I’ve debated whether to post, given the 24/7 cycle of COVID-19 news that makes me want to curl up under a fleecy blanket with Wendy.
Here she is getting ready to nod off, while draped across my legs.
After my entertaining (at times) and insightful (always) experience in the COVID-19 call center (click here and here if you haven’t yet read those stories), I feel rather full up with all things corona. It’s enough that I check my state’s stats twice a day, increasingly alarmed at the rise in positive cases and the obviously ineffective mitigation of community spread. Watching COVID-19 take over Florida is like watching a slow-motion train wreck as it picks up speed.
As an introvert, I’ve come to embrace social distancing. Finally, I can claim my personal space and people cannot judge me for it. It’s been sanctioned by the governor’s Executive Order, no less. I am also working from home now. I was very resistant at first, knowing that the boundary between work and home would become blurred, my and my husband’s privacy invaded by conference calls and Skype meetings.
But aren’t I lucky to be able to work from home? To still have a job? Yes, I am, I am. Will I complain about it? Yes, I will. It’s what I do.
Still, I am grateful for a lot of things right now. I’m deeply grateful for being able to connect with friends and family in multiple ways, to stay in touch and check on each other, to try and shore each other up. I’m also grateful for having a cat who likes to snuggle against my toes while I work.
Still … I plan to do some death-cleaning of my social media accounts. Nothing like a global crisis to make me realize that some of these accounts have gotten a bit out of hand. [Not to worry: If you’re reading this, you’re safe.] Whenever in a crisis, I always want to pare down, live a simpler life, stop trying to be some kind of social (media) butterfly. It’s how I cope. Remember, I’m an introvert.
I’d rather take walks and remind myself that there’s still Nature, although some might say, it is Nature that is doling out this latest public health crisis. Well, Nature has bits of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Fortunately my walks in my neighborhood are graced with plenty of the Good.
On my latest walk around one of our larger stormwater facilities, irises (or Blue Flags as my husbands calls them) were in full display. I considered them a reward since I was picking up trash, and the icing was a lovely white blossom I do not know the name of. A neighbor had the kindness to plant gorgeous Amaryllis next to a sidewalk, making a perfect photo opportunity on my way back to my house. More Amaryllis plants were bordering driveways or houses, too far away for good photos, too close to private property not to be considered trespassing.
As for my writing life, I have the pleasure of announcing a recent publication. You can read about it here, on Merril Smith’s blog, Yesterday and today. Last year Merril sent out a request for essays on sexual harassment so I wrote one and now it’s been published in Sexual Harassment: A Reference Handbook. Dear Reader, I’m even in the Index. Just goes to show that when you are inspired, you must act on it. If I had paused for a second, I wouldn’t be crowing now.
Of course, for any publication to happen again, I need to be writing, and I haven’t really been doing much of that lately. Working at home has only given me an extra hour a day to play with since my commute is now from my bed to my computer in the corner. Still, it’s only been a week and a-half, and I’m just starting to acclimate to my new routine. I will say, though, our cats are getting so spoiled with both me and my husband to pester all day long. And pester they do!
Wendy and I (and Junior and Maxine) hope you all are staying safe and healthy. We will get through this because we must. I send virtual hugs and real love to each and every one of you.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.