Although I’ve found and shared suggestions from fellow writers about how to survive in this fearful time when pushing the elevator button is an act of bravery, the constant news of the escalating virus has me stunned. For the first time, books have not come to the rescue. Oh, I read but without interest; I write but without passion; I listen to stories but without attention. I try to avoid the news but find it necessary.
The world is upside down but we still can communicate, with more zest than a century ago when the H1N1 flu pandemic lasted 15 months and was the deadliest disease outbreak in human history – until now. Government officials keep teasing with 14 day quarantines, and work at home mandates for a month, but history and common sense predict this will be longer. Although by nature I am happy to be on my own, and most times resist the ubiquitous social gatherings, I find I want to connect now, however I can – talking on the phone, writing lengthy emails, texting back and forth, writing now into the void of a blog post.
I am over zealous in following the social distancing mandate, and I have washed my hands into a rough dry state worthy of a Palmolive commercial. I manage all my bills and correspondence electronically, and I’ve wondered if I should stop ordering from Amazon unless I can get more Clorox to wipe down the packaging. I’ve tried eating well with the requisite vegetables ( as long as they last); I’ve tried eating comfort food (cookies have a long shelf life); I’ve tried yoga (in bed), meditation (with a timer), and staring at water (ocean not tap). I cook, I clean, I keep busy when I am not napping. Yet, it doesn’t seem enough to calm my frayed sensibilities.
Music is good as are mindless movies for a while, but I want more. I want what we all want – peace of mind – and immunity.
I have no suggestions, no clever quote or book to ease your mind. My literary hero these days is Dr. Fauci. You know what to do: wash your hands while singing Happy Birthday, hold your breath in the elevator, stay home. For now, I’m in hibernation – wake me up when this nightmare is over.