Lighting A Way Through The Plague

Len at fountain Charlotte

It's been an interesting month. Understatement of the decade?

This picture came from the weekend of March 6 - 8 when I was at the SAGA Conference in Charlotte, NC. Lead organizer and Falstaff Press powerhouse John Hartness supplied everyone with hand sanitizer and advice on how to suppress the spread of germs.

Ten days later, covid-19 was all the news. Starbucks had shifted to half the tables locally. My favored Villainous Grounds put in more hand sanitizers and used them on top of their regular diligence.

A week after that, most things had shifted to drive-thru or takeout online. I can say I did meet my Mom during that period in a smaller town. We sat in a spacious BBQ restaurant for three hours and talked about all sorts of things. I also supplied her with a lot of movies to watch, just in case...

Well, things got bad. Missouri is recommended to shut down non-essentials. Some places are still open, but now practicing top of the line food safety methods. Even if people aren't handling food, they're gloved up and using surface cleaners.

I picked up comics as Villainous Grounds (both a coffee shop and a comic book store--how is that not amazing!). I had to call ahead and wait next to a table outside. Everyone on staff came out, placing prepared snacks in one bag, comics in another. I didn't get to step in the door at all, though I had a lovely discussion about Jonathan Hickman's Decorum. Mike Huddleston's art on this thing is so varied and engaging on this thing too.

We could use varied and engaging right now.

I can't sit in a cafe and type. For at least a couple of weeks, I won't be able to play tabletop games to clear my head. Walking is an option, the only positive option, when it comes to exercise.

That means if I want to write, I have to do it at home. I'm not used to that, though I'm not alien to the idea either. It means I have to adapt if I want to creatively survive.

I know we all struggle in our homes, trapped in the prisons of our minds. Some of us have essential jobs, some have to wait out the crisis. I won't claim any solution to the problem, only a solution to some of the pain.

Find your friends. Call them. Text them. Send them private messages on social media. If someone contacts you, answer, then pay it forward.

Read something. Draw something. Watch something. Allow yourself distractions. There hasn't been a better time to enjoy a good laugh or to feel warm about something.

Rest and stay healthy. This means sleep. It means eat better than you have. The long lines at every fast food window should be a clue that you can have something that tastes similar at home. Bonus, at home, it has fewer calories. I've actually dropped a few pounds in the past few weeks.

Find a new project. This is a great time to love your hobbies and passions.

Don't let a crisis tell you who you are. That's my plan at least.

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