It’s a crazy time. All over the world, people are dealing with the unfamiliar territory of COVID-19, and the barrage of news and information surrounding it. With the slow response from the U.S. administration in the early days of the outbreak, it felt at times like flying in an airplane without a pilot. At times like this, it’s important not to lose our sense of humor.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I’m among the millions that are sheltering in place. It feels a bit like living in a book, or a movie. One called “Contagion” or “Outbreak” or something similar. Store shelves are empty, people are hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and all non-essential businesses have closed. Forget about going out for a glass of wine or a beer, to sit down in a restaurant and have a meal, or even going to work to earn a paycheck. We’re told it’s time to hunker down.
All social events on my calendar from my book signing, to book club, to writers’ group, to my fiance’s music gigs, to getting together with my best friend have been canceled. I’m hunkering down.
But aside from the empty social calendar and the empty store shelves, my life hasn’t changed that drastically. I was laid off from work last summer, so any work I do now is freelance and done at home. The college program I’m currently taking is online, so nothing new there. My writers’ group is exchanging critiques via email. The volunteer work I do interviewing members for the California Writers Club newsletter is done online. I can still get out for hikes and walks with my dog, I just need to stay away from other people. I’m not going stir crazy–yet.
I’m looking at this new way of life without social engagements as an opportunity to slow down a bit, get more rest, and catch up on the things that I usually put aside in favor of doing something social. I’ll do more writing, watch more movies, and play more games with my fiance. Maybe I’ll finally get my office organized!
7 thoughts on “COVID-19: Flying Without a Pilot”
It’s so nice to read something positive for a change! Yes, we’re all going through some big changes, but how we view them can make them more difficult, or easier. The choice is ours. The only exception is for those people who aren’t able to make money because they can’t get sick leave or pay for staying away from work even when our Governor has ordered us to shelter in place. This is where our country has it all wrong. But maybe this Coronavirus will teach us new lessons in how to live, what to do about work, and how to help people get through difficult times. I’m going to try to stay hopeful!
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Nancy, I agree that this is a really difficult time for a lot of people. Not just because of the health scare, which is bad enough, but the impact on the ability of many people to make a living, as you say. Those that work in the gig economy are especially hard-hit because they can’t get unemployment benefits, and many more people work in the gig economy now. I hope they figure out some relief that will help everyone, although I fear whatever they decide to do will not be enough to compensate for the losses most of us are facing.
You are exactly right, Heidi. Time to slow down. Luckily, we have social internet to stay in touch. I hope we use it responsibly and not pass along SF information. Forget politics, let’s just be humans and connect the best we can.
You are exactly right, Heidi. Time to slow down. Luckily, we have social internet to stay in touch. I hope we use it responsibly and not pass along bogus information. Forget politics, let’s just be humans and connect the best we can.
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Sherri, I think we’re all really weary of the bogus information flying around. We all need to be mindful of the information we pass along and do some fact checking before we do to make sure what we are sharing is legitimate. It can be hard sometimes to ferret out the truth, though. Some have gotten really good at bending and/or omitting facts to conform to their story.
I feel as if the whole world has been turned around. Sadly, the infection in our country could have been prevented or at least minimized if we had acted quickly instead of waiting months to respond after it showed up in China. We can only hope that people take it seriously now and act accordingly to prevent further spread of the disease. Time to slow down and shelter i place, as you said, Heidi.
Julie, I agree that the U,S. was slow to act. A few days ago South Korea, Germany and the U.S.. all had cases numbering in the 8,000s, yet our death rate was much higher. This has not been handled well in our country