* I have no idea what day of social distancing we're on.
* I guess you could say ours started on March 7th, when Betsy was diagnosed with influenza A. Since she has asthma and a compromised immune system, we all rallied to start our social distancing before social distancing was a thing here. (All I could think was, "Is Covid-19 here, in our town? How disastrous could it be for Betsy if she contracted that on top of the flu?") By March 12, she needed to go back to the clinic. I went with her, and as we approached the front door, I had one of those moments. You've had those moments, too. The moments when you felt the seismic shift? Like you're now living in a movie you didn't want to see? On the door of the clinic was a sign that hadn't been there just two days before when I'd taken Ramona in for an influenza test. (Yeah, she had it, too.) The new sign told us to STOP. Call ahead if a cough is present. Wear a mask. Because I knew Betsy was dealing with influenza, we went in anyway. Should I have done that? I don't know. Shift.
* The first shift I remember was when Atticus and I went to Costco the day before Betsy got sick with the flu. March 6th. The employees were furiously wiping down carts at the entrance and I thought, "This feels weird. It's not really even here in Nebraska yet, is it?" It felt important, though, to stock up on a few things. They still had toilet paper at our Costco, but they were running low. Seeing Costco running out of things? A shift.
* It turns out that March 6 was the day the first Nebraska case was confirmed.
* I can't even remember what day it was in the midst of all this — early on — when I was at Target, thinking, "Maybe I should grab a bottle of hand sanitizer. We might be a little low." (Gone. Nothing. But you knew that.) I saw a man wandering back and forth, in and out of the aisle that normally held Purell or Germ-X. He looked bewildered. As I picked up a bottle of liquid soap, I said, "Washing with soap and water is better than hand sanitizer anyway." He looked grateful but disoriented.
* It's disorienting to have the ground shift beneath your feet. Especially the familiar ground of Target, which is supposed to feel so safe and mundane.
* We're watching Lost with Ramona.
* We all feel lost sometimes. Other days are better.
* Some days I wish I had started a daily diary from Day 1 but I'm just not capable of that right now. It's not how I process, however much I wish it were. Sometimes I need to retreat, be silent for a time. Some days I need to journal about gratitude, other days I need to journal about fear. But I'm not doing either one every single day.
* I try to read, but it's hard for me to concentrate on a book. How did Sawyer concentrate on all those books he read on the beach?
* Working from home is such a blessing and a gift right now. I am so grateful to be a freelancer and also to work for Brave Writer. My work contacts and colleagues and students are a gift to me, now and always.
* I'm grateful for Zoom, and for my friend introducing me to the Marco Polo app.
* I'm grateful for all the people who are still working, providing us with groceries, trash pick-up, mail delivery, boxes from UPS and Fed Ex.
* My girls recently asked what I'll look forward to the most when things are "normal" again, when we can go wherever we want to go. I couldn't really even think of a specific place. It was more of a desire for a feeling. I want to feel like I can run to Target when the only thing I need is dishwashing soap or some Advil. I want to stop in at the store for lettuce. I want the whole world to not have to think about toilet paper. I want everyone to know how brave health care workers are, as well as grocery store clerks and mail carriers. I want people to care about people who are less fortunate than themselves ... people with asthma, and compromised immune systems, people who are in their 60s, people who might die from something that 80% of the population doesn't have to worry about. I want people to stop saying that we should just let this thing run its course so that herd immunity will handle it. Herd immunity might be the ultimate goal, but mass graves being dug in New York tell us that herd immunity doesn't happen overnight. I want decent, compassionate, human, federal leadership. I want to know that everyone believes that every human life is valuable and precious.
* I have no idea how many days of social distancing we have left. But I know that I will do whatever I have to do to protect the people I love, and people I don't even know, and people who are invisibly vulnerable. Because that's what decent human people do.
* It's disorienting to have the ground shift beneath your feet. But regaining balance is what human beings do. We just need to shift our weight a little. We can do this. We can shift.