The New Normal

It’s been almost two weeks since we started social physical distancing, and, in my house at least, we’ve finally settled in our new (likely to be long-term) routine.

We’re very lucky in my house: Hubs is working from home upstairs, while I take care of the kids and meals. I’m used to having to entertain the kids for long periods of time (summer breaks), although not being able to go out is definitely an added complication.

So far we’ve been doing a lot of sewing, crafting, baking, and board games. I admit I’m not particularly stressing about their schoolwork right now, since my kids are still in elementary school. While we have no idea how long the schools will be closed, there’s a number of local parents assuming we’re done for the year.

Right now our average weekday looks like this:

5-7am: I get up, walk the dog, drink coffee while catching up on news. Depending on how early I get up, I might work on my WiP and/or brush the dog (fluffy dogs require lots of brushing).

7-8am: Everyone else gets up, eats breakfast, maybe a TV show or video game time.

9am: Hubs “goes to work”; the kids and I play Scrabble (spelling + math) or work on a craft

10:30: Kids play the educational video games recommended by our school board. I work on WiP or chores, depending what needs to be done. Or maybe just stare at my phone in growing horror.

12:00: Lunch then dog walk with the whole family (including Hubs)

1:30: More craft/activity time.

3:00: Free play time for the kids. I start on dinner or stare at my phone some more.

4:15(ish): Kids get fun screen time (non-educational video games or TV). I make dinner, tidy kitchen, etc. Maybe stare at my phone.

5:00: Family dinner.

6:00: Another Family Dog Walk – maybe bring a Frisbee to throw around at the park.

7:30 Start the kids’ bedtime routine, including 1 hour of reading aloud.

8:30: Hubs and I watch TV, craft, etc.

9:30: I read for a bit, then go to sleep.

 

This isn’t to say that our routine is better or worse than anyone else’s. If you’re spending every hour of your day cramming your kids’ brains full of knowledge via homeschool, you rock. If your kids spend the whole day playing video games and watching TV so you can work from home (or stare at your phone and cry), you also rock! These are weird times, and I don’t think there’s any right way to get through them.

If you want to share your schedule (or whatever passes for one), or any ideas you have for keeping kids entertained, put them in the comments. We’re all in the boat, so we may as well help each other out!

Well, That Was Quick

Wow, has the world changed in just the last week.

Schools here are closed, which means instead of writing, I’m basically spending all my time trying to keep my three entertained and fed (this week is technically our March Break, so I’m not at the point of trying to homeschool them yet).

The few opportunities I’ve had to try and get words down just evaporated as I sat there staring at the screen, my mind fixated on the current stranger-than-fiction situation we’re calling real life.

Even the appeal of reading and audiobooks has been dimmed by the pandemic. Two characters shake hands? I cringe. Someone rubs their eyes? I yell, “Don’t touch your face!”

I’m curious what effect this whole thing is going to have on writing (mine and other people’s). Already I’m itching to go through my WiP and remove any instance of my MC touching her face without first washing her hands. And don’t even get me started on how I’d deal with her going out in public to crowded places. (Not to mention the scene that takes place inside a friend’s hospital room!)

For now (or, you know, when I ever manage to actually write again) I’ll leave it as is (especially since my story takes place in a kind of alternate reality where magic is real), but I honestly wonder how future books are going to deal with/reflect what seems to be the new way of life for the foreseeable future.

For now, though, I hope you’re staying safe and socially distant, wherever you are.

Weird Al, Eat Your Heart Out

We all deal with stress and anxiety in different ways, and apparently this is mine. Consider this song the love child of my coronavirus anxiety and my addiction to 80s music (specifically Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody).

Bonus: the first stanza is exactly 20 seconds long – the perfect length to sing while washing your hands.

COVID-19 RHAPSODY

Is this an illness?

Or is it allergies?

Coronavirus

No escape from a quarantine

Open your eyes

Stay out of the skies and sea…

I’m just a poor kid, I have no paid sick leave,

There are bills to pay, I have to go

Fever high, fever low

Everywhere is sold out

Of hand sanitizer and T.P.

T.P.

Mama, I think I’m sick

Shook a hand and gave a hug

Body contact shared the bug.

Mama, outbreak’s just begun,

But now I’ve gone and helped it spread around.

Mama, ooh

Didn’t mean to make you sick

But if I’m not back again this time tomorrow,

Quarantine, quarantine

For fourteen days to three weeks.

Too late, my time has come.

Cold shivers down my spine,

Body aching all the time.

Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go.

Gotta leave you all and now self-quarantine.

Mama, ooh, (everywhere is sold out)

I don’t want to die.

I sometimes wish I’d never gone on that trip.

I see a little bit o’spittle on my hand,

Gesundheit, Gesundheit, will you cough into your elbow?

Lungs and chest are tightening,

Very very frightening, me.

COVID-19 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 (COVID-19)

COVID-19, Corona

Pandemic ahhh-ahhh-ahhh-ahhh!

I’m just a poor kid, without paid sick leave

They’re just a poor kid, with a sick family,

Spare them their life from this monstrosity!

Fever come, fever go, will you let me go?

CDC: No, we will not let you go!  –Let me go!

CDC: We will not let you go!  –Let me go!

CDC: We will not let you go!  –Let me go!

Will not let you go!  –Let me go! (Never)

Never let you go! –Let me go!

Never let me go!

No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go!

The hospital has a face mask put aside for me

For me

For me.

So you think you can stop me from going outside?

So you think staying in will keep people alive?

Oh, maybe, that’s the thing to do, baby!

Just gotta stay home, just gotta keep my germs in here.

Ooh, yeah, ooh, yeah.

Wash your hands with hand soap

For twenty seconds

Wash your hands with hand soap, wash your hands with hand soap

Puh-lease!

Everywhere is sold out

I’m Back (For Real This Time)

That’s right, folks, I am back to my once-a-week blogging schedule. Yay! *Insert Kermit flail here*

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I ended my hiatus there as well, although I’m still trying to limit my time scrolling through posts (which is not exactly easy considering all the coronavirus chaos and my desperate desire to keep on top of news).

But my head is doing a lot better these days. I’ve had fewer migraines, and been able to spend more time on the computer without feeling dizzy or having things go blurry. I’m pretty sure I’ve put in more time on my WiP in the last two weeks than I did in the last two months, which means that maybe – just maybe – I’ll actually be able to accomplish my goal of querying this MS by summer.

I’m pretty sure I owe my newfound productivity to my new migraine meds – and let me tell you, they are definitely worth having to inject myself once a month. So far, even the side effects seem minimal (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.)

I’ll confess I’m more than a little stressed about the coronavirus, as the not-so-proud owner of several chronic health conditions (not to mention an immune system as flimsy as a wet tissue, and the propensity to end up on an inhaler every winter when I catch whatever cold/flu/virus is going around). Plus there’s the little fact that most of my family (except maybe my kids) has an elevated risk by being over 50 or having pre-existing health conditions (or both), and my kids’ idea of washing their hands is waving them *near* a running faucet (we’re working on this one, trust me!)

On the bright side, there are (at the time of writing this) only 20 cases in my province, none of which are in my city, so I’m trying not to dwell on morbid possibilities right now.

Despite getting back to work, I still managed to consume a bunch of books/audiobooks this month:

February Reading Stats

  •  A Mystery (22)
  • YA Mystery (3)
  • YA Horror (1)
  • Re-Reads (3)

February Total: 26 (+3 Re-Reads)

Year-to-Date: 55 (+ 4 Re-Reads)