I am in the risk group for the coronavirus–over 65, diabetic, asthmatic, history of CHF–and several places I’ve read recommend self-isolation for that group.
The changes that I would have to make to do that are zero.
I used to kick and scream when they’d ask me to do book tours. “Agents are always asking us to send their writers on tours,” my editor said. “What’s the problem?” “Nobody ever became a writer to meet people,” I told her. Terry Pratchett has a great quote that I thought summed up my life, something about some people being very difficult to imprison. Lock my front door so I can’t get out, and I wouldn’t realize it until Thursday, aka The Day I Have To Talk To People. It’s okay, the people I have to talk to are my therapist and Maria at the pharmacy counter at Walmart, but still, people. On the other hand, it’s the only way to get Diet Coke and bok choy.
So I’m nicely self-isolated with three interesting dogs, more yarn than any one person could use in a lifetime, and the best office for me (MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone, old school graph paper and a thousand fine point Sharpies in a thousand colors, most of them black, all clustered around a bed with a bay window, chocolate, and lots of light), and I realize I’m almost out of Diet Coke. I run on Diet Coke. I know there is nothing in the stuff to fuel me, it’s basically chemicals, carbonation, and water, but I need Diet Coke. I have a back-up of Diet Vernors which is wonderful, but it’s not Diet Coke. (The “diet” part is for the non-sugar, not losing weight; I’ve given up on that.)
I’m going to have to go out to get Diet Coke and therefore risk the coronavirus. It’s really that sad, I’ll risk death to get my DC fix.
Except I don’t actually believe I’ll get it. I’m going to an elementary school basketball game this weekend, so aside from the grocery, that’s the only people-crowd I’ll be in, assuming my grandchildren do not give me the plague, and other than that, the life of a writer (my kind of writer anyway) pretty much precludes getting close enough to other people to inhale germs. We’re not huggers, we’re watchers.
So what I’m wondering is, am I just in denial? Because it goes both ways: give me an article on any disease and I’ll swear I have it. I am so suggestible that last week when I was at the doc’s for a routine check-up, some woman in the waiting room was talking about how people with a cough should wear a mask. I did not have a cough when I arrived, and I did not have a cough when I left, but sitting there in the waiting room under her disapproving eye, I coughed up a lung. So I figure I’m must more likely to assume I have it than to deny it, but the problem is the symptoms–mostly respiratory like shortness of breath–are the same as asthma and allergies, which I have most of the time. I could have it RIGHT NOW . . .
No, I couldn’t. That’s ridiculous.
So how are you all coping? Is it affecting your life at all? Are you wearing masks and waving to people from a distance? Are you wondering if you’ve ended up in a disaster movie full of people looking serious and worried, or have you been wondering that since the election anyway so this is just more of the same? Do you have enough Diet Coke?
Talk to us. We need to know that Argh Nation is safely in lockdown with plenty of food, water, books, and (according to your needs) dogs, yarn, and chocolate. Be careful out there, people. It’s virus-y.