Saturday evening. What if 2021 will make us all feel nostalgic about the comparatively peaceful and easy 2020?

This is the 183rd day since xgf (né gf) and I ran away from Toronto, started a big AirBnB adventure, and generally started safeguarding against the virus. It’s been 183 days since I’ve been to work: there’s a bunch of new hires there now who wouldn’t recognize my face if they bumped into me. This is an important day, because it’s the half-year mark. From this point on, the virus has officially taken up the majority of at least one year in my life, in your life, in everybody’s life. Am I the only one who wonders what things would’ve been like in the baseline reality, one that’s free of covid?..

I tried to be proactive and googled Workaholics Anonymous. Turns out, it’s a 12-step support group based on the same general principle as Alcoholics Anonymous. It amounts “please proclaim undying faith in some almighty higher power that’s totally not God :)” – or as close as you can get to a taxpayer-subsidized cult that barely even bothers hiding. Oh well.

Doing some more reading, here and there. In order to get any significant results from home workouts (or gym workouts, if I felt safe enough to go there), I’d have to consume an unholy amount of protein every single day. Homemade protein smoothies and tons of boneless chicken breast it is, then. Incidentally, the more I learn about the best way to grow muscle (and, conversely, the worst ways), the more I realize how counterproductive my previous efforts had been… I’d go to the gym right after a long day at the office, without any protein snacks at any point in the afternoon. Or sabotage myself by getting just 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Or other stuff… Well, at least now I know better.

One interesting aspect of this particular new hobby is all the meal-planning. Not so much meal prep (who has the time, eh?) as knowing what to munch on ahead of time. Given that I’ve lost about 10 lbs over the past six months solely due to poor eating habits, that’ll be interesting… I’m off to order a food scale and those little measuring spoon thingies.

I keep reminding myself to check my privilege and realize just how well off I am compared to so many others, so I will not be so crass as to say that my self-imposed living situation is even remotely like solitary confinement. Nope. Not saying anything like that, just to make it clear. What I am saying, though, is that things are mighty bleak and monotonous – the more different hobbies and distractions I can bury myself in, the better. (A friend of mine in Seattle has just taken up knitting – good for him.)

In covid news: winter is coming. Fauci is being a realist, but even though he tries to look on the bright side, the media insists on using only the darkest quotes as the headlines. Things like “the US won’t get back to normal till the end of 2021” or “December will be really bad,” etc. I wish I didn’t have to say this, but we’re dealing with an increasingly violent country here… I hope no one decides to shut him up by force. His family has been receiving threats for quite a while now. Fauci may have royally screwed the pooch by dismissing masks back in March (so that there’d be more for medical personnel), but he hasn’t had any major blunders since then. He is, on the balance, one of the good guys – and possibly the only good guy in the US government when it comes to this pandemic.

Winter is coming, and it probably won’t be pretty. Earlier, folks thought summer would be relatively covid-free since it dies in the sun and so many people are out and about. Well, that didn’t quite work out that way. (People love indoors and air-conditioning a whole lot more than gallivanting in the great outdoors.) Summer has been pretty bad. Winter will likely be just as bad, if not worse – though if it’s any consolation for the west coast, at least there won’t be any additional wildfires. Prediction: there will be an awful lot of pictures of snowmen and snow angels on social media, since there won’t be much else to do. At least that’s my big plan, in any case.