Friday, March 13, 2020

SOL20 Slice #13: Pandemic

I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL20).  
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Upside down, inside out, topsy turvy, whoa!

Just yesterday, everything seemed almost normal. Yes, the coronavirus was a huge topic of conversation, yet it still felt somewhat removed from my life. Everything seemed to be going on as normal. This morning, that changed. My D.C. school is closed until (at least) April 1st. All the schools in my state (Maryland) are closed until then, too. Smithsonian museums are closed. Theater performances are cancelled. My church is hosting a "virtual" service on the next several Sundays.

I am hard at work trying to create a "Virtual Learning Showcase," because our big school event has been cancelled and we want families to be able to see what their children have been doing at school.  


In some ways, as I prepare myself mentally for this unexpected time, I think it is not unlike being home due to a blizzard or hurricane. There's less likelihood of a power outage with this crisis. There's no snow to shovel, no flooded basements or roof leaks with which to deal, no high winds circling around the house. 

I have this amazing quantity of found time for reading, cooking, writing, exercise...anything I want to do at home. I should accomplish great things, right? Slicers, this could be the easiest March writing challenge EVER, with so much time available each day, right?!

Right now, we're all healthy.
We slipped over to visit with our granddaughter this morning - what a pleasure, on a Friday morning. A gift, really.
Right now, we're all solvent.
Everyone in my immediate family has steady income during this crisis.
A gift, for sure.

This is SO strange.

There is this ominous feeling that the worse is yet to come. 

Who will get sick first? Will my son with an auto-immune disease escape this insidious virus? Am I carrying it right now, from all the sick children I've been around at school?

This beautiful world around me - how will it change? 

We are certainly being tested. This pandemic illustrates how interconnected we are. There are no real borders, there are no walls to stop this from spreading. There are no security forces or police to prevent it from getting us. There's just us, beautiful us, taking care of us, in the most basic ways - taking time and care to wash our hands thoroughly. 

Truly, bizarre.

What if this is a time of great learning for us?

We see - what kind of a leader we need as President.
We see - how important it is to have news and information that is trustworthy.
We see - what kind of health care and access everyone deserves to have.
We see - what kind of job security and sick leave everyone deserves to have.
We see - how everyone deserves to have a place to call home.
We see - how important it is to be welcoming and caring to all.
We see - how essential it is to have support services when people are stressed.

Be well, one and all, be well.


  1. It is so strange how quickly things change. Last week the virus seemed still far away. Now Estonia has declared a state of emergency. Right now, at home, it feels like an ordinary Friday. Wha tit will be like next week when we start distance learning- we'll see. I hope you and your family will stay healthy.

  2. That list of things “we see” is so important. Maybe this event is a clarifying, a cleansing one. I’m hopeful. I’d love to attend your church “virtually,” if you’re inclined to share the link. Thinking of your post from a few days ago.

    I’m sorry about your school. No closures here yet, but state debate and state cheer we’re both cancelled. I suspect more cancellations will be forthcoming. And yes, you should have time, but not if you do what I have been doing and stay glued to the information and disinformation campaigns.

  3. You are right- surreal is the only word that fits. I'm across the river in Arlington- maybe I'll see you out there on the canal. "There's just us beautiful us, taking care of us, in the most basic ways"- what a wonderful line. Thank you for sharing.

  4. It is surreal. My school is closed for the next two weeks at least. I do think it will be a time where people will see a lot of those things on your list more clearly.

  5. Your neighboring state-WV- closed schools indefinitely. The statements you end your Slice with are true. This year this community seems more like a family than in past years. We're all leaning on one another for support, for smiles, for relatable memories and I think that's beautiful.