Lockdown Day 57: Under Pressure / Encierro Día 57: Baja Presión

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I’VE BEEN EXPERIENCING A FEELING of general anxiety. I go through in my head (and sometimes aloud) all the things I accomplish each day. I had started to make a list for you, but that entirely defeats the purpose of this post, which is not to justify my existence (to myself), it’s to talk about the unnecessary pressure many of us feel to “make good use” of this time of lockdown. When I told San Geraldo what I’ve been experiencing, he said he’s read a number of articles on that specific problem.

Those of us over the age of 14 (whether we act it or not) are permitted out for fresh air and exercise between 6 and 10 in the morning, or between 8 and 11 in the evening. Many people go both times, but I’ve been sticking to the once a day rule intended to reduce the number of people out and about at any given time. I prefer the morning. I love walking on the beach in the sunshine. Also, the evening hours cut into our dinnertime, which begins usually between 9 and 10:30.

I slept in both Friday and Saturday. Friday, I flew out of bed at 8:45 and ran out of the house to get an hour on the beach. The walk was bliss. The stress of getting out of the house was not. Saturday, I woke up groggily at 9:15. Even if I rushed, I wouldn’t have had much more than a half hour on the beach, so I decided to wait instead for the evening. I then, however, spent much of the day kicking myself for missing my four-hour morning window.

Thursday, I went to the post office for the first time during lockdown. Not knowing how things “work” can be stressful. When I arrived, the new process for waiting in line (outside) was obvious. There were three people ahead of me. But, once I got to the counter, things weren’t so obvious. I had to continually step forward to answer questions and then step back to a safe distance. I felt like an idiot. But the staff person couldn’t have been more pleasant. While there, I was able to buy more stamps, so I can get back to mailing a postcard to The Kid Brother every week, which I immediately did that day. Yes, that’s another stressor.

The Kid Brother points out weekly that he hasn’t received any mail from me. I explain weekly that I’m all out of stamps and the post office has limited hours and a long line. “Oh,” he says… every week. So, this Tuesday, I can tell him that I now have 20 weeks worth of stamps and there’s already a postcard on its way. He’ll of course tell me, “Nothing came!”

The first five photos below are from the day I went postal. (I’m the masked man in the window in the first photo.) The final three photos are of Dudo as I headed out to the post office without giving him his treat. If looks could kill.

And now I feel like an idiot for even talking about my anxiety. As my father would have said, it’s time to grow a pair — or just mix up another batch (click here) — and to simply get through this pandemic. That, in itself, is an accomplishment we can be proud of.


HE ESTADO EXPERIMENTANDO UN SENTIMIENTO de ansiedad general. Paso por mi cabeza (y a veces en voz alta) todas las cosas que logro cada día. Empecé a hacer una lista para ti, pero eso anula por completo el propósito de esta publicación, que no es justificar mi existencia (para mí mismo), es hablar sobre la presión innecesaria que muchos de nosotros sentimos para “hacer un buen uso” de esta encierro. Cuando le conté a San Geraldo lo que he estado experimentando, dijo que había leído varios artículos sobre ese problema específico.

Aquellos de nosotros mayores de 14 años (ya sea que actuemos o no) se nos permite salir al aire libre y hacer ejercicio entre las 6 y las 10 de la mañana, o entre las 8 y las 11 de la noche. Muchas personas van las dos veces, pero me he estado apegando a la regla de una vez al día destinada a reducir el número de personas en cualquier momento dado. Prefiero la mañana Me encanta caminar por la playa al sol. Además, las horas de la tarde interrumpen nuestra cena, que generalmente comienza entre las 9 y las 10:30.

Dormí el viernes y el sábado. El viernes me desperté a las 8:45 y salí corriendo de la casa para pasar una hora en la playa. La caminata fue dicha. El estrés de salir de la casa no era así. El sábado, me desperté atontado a las 9:15. Incluso si me apresurara, no habría tenido más de media hora en la playa, así que decidí esperar a la noche. Entonces, sin embargo, pasé gran parte del día pateándome por perder mi ventana matutina de cuatro horas.

El jueves, fui a la oficina de correos por primera vez durante el cierre. No saber cómo “funcionan” las cosas puede ser estresante. Cuando llegué, el nuevo proceso para esperar en la fila (afuera) era obvio. Había tres personas delante de mí. Pero, una vez que llegué al mostrador, las cosas no eran tan obvias. Tuve que avanzar continuamente para responder preguntas y luego retroceder a una distancia segura. Me sentí como un idiota. Pero la personal no podría haber sido más agradable. Mientras estuve allí, pude comprar más sellos, por lo que puedo volver a enviar una tarjeta postal a El Hermanito cada semana, lo que hice inmediatamente ese día. Sí, ese es otro factor estresante.

El Hermanito señala semanalmente que no ha recibido ningún correo de mi parte. Explico semanalmente que me he quedado sin sellos y que la oficina de correos tiene un horario limitado y una larga cola. “Oh”, dice … semanalmente. Entonces, este martes, puedo decirle felizmente que ahora tengo 20 semanas de sellos y ya hay una postal en camino. Por supuesto, me dirá inmediatamente: “¡Nada vino!”

Las primeras cinco fotos a continuación son del día en que fui postal. (Soy el hombre enmascarado en la primera foto). Las últimas tres fotos son de Dudo mientras me dirigía a la oficina de correos sin darle su aperetivo. Si las miradas mataran.

Y ahora me siento como un idiota por incluso hablar de mi ansiedad. Como habría dicho mi padre, es hora de que “cultive un par”, o mezcle otro lote (haz clic aquí) y simplemente supere esta pandemia. Eso, en sí mismo, es un logro del que podemos estar orgullosos.


“It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about. Watching some good friends screaming ‘Let me out!’”
“Es el terror de saber de que va este mundo. Viendo a algunos buenos amigos gritando ‘déjame salir’”.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 57: Under Pressure / Encierro Día 57: Baja Presión”

  1. Welcome to the ‘covid-19 stressed out brotherhood/sisterhood’! This is so new for us all. We are bound to have stressed out days trying to adjust to these historic/monumental changes. We are human after all.
    Looks like it is hitting Dudo as well!

    1. Jim:
      Bumped into (10 feet away) a neighbor this morning. She was also talking about the anxiety she feels when she walks out the door. Very strange times for us all. And we don’t even live in war zones. I can’t imagine what that must be like.

  2. Not a bad line, and people were nicely spaced out. I can order stamps and have them delivered with the mail. Relax and enjoy. I mixed up a batch of balls yesterday.

    1. David:
      The two customers at the counter at that time took forever. I was outside for more than a half hour, but that was fine. People on the Paseo are often not good about keeping the correct distance, but at the Post Office, they left two or three times what’s required. I mixed up more balls last night!

  3. I too do what david does; the USPS makes it easy. the purple flowers – is that wisteria? and dudo’s look in the last pix – OMB, like a mafia look (“I want him disappeared NOW!”).

    yesterday I made watergate salad. https://www.myfoodandfamily.com/recipe/053771/watergate-salad

    I also found a recipe for the same, but the salad will taste like a pina colada instead of pistachio!

    1. anne marie:
      Those purple flowers are jacaranda trees. From India but they do well in this climate. Very popular in Southern California, too. We had them all along our street in Santa Barbara. Glorious flowering, but a sticky mess on the pavement. And worth it.

  4. I’ve also felt pressure to be “productive,” and I know I’ve seen other bloggers say the same. It’s wired into our American culture, I think — “Idle hands” warnings and all that. That’s some serious spacing at the post office! I don’t think we stand so far apart here, though we probably should.

    1. Steve:
      I was surprised by the spacing when I arrived, except for keeping the pavement clear. We tightened up to about 8 feet apart after a time. There were finally six or seven people behind me. Not enough room in town at that rate. We’re required to stand at least 6 feet apart, however.

  5. Dudo is so very expressive. Love that beautiful jacaranda tree in full bloom.

    Essentially, when Dennis and I retired and moved to this remote spot in Belize, we unknowingly began a “soft lockdown” that has prepared us well for how this pandemic is changing the way the world operates. It was, not hard, exactly, but different enough to be uncomfortable to let go of the drive that had led both us through our careers. At first it was like an extended vacation, but after that feeling wore off, we set new goals and started new routines. The best part was that we released the pressure of deadlines that had enslaved us for the previous 35 years! Go easy on yourself – it is a different world now and I hope you can make the differences work for you.

    1. Wilma:
      I thought we had loosened up quite a lot since retiring and moving here, but clearly we’ve got some way to go. And, yes, Dudo is SO expressive. Moose is adorable but just “looks.”

  6. The stress of going out into public places is real – I get stressed every time. Yesterday I almost left without the purchase – after I paid for it! My Mom keeps adding things to my list and I keep telling her that may be difficult to get/take a while. I guess she just doesn’t understand since she hasn’t been a store since March 12.

    1. Cheapchick:
      I saw a neighbor today when I was heading out to the beach for a walk. She had her dog with her. She’s a very calm, Zen kind of person. And even she said she feels very anxious every time she goes out for any reason. Her husband has decided he’s much more comfortable in the house now, so he’s getting his primary exercise on their terrace.

  7. One of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to write it out and share it with others; it exposes the ghosts and shrinks them into something silly.

    1. Urspo:
      You’re so obviously correct. As you saw, that’s exactly what happened to me.

  8. I get anxious going to the supermarket, I have my gloves and mask no one else does. Our problem here on our Island is the simpleton approach to things. People have been told that all is well, we have no cases so no problem. People think its over. Our politicians are talking about re-opening the economy, restaurants, shops etc. So I get anxious because in the rest of Canada we have 68,000 cases. We are only 12 Km from the mainland. This situation is difficult but I am trying to tell myself you have to be reasonable. Jealous of your nice weather, flowers.

    1. larrymuffin:
      Masks are still not required for customers in supermarkets, although most do wear them. Gloves are distributed when you enter the store. They are required and you can’t wear your own that have been worn outside. They’re doing a great job. I hope the easing of restrictions that began in half of Spain today doesn’t cause a resurgence. We’re now hoping Málaga will be approved in a week. But I appreciate the government’s care in making these decisions.

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