Our lives have changed because of this virus thing, whether you believe it or not. I know, because what used to be routine, is now out the window. I find I am always searching to get back on track.

It took me a while to figure it out, but now I know it isn’t coming back. The time I wasted looking for that routine is well…wasted.

The Monday-Friday Syndrome is based on exactly that. Starting the week off on Monday trying to set and prioritize your goals. Moving to completion on Friday and feeling satisfied you put in a good week’s work. Nope! Not happening.

You start on Monday and you have great intentions of completing your day’s routine, but the virus gets in the way. How? Well if you’re working from home, the 1-hour lunch you had planned where you could slip out to the grocery store, has now been complicated. Something you didn’t have to deal with before. Getting into the grocery store. You only find out noticing the size of the snake-like lineup surrounding the parking lot at your store and everyone staring at you as you get out of your vehicle. You lower your head and proceed to the back of the line, with a mask on and your recyclable bag. From there you stare at the lineup and see how fast it is moving and wonder if you should leave and try again later. Or should you suffer the wait with 50 other people?

Well you’re there now and it would be a bigger waste of your time to leave, wouldn’t it? You’ve come to that determination by the progress the line has moved. Around 4 people but you didn’t take into account the 8 people that lined up behind you. That’s progress, isn’t it?

Okay, let’s be generous and say that 45 minutes later you are getting into your car with the groceries you needed, after all, you weren’t shopping, shopping.

Necessities, that’s right, you were picking up necessities. Looking forward, you think this is one thing you can check off your to-do list.

Home again and put the groceries away, and back to your work. Almost two hours have passed and if you’re lucky it only takes you 15 minutes to remember where you left off.

Head down working away, a couple of hours of passed and it seems that the light in the room is fading into the evening. I know what you're thinking it’s too early for that. You should have been further along in your work at this hour. You need a break, you get up and stretch and turn the tv on and find that the news is playing.

The Ken and Barbie personalities are updating you on the virus outbreaks in the city and what you are going to need to do if it’s a necessity, to go out and navigate through it.

Grocery stores are feeling the stalled deliveries of goods, causing shortages of supplies people need or want, and give no answer when they will be in stock again. Prices have shot up through the roof, and the increases mean that you will have to earn another 30 percent or more to keep ahead of the inflation. You shake your head, try to put it out of your mind, and get back to finishing your work. I know you can say that at the end of the day, you can cross off two items off your to-do list. But can you? Is working a regular workday, on your list for the day an accomplishment? I don’t think so. It’s a given. So you only accomplished one thing today really. A quick stop at the grocery store, which turned into a two-hour excursion.

Tuesday will be better. Or will it?

The next morning you wake up and think about what your goals are for that day. Drinking coffee, while listening to the news is where you find out that you have to reschedule your dental appointment. A note left by your wife. Someone in their office had a positive test for the virus and they will be closed for five days while they disinfect the office. You make a note to call for another appointment.

You had plans to go to the Dentist and swing by the garage to have your car looked at. It was stalling, and the other day the check engine light came on. It went off yesterday, but still, you don’t want to break down somewhere in the city and have to take a bus home. Who could sit on a bus full of people that are potential virus spreaders, or so you’re told?

Better call the garage and rearrange the appointment. It wouldn’t be worth it to just go to the garage appointment by itself and come home to work, then have to turn around and go pick it up again. After all considering you were going to take the day off of work and be efficient and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Speaking about work, you better get started, so off you go to wherever you go to do that and make a note to call the Dentist and Garage. Right now you don’t have time. You need to get to work!

It’s late morning now, and you can hear the kids running up and down the hallway. That noise you couldn’t figure out an hour ago was the consistent pattern of footsteps running back and forth. You go to get up and then you notice the sticky note to call the Dentist and the Garage to schedule the appointments. You thought that instead of resetting these appointments you would be deleting two goals from your list that you had made out to accomplish and eliminate this week!

Nope! Not going to happen.

The Dentist could accommodate you in two weeks, but the garage says that he is swamped. You asked him why he doesn’t hire more help and he laughs and says because of the virus, he has trouble finding help. No one wants to work. He then says, he can’t accommodate you for another month. As a solution, he said to find another garage or you could wait it out a month. The choice is yours. So one day to take care of two goals now becomes two days. You tell him you might get back to him or not, depending on when and if you can rearrange your schedule. Something is nagging at the back of your head and you’re trying to figure it out when one of the kids pops her head in the door and asks if you were going to make lunch or were they going to wait until mom gets back.

“Mom! Mom!” I shout. “What do you mean? Where is Mom?” “She went to see grandma and help her get some groceries. She said she will be back soon.”

Oh yeah, you think? You know all about the grocery store. Show up there with all those people in line, and Mom will be lucky to be home for dinner!

Off to the kitchen you go, to make the kids some lunch and while you’re there, make a sandwich for yourself. An hour later the kids are settled back in the den, with the online learning, and you get back to your own desk and back to work.

A few hours go by and you hear the front door opening. Mom must be home. You get up to stretch and go and see what your wife has to say. You find out that the car wouldn’t start after she dropped her Mom off, after buying groceries. She had to get the next-door neighbor to give her a boost.

“When are you going to get the car fixed?” She asked, and you answer, “it was on your list to get done this week, but it had to be rescheduled because of unforeseen (or a foreseen virus attack) at the garage.”

Worker shortages to go along with the grocery shortages, you say to the wife. She just walks away shaking her head. “How long are you going to be?” she asks, so she could start dinner. You tell her you would like to put in a couple of more hours but you know it could take longer. Your head is not in it.

The next day you get up and after your morning ritual with the bathroom, you head downstairs with the sun shining in the windows, a new day. You swing into the kitchen and no one is there. You check the den and you find your son watching cartoons before his online classes start. He is still in his pj’s.

“Hey, big fella, what’s going on?” you ask, and he says “nothing.” That’s his usual comeback when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I ask where his sister is and why Mom isn’t down for breakfast. Without turning around he says, “Mom is downstairs doing laundry, and I don’t t know where my sister is.”

Off you go, down the stairs to find your bride and you find her stuffing bed linen into the washer. “What’s up?” you ask, and she tells you that your daughter threw up this morning in bed and she wasn’t feeling well. Her temperature is a little elevated but she says that she is not too concerned. At least not yet. You ask if you should look in on her and she says no. “She just fell back to sleep and it would be good to let her catch up on the sleep she missed.” “Okay.” you agree and you head back up to the kitchen to grab that coffee, and check your list for the day and get back to work.

You admit to yourself you’re a little worried, but the wife seems to have it handled. Everything was kind of quiet so maybe today would be a good day to catch up on the project you are working on and make some phone calls like searching for a garage that could take your vehicle asap.

The morning seemed to fly by, but you admit that you were able to get a bunch of work done. You were going to tackle finding that garage after lunch. You step out into the kitchen and the wife is making a sandwich for your son and some soup for your daughter. She asks if you would like some and you decline. You ask how she is doing. The wife states, “her temperature is normal and now she was sitting up reading a book in her room. She thinks she could join us for dinner.” “Humph,” you remark. “It sounds like she just had a stomach bug and now she’s over it. Thank goodness!”

With lunch over, you get back to your desk with fifteen minutes to spare. You jump on the phone making call after call and getting the same answer. “We are too busy to get you in right away, but maybe in a couple of weeks. If you leave your name and number we can call you if we get a cancelation and take you in sooner but we have a waiting list for that too!” “No thanks,” you say, you are going to find someone who has an opening. “Your choice.” was the response. “Good luck with that!”

The wife pops her head in the door and says to stay off the phone for the next hour or so, as she is waiting for the Doctor to call. She wants to make sure our daughter is okay with aspirin or would she need a prescription for something else.

Great, you think, There goes the garage calls, for the rest of the day. Oh well, something else to put off until tomorrow.

Later that evening after dinner and the kids are in bed and you're just sitting down with the wife to watch tv, you ask her what day it is. She answers, “it’s Thursday and tomorrow's Friday”. “What’s that you say, it can’t be. It was just Monday yesterday!” “Are you crazy?” She says to you, “tomorrows Friday. You ask me this every Thursday.” “No I don’t,” you respond, and she argues “yes you do.” You tell her that, “it seems that every week goes flying by, Monday-Friday, Monday-Friday, what’s with that? What happens to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?” “Well”, she says that “with everything we handle week in and week out, and with the virus still in circulation we never know what we are going to face. As a result, time seems to fly by. In most cases, we don’t or can’t keep to our routines and schedules like we used to do. I guess it’s a sign of the times.”

Great, just great. The Monday-Friday Syndrome!