Who knew in February what our lives would be like in May? It’s almost surreal, like a bad science fiction novel or B-rated movie.
December 31, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of 41 patients with a mysterious pneumonia, most connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
January 20, the first US case is reported in Washington state.
January 30, WHO declares a global public-health emergency. Things move forward with a California person dying on February 6. WHO names the virus Covid-19 on February 11. Cases start to spike in South Korea, Italy and Spain.
March 7, I got on a plane and flew to Hawaii to visit my daughter.
March 8, Italy places all of its residents on lockdown.
March 15, I was changing my plane tickets and flying home with my husband to Colorado. I wanted to stay in Hawaii. He had to get back to work. My kids insisted I “act like an adult and come home.”
Life As We Know It Has Changed
Things snowballed after we got home. “Stay at Home” orders were put into place. My husband moved his office into the guest room. We’ve learned to work around each other’s Zoom calls. Trips to the grocery store to have someone load groceries into the back end have become adventures. We wear masks, because that’s what you do to protect other people. We miss our family and friends and colleagues.
And now we’re emerging and entering the “Safer at Home” phase. Unfortunately, being in the high-risk category that means continuing to stay at home for…a while. Having witnessed first-hand how terrible this disease can be, we’re listening.
Looking at the Positives
I figured there have to be some good things coming out of all of this, so I’ve made a list.
1. I have four cancelled trips worth of plane tickets stashed away for next year. One writer’s retreat, two cancelled graduations and an Alaska trip with our son and his family that I should be packing for. Maybe we can combine them to go someplace really special next year?!
2. I’ve gotten better at cribbage. I think I’m now tied with my husband for overall wins.
3. We Zoom with the kids every Sunday. I don’t expect it will last forever, but it’s been great spending time apart together. We have six kids and two grandchildren, plus their significant others. It’s like a party!
4. I’m mastering new technology. Who knew I would become a Zoom master?
Bottom line, I’m busier than I’ve ever been. Which ties back to #4 and how it pertains to my day job and volunteer work. And when better than during a pandemic to have my mysteries re-released by Sharpe Books?
So How Does One Stay Sane?
I have a suggestion. Based on all the YouTube videos that people have sent me, it seems anyone can create a video these days. Tik Tok videos are all the rage. So why not try your hand at a parody like these women did?
Of course, everyone’s offering all sorts of suggestions. This list in USA Today has a lot of great ideas. Here are a few, but the list is worth checking out if you have time on your hands.
1. Complete a puzzle. I think Robin Burcell likes puzzles.
2. Start a journal. Tom Colgan has this locked up. We’re into Day 70+ and he just keeps getting funnier.
3. Need some excitement? Text all your exes, just in case you have something more you want to get off your chest.
4. Watch all the really old long movies you’ve been avoiding up until now. Lee Goldberg likely has suggestions. Wes and I have tried watching a few, with definitely mixed results.
5. Teach yourself a foreign language. Okay, I admit. I did this, too. I dusted of my old Swedish language tapes and confirmed that jag förstår inte.
And my personal favorite:
6. Treat yourself to a facemask. They’re talking about mud!
So, tell us dear Readers, what are the positives you’re taking away, and what fun thing have you done while quarantined?