been over a month since I posted, so I figured I’d check in and explain what’s been going on.

At the end of February/beginning of March, I took a big trip to Japan.  Except for museum closures and hand sanitizer everywhere, the COVID-19 pandemic did not have a huge impact on the trip. Towards the end of the trip, I started hearing things back home were getting nutty, and my return flight from Japan was strange; Narita was a ghost town. I was fine, though, and went into the office for an entire week before switching to telework mid-March.

My isolation experience has not been great. I live alone, and have depressive tendencies to begin with, and thrive on my routine to get me going. So that stinks. I decided to adopt a dog to help, but that dog then attacked me pretty badly, resulting in nearly 30 puncture wounds and me bleeding all over my condo one morning. I tried adopting again and that dog, though less dangerous, also was a serious biter, so i returned him as well and have now given up on pets.  At the beginning of the dog situation, my grandmother in New York passed away from COVID-19, and I was not able to join my family for the funeral or shiva. I wasn’t able to go to New York for Passover, and this is now the longest I have gone without seeing my parents, sister, or nephews in my entire life. It sucks. I’m slowly doing more social things here in DC- outdoor dining, walks, parks, hikes- but we are taking things pretty seriously here.  I’m hoping maybe in August it will be safe to see my family; my dad has an immune deficiency and I don’t want to put him at even a slightly increased risk.

But honestly, that’s not stopped me from blogging. What has stopped me is that the past 2 months have been perhaps the busiest in my career. My preexisting cases haven’t slowed at all. I had my first virtual oral argument before a panel of three Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals judges last week, which was an experience, and have had lots of filings in other cases. Plus, I have been doing a lot of work related to the government’s response (or lack thereof) to COVID-19, and working particularly with meatpacking workers who have really been screwed. Between it all, I’ve been working late nights and most weekends, and honestly just haven’t felt like looking at a computer screen anymore than necessary. Add in my sadness about the state of injustice in our country and my stay at the Hilton Belfast seems so trivial.

I am hopeful to get a brief respite in a few weeks. But I also have decided to go ahead with one of my summer travel plans at this point. I was originally scheduled to go to Minneapolis next weekend for Twin Cities Pride. Pride was cancelled, but I still have friends there, and I really really could use the change of scenery.  After consulting with a bunch of medical and mental health professionals, the consensus was that the trip is relatively low-risk and the benefits outweigh those risks. I’ll be staying with friends in their home, and don’t plan to do anything riskier than I would here.  I’ve got masks and hand sanitizer and clorox wipes packed. It’s a relatively short nonstop flight on Delta from DCA to MSP. I will try to report what it’s like flying.

I still feel a bit anxious about making the trip and wonder if it’s irresponsible. But honestly, I’ve been struggling and I think it will be good for me. I don’t think it’s an easy decision, and the people who are ranting about how airlines are “wrong” to reduce service or are cutting schedules “too much” are living in a different world than the rest of us. Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. But wear masks. Tip your delivery people and servers a lot. Have perspective. Check in on your people. That’s all.

 

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