COVID Day 7: Exhaustion

In the past 24 hours alone, I’ve gotten a lot of comments about how I’m still working.

I don’t mean to glorify keeping busy even through COVID-19. I am fortunate my symptoms are mild enough that I can carry on with my usual tasks, but one should listen to their bodies and take this time to rest and recuperate.

But I could… listen to my own advice.

One week in, and fatigue has started to settle in. Breaks are becoming more frequent, which means I get less done in a day, which leads to me resisting the lull of a mid-day nap. I’m becoming crankier and more agitated, tempted to snap at the smallest questions, and more than once finding myself thinking, “I can’t keep doing this,” with every work-related message that comes in past nine in the evening.

Damn it, I have COVID. Why am I not resting?

Sadly, I’m all too aware of the answer: I can’t stop. When people ask me to do things, I say yes. When there are things that need to be done, I volunteer—all with nary a thought of the pile of tasks I’ve yet to complete.

When messages come in the evenings, I think of all the times I also subjected other people to work messages at unreasonable hours, and the guilt propels me to—you guessed it, answer them. Some people I deal with have slightly different work hours so I can’t talk to them in the mornings, but then I also have to answer them at night while they’re still working.

Sometimes I get shortness of breath when I sit up for a virtual meeting for too long, and sometimes I feel a bit warm—but my temperature and oxygen levels are fine, so are those symptoms even valid? Carry on—oh, and when are you getting out, again?

(I can’t keep doing this.)

Earlier this week, back when my energy levels were still up, my publishers were caps-locking at me for continuing to work despite having COVID-19. I assured them I was working at my own pace and I wanted to keep busy to bring my mind off things, and I’d be too bored to not do anything.

I wish I had time to be bored. I wish I could roll around in my hotel bed and take a nap and actually just allow myself to recuperate. Now, if someone who mattered could tell me to take at least half a day to rest and that my deadlines could wait a little, I would take that chance in a heartbeat because boy am I fucking exhausted.

But no one is.

(I can’t keep doing this.)

Room service just knocked. That must be my Starbucks. It’s going to be a long night.

On the flip side of this very exhausting and mentally challenging day, I got some very nice deliveries today. I wasn’t entirely feeling my packed lunch from the hotel so I ordered a poke bowl from COOEE Philippines. Later in the afternoon, their team sent me extra stuff: a yogurt bowl, a smoothie bowl, and some juice.

Lis also sent me this really thoughtful loose leaf tea kit from tasa & tsáa, which I thought was a really nice idea for a care package. It came with two jars of loose leaf tea, honey with honey dipper, strainer, and some instructions. Looks like I’ll be here for a while anyway, so I’m really looking forward to preparing some tea, perhaps in the morning.

Cebu vs. COVID-19 Resources:

Numbers and details change often, so I’m linking to pages instead where you can check for updated information.

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