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  • Erin Mantz

Decision-making dilemmas in quarantine times

It’s interesting timing that this study about decisions is coming out now. There’s nothing like the current coronavirus quarantine times to give me plenty of time to agonize over every little decision. I do this every day – for the big things and the little things, past and present.


I don’t know if the fact that I turned 50 weeks before the virus practically closed the country fuels this line of thinking. It all came so fast.


First, I know I am lucky that I am talking about decisions that are not life and death. We have our health, home, food, family, income. I am lucky I am not on the front lines. Being home, in quarantine, is not the worst thing in the word, but it puts your everyday decisions into a downward spiral. For those of us in this boat, it's the little things.


Should I make a fried egg or have a bowl of Raisin Bran? Leave my laptop to go get a graham cracker now or a half hour later? And don't even mention dinner. That is the hardest discussion. But hasn't dinner always been a thing? I mean, we ate dinner every night before coronavirus times. What's changed that makes it such a weighty decision now? Every decision, now that I am home all the time, is annoying – and hard. It’s taking up way too much time and energy.


Stopping at the liquor store, I stand there debating Sam Adams vs. Sierra Nevada. When I watch the Today Show in the morning, I ask myself if I should turn it off now or in ten minutes. Should I exercise now or after the work day? Should I wear my gray socks or my pink ones? What about the dogs – should I give them chew sticks now - or this evening? Should I catch up on two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm or three? Should I move outside with my laptop now or later? Deep condition my hair today or tomorrow? Does it matter? UGH. It’s exhausting! Do some people deal with days like this this year-round? I can't.


I’ve never shied away from decisions about the big things – moving homes, changing jobs, having kids, getting a puppy. I’m impulsive. But, now, the little decisions are driving me crazy. There is way too much time to focus on these things.


Is this midlife craziness or just a symptom of quarantine conundrums? Either way, I hope it ends soon.




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