Tea’s Weird Week: Notes from the Quarantine Journal
UPDATE, April 4: The Wisconsin Historical Society is “collecting history as it happens” with their COVID-19 Journal Project. They compare it to the WHS’s project in 1861, where Civil War soldiers were asked to keep diaries. 150 years later, those journals are still being used to understand history. By signing up for this program, you are not only giving yourself an outlet for your thoughts, but you are contributing to something that future generations can learn from. Your story is important and the WHS is open to written, audio, visual, or artistic documentation. You can find more info and sign up here: https://wisconsinhistory.org/JOURNALPROJECT
I tried to do a Tea’s Weird Week livestream. It started alright, I talked about my book Apocalypse Any Day Now, but then I was hit with this wave of doubt and angst– who am I to give any kind of advice? and I struggled to say anything other than “gee I sure hope you are all ok out there.” The only thing helpful I think I offered was talking about my quarantine journal or, as I’ve crudely titled it, my “Plague Diary.” It’s been helpful for me and it might be helpful for you.
I found an old notebook and every day I’ve been handwriting some notes. I’ve not been overthinking it– emotions, observations, weird dreams, what I’m reading, watching, doing. I chose to handwrite it because I like the organic look of it– crossed out words, doodles in the corners of the pages. When you have to handwrite instead of letting words fly on a keyboard, you’re choosing more deliberately what you share. It’s also cathartic to scratch out some words pen to paper. But you might journal better on a blog or word doc.
If writing isn’t a way you express yourself, I hope you’re channeling some energy into something you like– music, art, organizing. I know it’s difficult to be creative under financial and other stresses, but try to turn off the news, get off social media, and try to do something that stimulates creation a little bit every day.
I’m not going to share the whole thing, but here’s some excerpts from the first 10 days of my journal.
Friday, March 13 (first entry): National emergency declared. Everything is closing down now, RE: coronavirus, COVID-19. The plague is upon us. Worse than the illness is how people will react– they are panicked, scared. Hyper masses have flooded every store, grabbing as much toliet paper, hand sanitizer, and water bottles as they can carry, leaving the store shelves empty.
Sunday, March 15: Just drank and watched TV.
Monday, March 16: I had a vivid dream last night. My granddad was still alive and I went to visit him. He had a group of elderly friends sitting around his kitchen table (where he always sat) with him. They were having a quarantine party. I had never seen any of the other seniors before. One of them, sitting next to grandpa, was a frail woman with an oxygen tank. Grandpa, usually a big, jolly guy, looked very thin. All of them were happy to see me. Grandpa asked if I wanted to sing “Folsom Prison Blues” with them. I said “sure!” and we all sang. That’s all I remember.
Tuesday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day– one of the biggest day for bars– and everything is shut down. I pitched and wrote an article for the Shepherd “How local businesses are weathering COVID-19 and ways you can help” but there’s a feeling of hopelessness– this article won’t help anyone one iota, but I need to do something and this is all I can think of at the moment.
Thursday, March 19: Crabby, irritated, sad, frustrated today. Not accomplishing shit. Being lazy in pajamas makes me feel shitty but so does doing anything like household chores. Face it– you lost today.
Saturday, March 21: Well, all of this has made a supply run exciting. Me and Kate cruised to Home Depot, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Target (see above photo of the empty toilet paper aisle), and the liquor store. Now eating tons of food.
Monday, March 23: Gov. Evers is issuing a “Safer at Home” edict telling everyone not involved in “non-essential” business-like groceries, pharmacies, etc., to keep their ass at home. We’re all locked down now to slow the spread of COVID-19. I took a walk to Outpost to look for toilet paper and get a couple things for Kate, but they were out of TP and the bulk section was closed off, so I left empty-handed and felt like a failed hunter-gatherer. But we are ok on food, TP, and sanity right now…
I’m going to try the livestream thing again with some trivia this Saturday. The categories are cryptozoology, conspiracy theories in the news (based on reports from Tea’s Weird Week over the last two months), cursed or possessed items, and a surprise category. Prizes will include copies of my books and other weird stuff I find in my office.
Tune in here: www.facebook.com/TheTeaKrulos
The #TrumpConspiracyCounter shoots up to 174. I tally it and talk about Trump’s “Deep State Department” theory here: https://teakrulos.com/2020/03/25/trumpconspiracycounter-march-25/
My upcoming book American Madness features a journey through conspiracy culture. It’s out August 25, 2020 from Feral House. To pre-order: CLICK HERE
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“Having just returned from the grocery store during an official pandemic, I’m reminded to highly recommend Apocalypse Any Day Now, from Tea Krulos, who went way down the doomsday prepper rabbit hole. Fun and unfortunately highly relevant. Do it.” — Brent Gohde, Cedar Block/ Science Strikes Back