Our word of the week, dear readers, is ennui

Following two weeks of social distancing, and staring down at least four more of a statewide stay-at-home order, the novelty of working at home, eating at home, and barely leaving home has worn off. We watched that weird tiger doc on Netflix. We actually read Anna Karenina instead of just telling people we had. We didn’t shower or shave for days at a time. (No lie: I am writing this on Monday night in the same pajamas I wore when I woke up Monday morning, and I would not admit that if I didn’t think most of you had done the same thing at least once.) 

We are bored. We are restless. We are Over It. And we have (at least) another month to go. 

But if this is how we live now, we might as well explore it. 

So in our third collection of coronavirus stories, you’ll find us (loosely) circling this idea of ennui: from living in quarantine while battling COVID-19, to doctors waiting for the storm to come, to McDougald Terrace residents facing their second public health crisis this year, to help for domestic violence survivors now isolated with their abusers. 

Because we’re not total bummers, we’ll also help you break through the tedium with stories about new music releases and a local author who studies the relationship between religious experiences and UFO encounters.   

The economic collapse is hurting a lot of our friends and neighbors, and those of us lucky enough to have steady paychecks should look out for them. This forced isolation is exacting a psychological toll on almost everyone, but especially those who experience anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental illness. And the longer this drags on, the heavier that toll will be. 

Our new normal isn’t normal at all, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. So it’s important that we be there for each other. Check in on your friends and your family; send a quick email or a text to someone you haven’t seen in a while. Like it or not, we’re all going to be here for some time, and we’re all in this together.  

(BTW, I didn’t actually read Anna Karenina.) 

In This Week’s Paper

March was a hell of a year.

He had COVID-19. She probably did, too. Welcome to quarantine

Dr. Cameron Wolfe is waiting for Duke Hospital’s trickle of coronavirus cases to become a flood.

Isolation exacerbates abuse. Crisis centers are still helping survivors.

As Durham locks down, McDougald Terrace residents come home.

Farmers markets reckon with how to provide food during a pandemic.

New records we overlooked while hoarding toilet paper.

How to see a UFO with David J. Halperin.

Sorry, Gramps. The market needs you to die

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at jbillman@indyweek.com. 

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