Dear Darling Ones,
Here we are. This is the end of the COVID Diaries, a project I started on March 19, 2020 out of the need to cope with everything going on. Writing is how I make sense of myself, the world, and my place in it. All of those things needed a lot of words over the last fourteenish months.
When it comes to enduring a global pandemic where 592,000+ people died just in the US I have some advice. Don’t take on the care of your autistic nephew out on bail and battling addiction. If at all possible, don’t have one of your sisters cut you out her life and the lives of The Tibbles you so adore. Maybe don’t end a long term relationship six months into the pandemic. For the love of Ellen Willis,* do not go four and a half weeks without any human contact. Don’t refinance your house. Don’t spend hours and hours flat on your back staring up at the ceiling fan and wondering if maybe death would’t be so bad. Do write your heart out.
Reinvigorating this blog was the best thing I did during my time in quarantine. Last week I was on the phone with a friend and they asked me if I had made the quilt that’s on my bed.
“Ha!” I said. “No. I was gonna learn how to quilt with the sewing machine my sisters got me for my birthday, but I was depressed instead.”
I did not do a lot of things I thought I would do with all my “free” time during the pandemic. I did not learn to quilt. I did not finish revising The Beast. I did survive, and that’s pretty spectacular.
If not for this blog, I am not entirely sure I would be here right now. It got pretty dark back in February. There were so many days where my continued existence didn’t seem to matter to anyone. Not even me. It was so hard to fight the urge to disappear, and writing almost every day was the only thing that made me feel human.
I got through to the other side and I’m so thankful. It’s weird to end the COVID Diaries when the pandemic is far from over. I feel like I need some sort of global Mission Accomplished the Pandemic is Over banner or parade or acknowledgement, but as Sister #2 told me, “It’s never going to be gone.”
So here we come to the end. As I mentioned at the one year point of this project, the project ends once I am fully vaccinated. That’s today, May 26th, 2021, 440 days after my quarantine began. It’s also Stevie Nicks’ birthday which is a marvelous coincidence that feels right and like the universe is out to delight me.
Today before BFK came for CSA**, I started to put some numbers together for a cheeky infographic and promptly burst into tears. I cried for a good long time while looking out the window watching the wind move the leaves in the trees. It’s still too much to contemplate and process, but I made the infographic anyway (if your eyes are old like mine, you can click to make the image bigger).
This is the end. Thank you, Darling Ones, for listening to the screams inside my heart. I appreciate every one of you who reads any of these words. I hope it made you feel something inside your own heart.
Until next time,
*I don’t know about God, but I do know about Ellen Willis and she is my deity of choice.
**We started calling our weekly get togethers CSA six or seven years ago. She’d pick up our CSA share on her way over and then we’d have lunch. For a year or so there we’d have CSA dinner with my brother-in-law Ben. Then we went back to lunches. Then it stopped because, COVID. Now we’re gonna work our ways back into the habit and it will be nice to know I’ll have human contact at least once a week again.