I Lived A Privileged Pandemic
I would wake up most mornings at 8:00 am, lying there for a moment, taking in the warm sunlight that was stretching across the room, before getting up to make breakfast. The food schedule would tell me it was fruit salad, yogurt, vitamin drink, and a cup of tea — I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate that good or was that organized. Shortly after, I would sit down to leisurely work at the computer, doing a mix of writing and editing. I would fit in a couple of coffee breaks in the sun, have another healthy meal at lunchtime, go for a run, listen to a podcast or two, and spend the day with my wife, who was working from home alongside me. As the day drew to an end, we would sit down and have dinner together before watching TV, calling family, or doing a jigsaw puzzle.
That was a snapshot of my day-to-day quarantine life.
In restrospect, I lived a very privileged pandemic.
And I’ve felt guilty about it ever since.
Most privileged of all, I had a home to isolate in, and a nice one at that — unlike the estimated 100 million people worldwide who are homeless, or the 1.6 billion believed to live in inadequate housing. The place is bright, airy, well decorated, and has the luxury of having both a front and back garden. I only shared it with my wife, so there was room for us both to stretch out and avoid each other when necessary. I didn’t have the stress of dealing with children, or homeschooling or being forced to try and co-exist alongside other family members. I could go out once a day to exercise and enjoyed countless long walks in the sun and regular runs in the countryside. When it came to food and supplies, our supermarkets were accessible and well-stocked, and we were able to get what we need, when we need it, with minimum hassle.
Yes, I had to walk to away from my small business, which was severely affected by the lockdowns. But even that led to an upside, with my other forms of income — my so-called side hustles — becoming full-time gigs that paid much more. With my wife working a steady career job, we barely noticed a difference in our monthly wages. If anything, without the daily commute we both previously endured (and paid for), we had more money in our pockets —…