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!