We're social distancing at our house right now. It started around Thursday, kind of in phases. I went to my office in the morning, Skylar went to school. Later that day we found out the University of Utah was moving all classes online for the remainder of the semester. I started packing up my office to bring it all home not long after that.

Hereby set up for werk.

Now we're shut in the house together trying to find out how strong our marriage is. On Saturday we upped our "use Duncan to fight with each other" game. We've been pretty good at this for a while. But now we're starting to do it so habitually that I don't think either of us even notices when it's happening anymore.

"Duncan, it's interesting how loudly daddy Skylar thinks he needs to talk into the phone when he's calls his mother, isn't it."

"Duncan, daddy Eli sure seems to be leaving socks all over the house again today!"

"No, Duncan, I don't think the fact that daddy Skylar didn't make enough oatmeal for us to have some really means he doesn't love us. It just means he doesn't think about us."

Today we're trading off passive aggressive moves for the purpose of driving each other crazy, like playing Dolly Parton's Nine to Five on full blast through the house this morning when I knew Skylar was trying to sleep in as revenge for his leaving his damn heating blanket and six-foot extension cord on the living room couch, which he knows I can't abide.

Fortunately we've come up with a pretty good list of things we've been meaning to get around to, but haven't yet because we didn't have time, including:

1. Shaving our backs
2. Binge-watching the entirety of Charles In Charge
3. Figuring out who the Zodiac Killer is
4. Figuring out who the Zodiac Killer isn't
5. Learning more about the Ice Capades
6. Square dancing
7. Definitively finding out, once and for all, whether there is a God
8. Origami

So obviously there's lots to do.

The other day I went to the grocery store down the street and it was apocalyptic in there. I was able to find the things I needed, but when I got to the checkout they told me they had run out of bags and I had forgotten to bring my reusable bags so I just straight up stole this:



We're doing the social distancing because we're trying to be responsible. But I'm starting to think the actual plan is to sequester people in their houses so they can just kill each other before the virus does.

I know we're healthy young people who are extremely unlikely to be seriously affected even if infected. But we know we need to do our part in helping slow the spread so everyone in the United States of God Bless America doesn't get sick at the same time and force the hospitals to have to choose who to let die.

I've been receiving super helpful insight on the importance of social distancing from Shelby Hintze, among others. You might remember Shelby from Strangerville Live--she told the absolutely incredible story about using a power wheelchair. Shelby has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and she's been taking to social media to help people understand why people like her are begging people like me to take this social distancing seriously. I highly recommend following her on Twitter for this, and for the very top notch humor.

So now here we are.

In all seriousness, I must acknowledge that I am incredibly fortunate that social distancing is actually only a minor inconvenience for me. I'm able to do my job from home. I'm blessed with resources that allow me to joke about a lot of this. Also, despite the above jokes, there's no one better to be stuck inside with than Skylar Westerdahl. I know not all of you are in my fortunate position. That's not fair and I'm sorry about it.

I really do think things will be ok. I don't know what it's like in other places, but in Salt Lake City there's sort of this ominousness in the air. The streets feel a little ghost-towny. I went for a run today and the place was a bit boarded up. It reminded me of being in Palau the day before Typhoon Bopha hit. Or being in Ukraine in 2004 when the Orange Revolution broke out over the country.

In that latter example, we had to shut ourselves away in our apartment for periods of time. There were a few weeks where my city was mostly without power. This was in the dead of winter and I remember basically not changing my clothes for days on end. It was so cold in our apartment we could see our breath. I would sleep in my coat.

Just like what will happen with this, the sun eventually came up on that crisis. We eased back into normal life. There were some bad memories, and losses that couldn't be recouped, but things were fine.

They'll be fine here, too, assuming we make it through without murdering our spouses and children.

In the meantime, please enjoy some Strangerville.

This time in Strangerville, we are preparing for quarantine and trying not to overreact. Also, Rachel takes the Strangerville Live stage to explain the lengths she has gone to to convince her husband they should get a cat.StoryBen Won’t Get a Cat, by Rachel MillerProduction by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger