Two years ago, the last in-public thing I did was volunteer at my kid’s Girl Scout troop cookie stand. (Those things sell themselves. It’s incredible. People ran across the parking lot, yelling, “THERE you are! I’ll take twelve boxes!”)
There were already COVID cases in New Jersey. Just a couple. Then a few more. And still more. Events started to get canceled (the troop never did take that trip to the Statue of Liberty). I was going to physical therapy for my recently diagnosed disembarkment syndrome, aka MdDS; I canceled my next appointment, because most of the other patients were older and I thought I might somehow endanger them, as though the virus were already everywhere around us. My neighbor and I, on the way back from the bus stop, spoke worriedly about rising case numbers. We were sure the schools were about to close. A day later, we were right. Friday the 13th.
But hey, we could handle this for a couple of weeks, right?
Two years. In New Jersey alone, over 30,000 dead. Hospitalizations keep dropping now, which is great, although the rate of transmission has been ticking back up (not sure how to read that anymore). Fewer and fewer people wearing masks in stores. People talking about “moving on” and “getting back to normal” when I’m not sure anyone understands what “normal” should look like anymore.
Meanwhile, there is a horror show in Ukraine, and people who are “different” (transgender kids and Asian-Americans, for instance) are under increased harassment and attack across the U.S. I hope that’s not what anyone meant by “normal.”
Side note: It’s increasingly frustrating to be querying a novel about a golem fighting antisemitism as actual cases of antisemitism keep rising.
It is totally fine, right now, to not be fine. Things are not fine. None of what’s happening is right, and there are millions of people dead worldwide because of a literal plague that isn’t *actually* over yet, although I hope we’re getting there.
I handle things by making donations to various advocacy/Ukraine aid groups, signing petitions, looking for ways to help people. Not sure it’s enough, but it’s something. When I can, I write. However you’re coping is fine, too.
Two years. But there’s still time to work for better things ahead.