How I’m Coping With the Pandemic

About 4 months ago, our school district shutdown and we started school from home. About a week after that, our mayor, and then our governor, shut down the county and state, respectively. About a month and a half ago, reopening in our county began. It wasn’t looking good, but it wasn’t horrendous, either. I was actually getting quite excited about all the things I might be able to do in July. Like go to the beach or take my kids to the zoo. Basically anything to get them out and about, at least a little. I had been cautiously optimistic that the numbers would stay low, that it would be kind of okay to venture out now and then. It kept me going.

During my break, I posted another entry in my Safer at Home Order journal for my kids. I don’t promote them in any way anywhere because those entries are for my kids, but, in this case, I need to reference #8. In it, I wrote about how our daily case count shot up to well over 2000 almost every day for a week. It was right before the end of June, right before I was thinking maybe the zoo would reopen in the next couple of weeks and I could take my kids to look at animals. But, no, things started to shut back down. And I couldn’t help wondering how much longer this will go on for, how much longer will it take for people to get a clue.

About 50% of our cases are in the 18-40 year old age group, probably more. There’s a bitter and spiteful part in my heart that hopes they start dying so they finally realize this is serious and will start to faithfully wear the face covering the state mandates everyone wears when not at home and keep at least 6 feet away from the people they don’t live with. I’ve finally gotten to my angry point, the point where I want to yell out my window at everyone to just wear a mask and keep away from each other so those of us who have underlying conditions and can’t see beloved family members because they have basically no immune system (my mom has an autoimmune disorder called myasthenia gravis that means she will die if she gets this so I can’t see her) want to be able to live our lives again, too. But then I have to calm down, find peace and hope in my heart. It won’t do my kids any good if they see Mom getting angry and scared.

So, I’ve retreated to my happy places: books and the kitchen. Instead of going on and on about all the ______ people not following the health orders, I’ll instead ramble on about what’s getting me through this.

Books

I’ve discovered there are two genres that are really helping me these days: high fantasy and women’s fiction.

The fantasy doesn’t surprise me. It’s been my happy place since my early teens. I adore magic and fantastical worlds I can only wish were real. It usually doesn’t take place on Earth, so I can really feel transported to somewhere else, which usually has greater problems than we do here. I mean, so much of it feels like a battle between life and death where death seems more certain. And not a death in a hospital smelling of disinfectant with people trying to keep you alive, but at the end of a sword or on a battlefield where you’re impaled 10 times or have your head chopped off. Seriously, that just sounds so much worse to me than getting a virus that may or may not kill me. I think I would most certainly die on a battlefield and have a, oh, seventy-five percent chance of perishing on a quest. Yeah, I don’t think I’d survive some of the things the characters I read about doing. Like the ones below (reviews coming in July and August).

ashes of the sunBook Review: The Unfettered Child by Michael C. Sahd - an updated review of this fantasy novel featuring familyBook Review: Or What You Will by Jo Walton - a fascinating fantasyNovel Excerpt: Umbral Ten by Douglas Murphy - a dark fantasy

What does surprise me is the women’s fiction. It usually takes place on Earth, either a cute small town or a large city. One of the books I read recently (review coming in August) had the last section of it take place in March 2020, with no mention of a pandemic! But, women’s fiction does tend to be cute and breezy. They’re easy reads that are more focused in the characters than the setting, so I can imagine it takes place not during a pandemic. Maybe I also need some sappy romance in my life? Eh, it’s probably because they’re just such easy reads that I can do 3 in a week and feel accomplished in how quickly I’m reading. Like the ones below (reviews coming in July and August).

vanessa yuBook Review: What You Wish For by Katherine Center - a cute, easy women's fiction novelthe friendship list

The thing that makes me saddest, though, is that I find little to no enjoyment in mysteries and thrillers. I guess I just need something lighthearted or full of magic to keep me going. Mysteries and thrillers twist my mind too much and drop me too heavily into the here and now and all the bad stuff that happens in the world.

Baking

Well, I tried, but my kids have no interest in baking right now. Just in eating what I bake. On the first day. Only. At least I can still find joy in baking. Or maybe I just feel like I can hide out from my kids when I’m the kitchen. It seems to be a surefire way of telling them to play on their own for a little bit. Though I would love to have them baking away with me.

It doesn’t seem to really matter what I bake, though I’ve been having a great time playing around with the bread ratio. In the past couple of months I’ve made so many buns that I’m surprised I haven’t sprouted a third one myself. Anyways, I’ve been on a bit of mug cake kick as well. Yes, you can ratio bake mug cakes! I’ve got an upcoming post all about it. Of course, I’m really only making chocolate.

IMG_20200608_112929

I’ve been baking at least once a week since the pandemic started. Scratch that. I typically bake at least once a week. Period. My husband does the grocery shopping every 2 weeks and flour is usually on his list. Well, in my defense, he likes to make his own pizza dough, which uses a lot of flour. But I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve been making cakes, bagels, buns, cookies, pudding…

Meringue cookies AKA leave it and forget it cookiesIMG_20200601_121510IMG_20200602_184506IMG_20200623_191746

 

So, that’s how I’ve been coping, hence the changes to this blog to reflect that. How have you been doing?

9 Comments

  • brookejcutler

    Omg. Yum. ❤️ Books and food. Those are definitely amazing ways to cope with a pandemic! ☺️xx

  • Lisa R. Howeler

    I’m so sorry to say this but please don’t wish death on people. Some of them are selfish but some of them really don’t believe that this is as serious as the media says it is — right or wrong. By getting bitter toward them you will lower your immunity and they won’t even be phased because — well, they don’t care. Keep yourself safe as well as you can and realize, as I have had to, that we just can’t control what others do — only ourselves. You might have to remind me of this in the future!

    • kat

      I can’t say I haven’t wished people to die, but it’s not often. Just when my husband puts on the news and there’s story after story of young adults gathering and putting people at risk. It breaks my heart to know so many families have lost so much and people are pleading for others to take precautions to save them the pain of losing a loved one, but people will do whatever they want. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, younger people in my county are testing positive, being hospitalized, and a few have died, so the young adults my husband works with are now more inclined to wear a mask. Our numbers are supposedly looking better now, so maybe they’re starting to learn or maybe it was just all the bars having to close again. Either way, I know people need to learn things in their own time in their own ways. Most of the time I can sigh it off, but sometimes I just miss spending time with my mom so much.

  • jennifermzeiger

    I probably wouldn’t survive very long on a quest either! Reading is definitely one of my escapes as well. =) I’ll have to check out your reviews on these books for more reading ideas. Hang in there, Kat.

    • kat

      It’s fun to think about stepping into a fantasy novel, but I’d probably panic and kill myself two minutes in. Reading about them has definitely been an amazing escape. What a lovely way to leave the world behind now and then!

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