The world’s near-term prognosis is grim. As for the long-term, it doesn’t bear examining yet. Not by me, anyway. The last time I left the house to run errands without anxiety was March 11th. Two days later, Glen and I went into self-isolation. And now, along with lots of other people, I feel as if I’ve landed in a frightful alien landscape that bears no resemblance to my old way of life. To say the least, it’s concerning.
So, in an effort to stave off daily panic attacks, I’m trying to distract myself with:
1. Things that comfort me. Like baking bread and desserts, cooking, and spending time outside watching the cows and the birds. And with:
2. Things that make me laugh. Because there’s a lot to be said for laughter at a time like this. (Staying away from the latest news makes it easier.) It’s not about minimizing the severity of the pandemic. It’s about saving my sanity.
Some things in the second category:
• This evidence of The Daughter’s inexplicable need to put socks on a stuffed octopus
• The animated series, Simon’s Cat
• Old favorite movies, like Defending Your Life, or new ones, like Crazy Rich Asians
• Books by A.J. Jacobs, Mary Roach, David Sedaris and Peter Mayle, all writers who are humorous and suitably diverting in completely different ways
• The latest pics of The Granddog making himself at home on the furniture. (Those elegant ears! That aristocratic snout!) Navarre is a white German Shepherd, a mere puppy of 6 ½ months and 75 lbs. Someday when this is all over, Glen and I hope to meet him in person.
I wish I could say I’ve also distracted myself by writing, but the latest attempts to work on fiction and poetry have had no results. I can’t concentrate. But the other night when I awoke at 3 A.M. and all the doomsday scenarios started galloping through my thoughts, I began writing the lyrics to a song in my head. And though I’ve got only one verse and the chorus done so far, I’m pleased to say it’s already showing significant promise of being seriously awful.
Well, I went down to the grocery store,
took my place in line.
Stayed six feet from the guy before me,
six feet from the gal behind.
Didn’t need no toilet paper.
All I came for, all I came for . . .
was the wine.
Now I’m stuck in isolation,
so much disaster on the news.
Can’t stop my mind from racin’.
Got the coronavirus blues.
I’m calling it—you guessed it—“Coronavirus Blues.”
All of you must have better ways to distract yourselves than writing the lyrics to bad songs. I would love for you to share them with me, please, because I really don’t want to spend any more time on the abomination above. There’s no big rush, though. Just whenever you get around to it. I’m gonna be hanging out here at the house for a while . . . washing my hands.