Friday, January 21, 2022

How are my characters dealing with Covid?

How are you dealing with the COVID pandemic in your contemporary novels/short stories? Not as a political statement or polarizing pro/con mask stance, but the way the COVD virus effects the day-to-day lives of your characters and appears within the story’s plot line?

 The answer is easy.  I am not dealing because my current work in process is set in Kansas in 1953.  Polio has been conquered, along with most childhood diseases. 

My discussion will be about how I am handling Covid.  My husband and I are are both elderly, and when the vaccine came out and the closest vaccination spot was announced, my poor husband spent a week on his computer trying to get appointments.  The computer program was exceedingly cumbersome.  Maybe developed my morons.  In another life I programmed mainframe IBM computers, and feel myself qualified to critique any program for structure and user friendliness.  Believe me this had neither.  After hours in front of his computer some spots finally opened up.  Bu the time he had signed  himself up, they were all gone.  A few days later, still  glued to his computer, he got me an appointment.  The vaccination spot was a huge football stadium with lots of interior space for events.  

Unlike the sign-up program, everything moved with military precision at the stadium, and we made appointments for the second dose of the vaccine.  My husband got his first and felt a little under the weather.  I had a reactionsuch that I simply felt so bad I couldn't get out of bed,  Only lasted a day.  We had  boosters with no issues at the local pharmacy, but again, their computer program harkened back to the dark ages.  No reactions to the boosters. 

About the quarantine:  fortunately we live in Massachusetts, which has one of the highest vaccination rates.  And everyone wears a mask whenever one is indoors with other people.  It has become second nature. Do I like it?  No.  My glasses fog up all the time.  Do I do it?  Always.

I recently became the wearer of hearing aids.  With glasses, a mask, and hearing aids, and sometimes a headband, I must be super-carefiul.  The first time I left a building and ripped off my mask en route to the car, my hearing aid popped out and fell on the pavement.  Now I am more careful to the point of being paranoid. 

We have had house guests, all fully vaccinated, and we have eaten out several times including Christmas dinner in a smallish French place.  No issues.  That's because most citizens in MA are vaccinated.  

But not seeing a lot of friends and family has weighed on me. I have not seen our  oldest son and granddaughter for two and a half  years due to the danger of flying in the time of Covid.  I  stopped writing for nearly a year.  Just couldn't seem to plant butt in chair and open the novel file. My book languished.

   Nowadays I find myself overly emotional, ready to cry at the drop of a hat, and I have been reviewing my life and focusing on painful events and setbacks. We watch Netflix a lot.  And Football.  And Golf.  And Skating.  And Soccer.  

One of the positive things I've done is to join a class for seniors titled, "retraining your  aging  brain." Another class is balance training which I do at the senior center and for  PT.  Both have helped.  I have done some things uncharacteristic of me,  gutsy things that most lifelong introverts would avoid.  Helping Afghan refugees;  spearheading an effort to find a mssing neighborhood cat; and raising hell about the felling of numerous healthy trees in our neighborhood.  Not like me at all.  

So, who is she, this new person I have become?

Finally, I am back at my writing-for-four-plus-years  novel.  It doesn't read as badly as I thought.  This year's only resolution is finish it.    

Read what my fellow writers have to say about today's topic.  They always have great posts.

 Rhobin Cartright:




  1. Oh Judy, this all sounds so very familiar. while my DH and I have been far less restricted (and have family nearby) I recognise much of what you say. My own major reaction has been 'hibernation'. the brain thinks 'you can't do that, take out another Georgette Heyer and make anothe coffee' when actually, there are now a load of things one can do post vaccination. Do stay safe, but enjoy the sorties from the comfort zone, too. Anne

  2. Hi Judy! I understand your position. I've not worked or worked very little on my works in progress. My sisters, son, daughter-in-law, and daughter are all fully vaccinated w/boosters, but my daughter still got Covid (recovered). But neither of my brothers got vaccinated. What's wrong with their minds? Regardless, it is a strange new world.


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