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Kissing is inadvisable

Some days are better than others. I am walking more.

It seems to me that, in my neighbourhood, vehicular traffic has increased, while foot traffic has decreased. The parks are full, however. People are sitting and enjoying, but too many of them, too close. After drinking or smoking, they walk recklessly. Traversing green space feels more like a high-stakes video game than a pleasant stroll.

The concrete ping-pong tables are wrapped in yellow police tape, with signage that makes them completely unplayable.

Already it feels like the cleaner air of the last weeks has been reversed. Construction and roadwork have resumed. People are driving. Where are they driving to? There is so much dust in the air, parts of city look to be suffering some post-apocalyptic neglect.

The downstairs neighbours have regular visitors this week; they sit outside, drinking and smoking, about a metre apart. The single schoolteacher at the end of my floor brought two mask-wearing people into her home today.

Along with masks, I think everyone should be issued a measuring tape. This is the real problem: people are shitty at estimating lengths. People have no idea how far two metres is. Signage with arrows implying a certain distance is inadequate; you need to show people exactly.

Another dead bumblebee on the walkway approaching my door the other day. I meant to collect it as a specimen, to use as a model for a sculpture. I looked out later, but didn't see it in the dark, in the rain. The following morning, it was still there, looking somewhat bedraggled but potentially still useful to me. I began to scoop it up, but a leg twitched. I brought it a pinch of sugar, watched it feed itself, and flip itself, and turn hobbled in clockwise circles, and ejaculate some liquid or maybe just wring the wet from its body. It turned to lie on its back, and revved its wings in 10-second spurts. Later it was gone.

I am puzzled by the many men who have turned to meeting people on dating sites. Why would they think lockdown is a good time to meet people? Do they suddenly find themselves confronted by their own unbearable loneliness? Or are they bored? What were they so busy doing just months ago that they didn't realize they were alone? What do they think happens next?

Quarantine Fatigue Is Real:
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and physicians at Harvard Medical School each created guidance on sexual health during the coronavirus pandemic that could provide a road map for a harm-reduction approach to socializing, work environments, schools, and other settings. They communicated the urgent need for physical distancing and the idea that, as the New York document puts it, "you are your safest sex partner." At the same time, the New York and Harvard guidelines implicitly acknowledge that some people may choose to have sex within or outside of their households and offer tips to reduce harm in different potential scenarios, making the risk continuum clear.
Still No Plan:
These days, the safest way to go on a first date is to pick an outdoor activity and to stay at least six feet apart — sadly, one public-health expert I spoke with recently said that kissing someone new would be "inadvisable." If you go on a bunch of dates with someone and feel like the relationship could have some longevity, that's when you could have a candid conversation about who else each of you is exposed to in the course of a day. The question then becomes whether you like each other enough to take on the serious risks of increasing your number of close contacts during a pandemic.
Last night I had a work dream. I'd edited an article on paper(!); the developer who wrote it reviewed my changes, correcting me like a teacher would, in green pen, docking me points for neglecting to fill in the vast swaths of code he'd left out. He graded me 1 out of 6. I woke up when I noticed how dirty my fingernails were (a clear symbol of poor self-worth, or self-neglect).

My eyes are tired. My whole face is tired. I need to get my eyes checked; I'm overdue for an exam, and the ergonomics of my work setup are causing a lot of eyestrain. I need more sleep. I need to decrease my screentime.

This weekend is better. More walking, more napping. Planting. More reading and resting. Yesterday we saw a massive hawk gliding overhead.

No ping-pong. No kissing.

This post first appeared on Magnificent Octopus, please read the originial post: here

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Kissing is inadvisable


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