Brave (?) New World: How Covid-19 has changed my life

Christian Damian

By Christian Espicha

I keep hearing “We’re living in a new world”, or “It’s a new world”. Sometimes “new” is replaced with “different” but the terms are interchangeable.

How is the world different? That is what nobody ever defines and that is what this page explores.

Politico Magazine surveyed 30 “bright, macro thinkers” about how Covid-19 will change the world permanently. Though I do not agree with the author’s assertion we will have more trust in the government I do agree we are cooking and eating at home more.

I am not cooking more because I have always preferred my cooking to restaurants – I know what I’m getting and I can avoid foods that don’t agree with me more easily. I am very picky about texture and have an overdeveloped sense of taste; if a bite of food disgusts me I have to throw the rest away. This can become very expensive and wasteful.

About food – I have had the food bank deliver me food so I don’t have to go out, but they have brought so much I had to get rid of some, which I was upset about at first because I didn’t know the neighbors and had no idea how I would accomplish this – put “free” on the box and set it on the picnic table? I had no idea but I needn’t have feared because as soon as I walked out with the box I saw the mother of a young boy who really likes me – I think he knows I am like him – and she didn’t hesitate to take the box. He was very happy too and said, “Gracias.” I felt good. Sharing really does feel better than being greedy.

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Since I wrote the email I discovered is is autistic which makes me like him and his parents even more.

The article also claims we will become more courteous but right now I am having a difficult time with tolerance; the neighbors’ screaming kids are irritating me so much I’m about to cry myself and even earplugs don’t drown them out. There are plenty of to difficulties with noise now with so many of us at home. And here is a page listing other common issues with neighbors during lockdown.

I described a visit to the DMV in an email to a friend I have been communicating with more than ever lately. Seems the stay at home mentality has the effect of prompting some to reach out electronically more than ever.

To find out I searched for “communicating more and Covid ”and chose the article linked to above. From that page I consulted Bublup to see what “bubbles up”, that is what similar or related content the Internet is offering on the subject. Here is a screenshot:

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I’ve fallen in love with Bublup. It’s even cute when it crashes:

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Anyway – here is my description of the changes at DMV from an email:

“DMV opened here Monday and I went to update my ID. A line outside with red “X”s showed us where to stand and kiosks were staffed to triage us by taking our temperature and asking the usual questions. Masks were mandatory and they were not provided. (I keep a mask hanging on the front doorknob to remind me to bring it whenever I venture out). If we were cleared for admittance then we are herded inside a few at a time. Strange how they define what is permitted – my “reduced fee ID” was mentioned specifically by a roving announcer – all he did was walk up and down the line announcing, “Reduced fee ID, emergency OK, no driver’s license renewals”. Not ordinary ID renewal or new ID, only reduced fee.

Why? Who knows but luckily reduced fee was me. What defines an “emergency” for the DMV remains a mystery- it may be applicable to the city employee behind me dressed in his work uniform taking off of work to relate his woeful tale to me. Turns out he had arrived this morning when they opened only to be turned away because he didn’t have some necessary piece of information. He then spent hours on the phone and was now back in line. At noon. The line wasn’t long – probably because most people didn’t know this DMV was open – only 25 offices in the state were selected for opening this week. I had been hoping this would be the case. Lucky me.

Once inside I was asked if I had filled out the form online and before I could answer she murmured, “No…”, which was true – I refuse to enter personal information online; fraud is rampant right now. I was directed to a row of computers where I quickly completed filling out said document and was cleared to “Take a seat” in the place you usually wait for your number to be called. It didn’t take long for them to call mine; there were only about 3 of us in the entire DMV. I like it – no crowds, faster service – too bad it can’t always be like this. Just without the crisis.

The TV did not broadcast the same propaganda as the Dr.’s office, but similar – the DMV version – which I ignored. I did, however, notice the Real ID deadline is now October 2021. Nice.

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DMV makes you keep the mask on right up until your picture is taken then makes you put it back on immediately after. They are serious.

About the doctor’s office; they are also serious requiring triage in the parking lot after which a worker walks you to the office and signals for another worker inside to unlock the door. There were also very few people in the waiting room. I wonder why it took nearly two hours for me to be seen.”

I can get traumatized by public outings even when there are no crowds; I find it a lot more comfortable going out lately. I’m not afraid of contracting the virus anymore, but that could change as regular flu season rolls around, probably will change. Then again, I am always paranoid of illness, always have been.

I am fearful what my reaction will be when I do catch a regular cold or the flu, something which happens about once a year like clockwork. My panicky feelings and PTSD symptoms have flared lately.

I try to keep myself occupied so as not to dwell on it, but, seriously, what would it be like to die? Am I ready? I haven’t made out a will or even the advance health care directive/DNR, all of which I’ve been avoiding for years. The link I supplied provides free forms for every state.

Here’s what I wrote my friend:

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And for those of you who have become addicted to Zoom – be careful – it has never been a very secure platform and there are better alternatives. Do some research and protect yourself. As a record number of people logon there have been crashes: (https://downdetector.com/status/zoom/ is a great site to check if other services are down, not just Zoom) and scams. Google Zoombombing if you haven’t already and be safe.

Christian Damian

I am Christian Espicha, an adult woman with autism. Though diagnosed with autism as a young child, I didn’t receive appropriate services until recently when I became a client at Autistry Studios in San Rafael, CA. The reason I didn’t receive services is partly because I possess a genius IQ. At age 45, I was the oldest member to graduate from the Humboldt County Structure Firefighting Academy. I completed EMT training and worked as a firefighter/EMT in Trinity County, California. I performed with my fellow firefighters montain resues and recoveries, assisted the Forest Service with fires in the Trinity National Forest and assisted with water rescues/recoveries on the Trinity River. I’m also a writer and an artist. See my website at www.autistryandme.wordpress.com my art and writing can be seen on Krishnachameleon. Follow me on Twitter @KrishtianDamian

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