When my children were very small, and a long walk on the beach was not practical, I used to sing a little ditty I’d invented out of parental desperation: “Mommy’s going to run around, run around, run around. Everybody run around, run around, run around.” We would jog in circles from the living room to dining, past the kitchen and into the hallway to the entry and then back to the living room—all the while shouting that line over and over.
In the mean time, I am weaving.
January I wove three shawls on a blue warp. February I completed a red one. Last Wednesday evening I began winding a purple warp of over 300 ends from my stash with one handspun skein from a spinner just a couple of hundred miles north. Less than 48 hours later I was weaving the first shawl with blues, teals, ands gold. Yesterday I began weaving the second shawl using mostly purple weft. I begin first thing in the morning and continue until after sunset.
The work is going well. These shawls are intended for a group show in December. That gallery is closed just now. The schools are all closed. Events are cancelled. One of our sons is working from home. The other who works in the theater is completely out of work. Gary kept talking about getting fuel for the car, and I stopped him right there. We are not leaving the house except for walks on the beach. Mail will have to pile up at the post office. We have plenty of food in the freezer, fridge, and pantry shelves. I am not hoarding, it’s always loaded. Gary only worries about running out of coffee. I want pasta and jarred tomatoes, coconut milk and pesto frozen at the end of last summer. I have half a bag of onions and a few sweet potatoes, and an entire dozen untouched eggs. When all of this is gone, we will go out to see what we can find.
My husband is 70 and I am 67. Neither of us have health issues except thinning bones. We walk for an hour or two each day on the beach without coming closer than ten or twenty feet from anyone other than dogs. Both of our tenants are over 65. One just had a triple bi-pass. When emergency vehicles showed up yesterday, we feared they were for him, but no. It was another neighbor who is also over 65 and had a heart attack, then a more serious one and was eventually Life-Flighted to a Portland hospital yesterday.
If you or someone you love has a high fever and other cold or flu symptoms, you might just have the flu (colds generally present with only a slight fever, if any) or you might have covid-19. You are unlikely to be offered a test to determine what’s going on because despite what other countries have managed and what the president keeps promising, our country is not yet, after two months, up to speed.
In the mean time, many people should be practicing social distancing. Many local governments are closing schools across the country, restaurants and malls, gatherings of all sorts.
Stay away from public places, avoid touching others or surfaces that others might have touched. Small children are as likely to become ill as anyone, but are unlikely to die. (In over 72,000 closely studied cases, China had no deaths of children under the age of ten.) But children are still carriers while they are sick. They can transmit the disease to more vulnerable populations, and we are all assumed contagious before we are symptomatic and for at least a day or two afterwards. There is also some evidence that even if it does not make a person ill enough to be hospitalized, covid-19 weakens the immune system and makes people more susceptible to other illness.
So be careful out there. Turn to your inner resources. Read. Tell your children stories. Run around the house. Make a mess.
Once the purple warp is completed, I will start another.
I will note that a friend’s son has a fever of 102°. They could not get a test (of course they couldn’t), but have accepted that their child’s having covid-19 is a possibility, and that it has likely spread everywhere. They are self-isolating.