Perceptions of time.
In my part of the world we are beginning our third week of shut-down. On the calendar the past fourteen days look like nothing at all, but in real life it feels like forever since I attended a church service, met a friend for coffee, or popped into the grocery store without lining up.
Perception of reality
I feel like the news reporters at CBC are my new best friends. I spend more time with them than my actual friends. Interesting to watch the fluffy-haired blonde reporters turning into bed-head brunettes. Vik Adhopia is bald so his style has not been affected. Who knew hair loss would be an advantage?
Our Prime Minister (who is practising self-isolation because his wife was infected with COVID-19) appears on television every morning with the latest word from government. There have been missteps along the way, but when one considers the enormity of the task I have to take my hat off to the elected politicians and to the civil servants who are rolling out massive bailout packages at a phenomenal speed.
Websites must be built to handle millions of applications all at once.
Personnel must be deployed to process all those millions of applications within ten to fourteen days.
When one is waiting for the money, that seems a very long time, but from the administrative side, that is lightning fast.
Perception of Nature
At a time when the virus is making us close in, hunker down, and worry, spring has still come to my part of the world. While the virus narrows our outlook, spring appears with open hands, flinging beauty far and wide, free of fear or restraint. I found this lovely lady at the end of my street yesterday. I share her with you and hope your heart will lift as mine.
Perception of Kindness
There are many examples of kindness to be found just now. Children put hearts in the windows to say thank you to essential workers. Residents bang pots and pans at shift change at the hospital, to say thank you to medical staff. Our local distillery started making hand sanitizers instead of gin and a local delivery company offered to distribute them to fire halls and emergency rooms. Neighbours are helping neighbours — I’ve picked up groceries for some of my housebound friends–families are finding imaginative ways to keep in contact with relatives in nursing homes.
Perception of Writers
On the writerly front, many authors and groups of authors are offering free classes, free critiques and free jokes to help writers through this trying time. Close to home, the creative academy, has thrown open their virtual doors and opened up conversations with authors–about writing, about selling, about covers, about self-publishing — just about anything you can name. Three cheers for them.
Another example I found is on Writer Unboxed — you know I’m a fan of that blog. They have taken up the blight of debut authors who have had their book launch events cancelled. Under the tag of Helping Fellow Authors in the Age of COVID 19, they have invited debut authors whose events have been cancelled to pitch their book on Writer Unboxed. Writerly kindness in spades!
Perception of a hero
A crisis brings out both the best and the worst in people–those of you emptying the shelves of toilet paper, just stop it!
But there are many more examples of individuals, companies and governments going flat out to help their neighbours. Kudos to all of you, and especially to authors. While we’re all stuck at home, we need stories. We need writers to take us on a journey of the imagination. We need writers who make us laugh, writers who make us cry and writers who show us the possibilities beyond today.
As I heard a closed restaurateur remark from his closed business, “chin up.”
If you’ve got a COVID-19 story–it can be funny or profound or heartwarming– please share in the comments below.