Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 16: Is staying at home just OK?

Finally nearly back to 'normal,' when nothing around us seems quite normal.

We flew back from Tucson to Spokane via Seattle on Friday, March 6, blissfully ready to be home. I was aware of the coronavirus, just enough to be a little nervous when I sat next to a man wearing a mask, one of only two on the crowded plane.

Saturday, we saw the kids and, since we'd been away for a month, did a massive restocking at a relatively normal Freddy's. I celebrated once again, knowing where the pancake turner (and other cooking utensils) in my kitchen were. Sunday, we stopped in at Trader Joe's to pick up a few favorites (chocolate bar, cinnamon bread), and were shocked by the long lines -- packed carts jumbled together at the checkout lines.

Monday, I got the cold. No high temperature, no shortness of breath, none of the other touted symptoms of coronavirus, but I had no stamina at all -- aside for grabbing for Kleenix and resting.

Tuesday, March 10, we began our stay-at-home, just a little ahead of everyone else. Just two-and-a-half weeks later, I'm beginning to feel almost normal, though dear hubby did catch the cold. He's about a week behind me. Then on Monday, March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued a 'stay at home' order -- which leads me to today's question:

Is staying at home just OK?

My answer is except for worrying about people who're losing their jobs, those who are going hungry, and the spread of the coronavirus in general, we're doing fine. Even if the libraries are all closed. Some of my friends, though, are a little stir crazy.

Maybe writers have an advantage? So how are YOU doing? What are your strategies for coping just now? Once I recovered from my cold (which may or may not have been coronavirus), here's what's helped me:

1. ROUTINE. Follow my usual routine of up early, setting goals for the day (which have included filing taxes online, completing the Census online, rescheduling doctor appointments -- now 90 days out!). I still do keep a to-do list, one that just now is far too long.

2. WRITING. Work on some aspect of writing every day. The biggest completed yesterday was reviewing 57 chapters for the final audiobook before pushing that button, "Ready for Publication." Now I get back to work on my current wip and get ready for National Poetry Month, the goal to write a poem a day through April.

3. HOUSEKEEPING. We do order groceries online about every 2 weeks. Is anyone else doing the wipe-down on everything, including that mild soap and water wash for all fruits and vegetables? Aargh. There's always laundry and general upkeep, but not so much to worry about when we've downsized to a small 2-bedroom apartment.

4. NURTURING. Yes, we probably watch way too much news about the coronavirus. We do walk every day up to the pond and back. The redwinged blackbirds have returned. And I'm quilting as well. Finished enough blocks for another comfort quilt. We have movie night about every other day (free movies!), and we're reading. I'm also connecting with friends online and by phone, happy to hear their voices and to know, even when they struggle, they are all doing well.

This morning, a light snow blankets our patio, but the finches are happy. Their feeder is full. I wonder if this is the last snow before true spring and what our world will be like when winter rolls around again.

May you and yours be well. Cherish each day!


  1. Thank you Beth for your wise and thoughtful post. We too are sheltering at home. You inspire me.

    1. Thank you for commenting. Writing about 'real life' didn't seem inspirational to me, but I'm glad you found it so. Whatever we can do to keep our spirits up (and those of others), and find pleasure in small things seems a good path.

  2. I imagine that for people who are used to working from home, not much changes due to the Coronavirus. Except for our worries about others, retirement money lost on the stock market, and being more careful when grocery shopping.

    If anyone just bought enough food and supplies for two weeks (or even one month), the grocery stores wouldn’t look like as pitiful as they are. Not good for us, who can only carry enough (and don’t need more) for one week. I gave up on ever finding hand sanitizer or wipes! We did buy a small, spare container of anti-bacterial dish soap as that’s the only thing we have to clean stuff off (like the door handles to our camper van). And, no, we don’t wipe down everything we buy or clean our produce a certain way. We are careful and wash our hands often.

    Happy to find out you live in Washington State. I had no idea. Take care and stay healthy, now that you got over whatever you had! We only ever get sick after we take a plane.

    1. I think of you often, Liesbet. I talked to someone today who bought 20 pounds of hamburger. 20 pounds??? I couldn't buy even one pound of hamburger last week, and I'm not too optimistic about the coming week. But we will persevere, right? Be well. They still say washing hands is more important than hand sanitizer. But what do we do with our dry hands??? Write!