Ruth Roberts and I “met” on Facebook, introduced by Gail Behrens Day, who understood that we share more than a first name and a birthday. I have appreciated our connection over the years and am grateful for her open sharing today.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus
by Ruth Roberts, the suburbs of Baltimore, MD

Until today, my life hasn’t been affected all that much. I am entering my 6th week of working from home and going to the office for a few hours on Saturday when no one else is there, carefully wiping down door handles, any shared surfaces (coffeemaker) and doing it again on my way out the door.  I work from home often and have for many years, so this was not a big change.

Feeling more than a little helpless to do something useful, I looked around for possibilities. At my son’s request, my daughter and I made masks for the subcontractors who work for his construction company. He could not buy masks anywhere and some of the men were very worried. So we made about 50 until we ran out of supplies.  We still have more on the table to be constructed, but I’ve learned that I am a terrible production worker because I keep changing the design as I go instead of sticking to the one way we know works. Creative juice would be better applied elsewhere. Now that mask wearing is mandatory, back to the sewing machine I go – with the pattern that works.

Because of my age, volunteering was not something I could even consider. (Thanks, COVID-19, for making me feel ancient.)  And not being independently wealthy, I had some decisions to make about where my cash would go, but cash seemed to be all I could really do. There are lots of opportunities to feel I’ve done something to help humans and animals.  I wish, like many people I know, that I could do more. Mostly, I wish our government would do more for people, but that’s a subject for another day.

Today, the reality of the virus came into my house without knocking first and all we can do for the moment is hold tight and hope it’s not COVID-19 or if it is, not a bad case.  My daughter, who has shouldered the shopping duties as needed and forbidding me to go to a grocery store, woke up this morning with a bit of a fever, a scratchy dry cough and tightness in her chest. Is it the virus? Or muscle tightness in her chest because she pushed 15 wheelbarrows of dirt to the garden yesterday? At this point, we will assume it is the virus and act accordingly. Our county has no testing available right now even if her symptoms were more severe. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it? Luckily, Maryland is one of the states with better systems than many and a governor with a brain. So Molly will isolate until we know for sure, and here we go. Life in the time of Coronavirus.

Photo by Ruth Roberts

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