Blogging During A Pandemic

Ordinarily on Tuesday mornings I post about my genealogy research. I have such a post ready for today, but decided that I needed or wanted to write about the present, not the past, today. Often when I am researching a relative from the past, I wonder how they coped, what they felt, what they thought during some personal or public crisis—during wars, the Holocaust, the Depression, the flu epidemic of 1918, and so on. Today I thought I would share with my future descendants answers to those questions for me and my family regarding the current pandemic.

First, let me say that so far everyone in my immediate family has been symptom free. We may be infected, but we have no way of knowing at this moment. My grandsons, my daughters, our son-in-law, my husband, and I are fine. So far. And our extended famiy members and our friends are also fine. So far. Most importantly, my vulnerable 89 year old mother is safely locked down in her wonderful and loving assisted living facility. It’s terrible that I cannot visit her, but it’s also the smart and ethical thing to do. And we have all been able to Skype with her—which she seems to love. As long as she knows we are here and thinking of her and have not just walked away, I can sleep at night knowing she is safe. So far.

Of course, all those “so fars” are what makes much of this so nerve-racking. No matter how strictly we stay isolated away from others and how often we wash our hands, no one is suggesting for a minute that we won’t all end up getting the virus. All they are saying is that doing these things will slow down the progress of the spread so that doctors and nurses and hospitals will be more able to handle the flood of cases. So am I anxiety-free? Hardly. Is anyone?

On the positive side, I am just so proud and impressed by my daughters. Our younger daughter has had a terrible week in so many ways. She’s been training for the Boston Marathon for months, only to have it postponed until September. She was supposed to go to Florida for five days. That trip was canceled. And yesterday she learned that because all the restaurants in Massachusetts have been ordered to close, she will be out of work until they can re-open. Yes, each of these disappointments upset her, but with her usual optimism and strength, she has quickly rebounded and found the positive. She noted that running in September means she can celebrate her birthday when we are all in Boston to watch her cross the finish line. She has been surrounded by love and support from her incredible network of friends and her family and feels so grateful to them all. And when confronted by the reality of losing income for some unknown period of time, she remarked with her characteristic wit, “Well, with all the restaurants, bars, and stores closed, I will be spending a lot less money anyway.”

There have been lots of disappointments. My grandsons were looking forward to a trip to St Martin with their parents. Canceled. Grandparents Day at their school. Canceled. A performance by our older grandson. Canceled. But they also have taken these disappointments in stride—upset, but accepting the wisdom of those decisions. Our son-in-law celebrated his birthday this week—no fancy dinner out, no celebration with friends. But he found joy in being home with his family, sharing a homemade cake. If you look closely at each disappointment and how we respond, you will find that love and gratitude will quickly help you forget that disappointment.

Our older daughter has taken on the role of being our protector. Weeks ago before we were getting any really clear guidance from the government, she was warning us that we should not go to Florida in March as we had planned. She begged, pleaded with us, not to go. But we, being the stubborn teenagers in this scenario, pooh-poohed her concerns. After all, we consulted four doctors (yes, really. Four different doctors.), and all told us we shouldn’t cancel the trip, that we would be fine. Our daughter was apoplectic. The night before we left (yes, we did go), I couldn’t sleep. I knew she was right. But we went.

We practiced as much self-isolation as we could.  We didn’t see people. We walked, and we sat on the beach. We didn’t eat in restaurants unless there was outdoor dining. But after four days of anxiety, we decided it was just too much. There were rumors that all domestic flights would be canceled. So we left. We came home. Our daughter had been right all along.

I don’t want to make this political, except to say that I wish that my two daughters were in charge of our government. Where is the compassion, the honesty, the directness, the sense of hope tempered by the sense of urgency and wisdom that we all have needed since January when the first news of the viral spread in China was published?

So now we are home.  We are trying not to panic. We are not hoarding toilet paper or food or water. We have what we need. So far.  We are staying in touch with our family and our friends. We are grateful for modern technology, which allows us to see each others’ faces, hear their voices, read their words.  We are reaching out to others, and others are reaching out to us. That part feels good.

But the physical isolation is hard. How I wish I could hug and kiss my daughters and my grandsons. And my mother. I am worried about them all, and I am worried about my friends. And yes, I am worried about my husband and me. I know the worst is yet to come. And no, I am not ready for it. But we have no choice.

Stay home, everyone. Be wise. Be compassionate. Do the ethical thing, and keep away from others as much as and as best you can. Find love and gratitude even in these dark days.

 

 

 

52 thoughts on “Blogging During A Pandemic

    • How are things out there? I think we are all looking to the Seattle area as a way of predicting how this will affect our own communities. Are things settling down? Are people hoarding? Are you in lockdown there?

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      • It’s pretty crazy out here. I am up north of Seattle in Bellingham actually and all has shut down. The shelves are basically bare of most necessities now. Things are not settling down but escalating. Not an official lockdown order yet but I anticipating it coming.I had hit the grocery about 2 weeks ago and things seemed pretty calm. Yesterday I felt I should go out and just a pick up a few other things …like vegetable seeds 🙂 only to be shocked at the difference that permiated my whole experience. I was glad to get out early in the morning and home. I just had news this afternoon a grandson, his pregnant wife, 1 child tested and waiting results (Abilene, TX) They’re quarantined. Daughter and entire family spreading 3 households all exposed and facing uncertainty now. (Oregon City, OR) Keeping positive and calm

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, dear, Sharon. I am so sorry to hear about your grandson and his family. I know that the odds are that people in their age group will be fine, but I am sure that you are anxious. Please keep me posted on how they are doing. And stay safe and healthy.

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  1. Hugs, Amy. This is strange new territory for all of us. The economic realities of what is going on and may lie ahead is almost as frightening as the illness itself. If nothing else, this situation has given me the worst monkey mind–thoughts impossible to harness and an inability to focus. My worries for my kids on top of “the world,” “the community,” Mom, friends, and ourselves. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, yep, yep. On all of those. So I am trying to do my best to focus on each day and staying in touch and staying away from people, as contradictory as that may sound. Stay healthy!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Amy, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about what is happening. We are living in difficult times for many reasons. You are lucky to have so much immediate family even if you can only communicate by computer. Has the pandemic hit your part of Massachusetts yet? It is here in MD and DC.

      So many meetings and activities here in MD and DC have been cancelled. I expect to learn to use Zoom and some meetings have been scheduled that way. Libraries, like so many other things, are closed which for me means my substitute jobs are cancelled. I live alone and have a tenant scheduled to move in April 1. I wonder if that will be possible and whether she will still be working as she works in an aquarium store that may have to close.

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      • There are not many confirmed cases in our area yet, but many in Boston. Without testing, how do any of us know who or how many have already been infected? Stay safe and away from those meetings, cousin!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy, thanks for your note, yes these are special times and we all need to take advantage of home time…like all the snow storms we did not get this year…but fireplace going strong! Sorry we did not connect last summer on the cape, should this allow us that opportunity this summer I would like that. Take continued good care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steven—you’re right. There are some advantages to being home (but so far I’ve gotten little done on the list of things to do!). But with snow days it ends after a few days at most, and we can go out without worrying about getting sick. It would be great to see you on the Cape this summer—keep me posted!! Stay healthy!!

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  3. As is always true, I love your writings. This time xtra special because we are all living it! Many good lessons and reminders in this one. And hope one day your kids do hold office!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Donna! How are you and Steve and all the kids big and little doing? I know you’ve been cautious, and I hope you and everyone stays safe and healthy. Hoping we get to be in Florida more another time… Best to all of you!

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  4. Amy, thank you for your note, certainly appreciated during these difficult times. I am sorry I did not reach out to you last summer so we could have met on the cape…maybe this year if that ends up being a possibility. So at this time we will enjoy being home…our snowstorms that we never had this year, so taking advantage with a nice fire going. Take care.

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  5. Hi Amy, thank you for the blog, it was wonderful to read about your family and all the best to your youngest daughter and her efforts for the September Boston Marathon. People are beginning to
    isolate a little here now in the UK and work from home, common sense has prevailed. We seem to have finally caught up with the rest of Europe, although our health service will be stretched to the limit. Every cloud has a silver lining though, one food store chain has introduced a Senior’s only hour at 8am every day which gives them first grab at the bathroom essentials. Scary times.

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    • I am glad to hear that the UK is also waking up. Having leaders like Trump and Johnson hasn’t helped matters. Please stay safe and healthy, my dear friend.

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  6. This pandemic is a wake-up call to all people, nations and their governments to work together to beat the coronavirus, the common enemy. Panicky behaviour does not help, rather we need calm and decisive action to find a solution to this worldwide problem.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for posting this Amy. I have been thinking about all my fellow bloggers and how you are all coping, so it is good to know that your family is still well and relatively ok. Your daughters do sound like wonderful young women (why am I not surprised?), and I hope there are many more like them who will before too long take control of this world before it it too late.
    Stay safe and well.
    Nga Mihi Nui

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy, Good for you and your family. Focus not on what if but the when. As I write this trials of a vaccine are already in progress. As a recluse I am here to tell you that quiet time and time apart can lead to greater spiritual development. It also sharpens the senses and faculties. You’ll find when you rejoin the company of other people, not only will there be gratitude. You will see them anew and be very aware of their needs. Or you may be more in tune with your ability to sense what is going on with them at a deeper level. It all comes down to how the quiet time and solitude is used. You and your family are in my thoughts. Please continue to provide updates when you feel the need. I have just done the same at my blog. We are a family of friends here at WordPress. Let’s encourage each other onward and forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Emily. I am also an introvert and can often stay inside and work on my research for a full day without even noticing. I have had to schedule activities out of the house (not now, of course) to ensure I get some human contact and fresh air! So being home is fine with me. And there truly is something about quiet that is spiritual. I don’t even put music on. I just love silence.

      And yes—we have developed a blogging friendship community. We are all experts at being friends without actually being in the same room! So for us,, virtual communications are the norm. 🙂 Be well, be safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post, Amy. We also went away last week and the day before we were to come home, we just decided to leave as we needed to be home. It is so unsettling to be away at times like this. Of course we are pretty locked in our house now but have everything we need. What has struck me is how unprepared people are for an emergency whether it be food, medical supplies,or toilet paper.

    My granddaughter is a senior in high school and so looking forward to all of the end of year activities which are slowly being cancelled. School has been cancelled until April 24 and longer if things don’t improve. Her final season of club volleyball is all but cancelled. It breaks my heart to think about her not having a graduation ceremony but I know if that happens, she’ll get through it. I’m so thankful that my family is all safe and coping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel for your granddaughter. This is all so hard, but yes, everyone’s health is the most important thing. We have three weddings this summer starting May 31. The bride in that first wedding sent an email today saying it looks likely they will postpone. So sad. But…better safe than sorry.

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  10. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    https://thatmomentintime-crissouli.blogspot.com/2020/03/friday-fossicking-20th-mar-2020.html
    Thank you, Chris

    Thank you, Amy. Such a heartfelt post and expressing what so many of us are feeling… uncertain times, but the human spirit does not give in or give up. This shall pass, hopefully sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, we are so fortunate that we have so many more means of communication than our ancestors did. So isolation isn’t near as oppressive as it would have been in earlier times.
    Wishing you, your family and all our fellow bloggers, safe and healthy days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Friday's Family History Finds | Empty Branches on the Family Tree

  12. Wow – I just had time to read this. Such an impressive post. Your daughters sound like strong, capable, and wise women! I hope your family continues to be untouched by the virus and am glad you and your husband made it home from Florida. Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s important to document these unprecedented times. We would have wanted our ancestors to do the same. I’m keeping a journal where I can record the events as they unfold (although it’s a depressing endeavor).

    I live next to an assisted living facility. They’ve closed the facility to external guests (family, friends, etc.), but they’ve been hosting events each week. They bring in musicians (a bagpiper, a 40’s big band) who perform in the back garden, so the residents can watch from their windows. The creativity in how life moves on is quite moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a nice idea! I am going to suggest that to my mom’s place. They have a fenced garden behind their common area and could do something similar. Thanks, Michael.

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