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Living La Vida Virtual

Here's my new daily routine.

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Woman exercising at home in front of her laptop, choosing online yoga class
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While Madonna sang about living in a material world, I am currently living in a virtual world — at least for a little while. To stay healthy and to help stop the continuing spread of the coronavirus, people around the world are socially distancing from one another. Luckily there are still ways to feel connected to the outside world.

6:00 a.m. — Wake up and for a minute, I forget what is going on in the world. After 60 seconds, I remember and panic.

6:;30 a.m. — I drink two cups of coffee, read email and then voraciously skim the news online.

7:30 a.m. — An hour of surfing the web is enough for me — time to meditate. I choose the 20 minutes on Headspace and listen to a voice telling me to imagine hot liquid cascading through my limbs. TBH, I don’t actually feel it, but, just lying still is calming.

8:00 a.m. — Aside from day one when I had trouble logging on, I have had perfect attendance in my yoga class this week. BC (before the coronavirus) I had so many reasons I couldn't make it to class — on a deadline, had another appointment, too darn lazy …

Before this week, the only Zoom I knew was the old 1970's kids' television show on PBS. But now through Zoom Conferencing I meet with Heather, my instructor at Revel-Yoga, and I get to see two of my friends doing their down dog as well.

10 a.m. — Two years ago, my husband bought me a Peloton for the holidays (I asked for one — so no controversy here), and it has sat gathering dust in our basement, silently taunting “Why don’t you use me?” when I walked past it. It turns out I prefer taking classes at spin studios surrounded by people. But this week, I have enjoyed solitary spinning and the safety of "high-fiving" virtual classmates on the screen.

Tomorrow, I might try a class on Obe or Daily Burn (both currently offering free trials.).

11:30 a.m. — Food shopped through Instacart. It takes less time and I spend less money than when I go to the store. But then the store isn’t able to deliver my goodies due to a heavy volume of orders. Must log on earlier tomorrow!

12:00 p.m. — FaceTime lunch date with my 25-year-old daughter. She lives in another state. We always had the capability to do this, but never thought of it until now. With all the chaos and uncertainty right now, I love that I can see her face. It makes me feel close even though she is miles away.

1:00 p.m. — Time to get some work done. I write at my desk and connect with my co-workers through emails. In another Zoom conference, this time I’m listening to a speaker for an article. I’d prefer to be there in person, but on the plus side I am wearing sweatpants with a stain and no one can see me.

4:00 p.m. — X-box lesson! Last week I was complaining about how much time my son spent gaming with his friends, begging them to get together in person. Now I am grateful for that headset and controller. He is teaching me to play FIFA and another one, and his friends' moms, challenged me to a game next week.

5:00 p.m. — UN--happy hour is when you commiserate with friends over FaceTime with a glass of wine in hand. It's not the same as being together, but I am grateful all the same. I know some people have been getting together in bigger groups over Zoom (I heard a millennial call it a Zarty!)!

Throughout the day I find myself checking in on friends and family. I send texts with virtual hugs and love from a social distance. I’ve been talking on the phone more often. Knowing that we can’t all be together right now is making me more appreciative of my relationships and crave connection.

6:00 p.m. — I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking, and watching online video instructions from Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen, the Barefoot Contessa, and YouTube chef Joshua Weissman. My son introduced me to the Weissman, and we are having a blast trying
his recipes.

7:00 p.m. — The best part of virtual life is that I get to have a real-life dinner with two of my three children and my husband. With everyone working and schooling from home and having no outside activities, we can all sit together as a family for a meal.

After that we will play a game or watch television. With 5,000 channels, it's impossible to run out of shows to watch — although choosing one we all can agree on can be tough. The reason we are all self-isolating makes me sad. But I am genuinely grateful that we are together, that we are healthy and that we are and doing our part to keep others safe, too, by staying at home.