Friday night. Someday, I’ll find out why people hate and mock Maroon 5, Coldplay, and Nickelback. Today is not that day.

I celebrated the long-awaited arrival of the weekend by munching on microwaved frozen burritos and drinking cider in the backyard while reading about nutrition – as one does.

Today was the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. That attack killed about 3,000 Americans. This pandemic has killed at least 60 times as many, yet there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much outrage. I’m definitely not the first person to point that out, but America’s lack of urgency – or unity, for that matter – is still staggering.

Things at work are getting more… interesting, I guess you could say – reminiscent of the late 2016, when my main objective was, just as it is now, to count days till March, when a long-awaited (and frankly, idealized) event awaited me. Waiting for my PR (and a few other things) would’ve been much easier if there was anything besides work in my life.

For those of you reading this in the future (you lucky bastards), here is what one immigrant’s life is like in Canada during the pandemic:

Dating life: nada. Meetups and mixers are all cancelled, and for good reason. (Xgf is tempting fate by meeting up with random folks from dating sites. Good for her, but if she catches covid this way after all our precautions, I’ll be mildly peeved.)

Finances: got some measure of job security, not going out, not dating, and the only real expenses are groceries and alcohol. In other words, I’m saving more money than ever before – and funneling it into my stock market account. Some say that all the giant stock market swings are due to people like me who sit at home and day-trade. Personally, I’m more of a buy-and-hold investor these days, but I see where they’re coming from.

Exercise: I try to force myself to do body-weight exercises. Gyms reopened not too long ago, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea to visit the one place where people huff and puff. For now, doing some laps in the backyard helps break up the routine, but winter is coming…

Hobbies: mixing up binge-watching TV shows, reading new books, playing video games, and learning fun new languages on DuoLingo mostly breaks up the routine. All the shiny minerals I found on my geological vacation in July make my room look like a fairly impressive provincial museum. I’m making small (very, very small) progress with cooking. Ended up falling in love with garlic salt, of all things. Trying to learn to love vegetables, though frozen burritos win every time. Heh. I’ve yet to unpack the new zoom lens for my camera, or the art set I bought months ago.

Work: things are extra-busy at Amazon this year. We call it “the forever peak” since we’ve been running nonstop since March. Typically, such workload is reserved for the last six weeks of the year. Stress. Burnout. Far more turnover than I’ve ever seen. I’m relatively essential, so I’ve held on to my job, if only out of stubbornness. I keep reminding myself to be grateful, since millions have lost their jobs. For the time being, I’m just working from home. What used to be a rare treat before the pandemic has turned into a strange and grey routine: hypothetically, I can sleep/eat/work/shower without ever leaving my room. Now that’s a scary thought… We’re good to continue working from home till at least January. What happens next will be interesting.

And so it goes. I’m playing this thing extra-safe, which means no unnecessary outings until I get a vaccine shot – and that means anywhere between 4-6 months more of this routine. Ho hum. One major consolation is that my Apocalypse Beard and my hair will both grow out by then. I wonder what my hermit look will be, especially if I actually manage to get in better shape. (Grigory “the wild man of Mississauga” Lukin. Heh.)

In covid news, Florida just really hates science and loves money. On Monday, Florida’s bars will be allowed to reopen after the 2.5-month shutdown. They won’t be allowed to exceed 50% capacity, but that still sounds like 49% too many. A covid-proof bar sounds just as likely as a self-contained smoking section in a restaurant. I don’t mean to be too much of a downer here, but they’ll probably get a spike in covid cases in a couple of weeks.

In more positive covid news, there were no covid deaths in Canada over the past 24 hours. That hasn’t happened since March 15. For context, this pandemic chronicle began when xgf and I ran away from Toronto on March 14. The fact that deaths, if not infections, have been eliminated, if only for a little while, is a major victory. Now we just need to build a border wall and make New Mexico pay for it, and we’ll be good to go.

Enjoy your weekend, platonic pandemic peeps.