How do you measure time in a pandemic?

Dear Internet,

There’s the “before I realized there was a global pandemic” time and the “when I realized there was a global pandemic” but it’s not an overnight phenomenon. It’s kind of a gradual tightening up, a slow-than-fast realization that maybe things are not going so well.


For example: Today was supposed to be the White House Easter Egg Roll. Admission is by lottery. Even though il Bambino is a little young to roll an Easter egg, I thought, well, why don’t we apply? We live in DC, it’s easy enough to get there, plus, it’s free. That was February 18.


In the meantime, I read about the Easter Egg roll and saw that there are really long lines to get in. I thought, Hm, perhaps it’s not worth it because il Bambino hates lines, and maybe she could get a cold or a stomach bug from all those little kids clustered around.


March 4 the results came out. We didn’t get tickets. And I thought, well, it’s not so bad, we won’t have to wait in line and take off work for what is basically a photo opportunity. And with this new coronavirus thing in Seattle, maybe it’s all for the best, I don’t think anyone will want to be standing in a line. We’ll try again next year.


The week of March 9, everything happened very quickly from one day to the next. On Monday March 9, it was, “gee, we’re seeing a lot of cases of coronavirus in the US” to “no school for the rest of the year” by Friday March 13.  On March 16, the Easter Egg roll was cancelled.  And now, April 13, we’re all confined to our homes, more or less.

It’s all slow until it’s fast.