Monthly Archives: March 2020

Day 15 of Isolation


Unbelievably, my husband and I are getting used to staying home sequestered inside, and the fear is slowly subsiding.

Though we have a new evolving schedule and rhythm, and a lot is different, some things stay the same, like walking Daisy the dog around the block in the morning, and taking short hikes with her in the afternoon. These are the same, except that we have to step out and away from the path to keep the 6-foot distance when someone comes the other way. Of course there aren’t too many other people walking on our routes – our neighborhood, the conservations lands, the lake paths. Thank goodness for fresh air, lake, woods, and quiet time.

What’s different now:

  • obsessing over the news every morning, a bad habit I am trying to break. How about reading a lovely hopeful poem or writing one? I say to self.
  • Exercise class on youtube instead of at the Y
  • Ordering groceries to be delivered instead of going to the store
  • Seeing our kids and grandkids on Zoom instead of in person
  • Seeing friends and other groups on Zoom – some of these, like the writing group, is working well. We can see each person’s face, and it feels almost more interactive than sitting around the table together.

Another difference is our greetings to neighbors. We’re still here! We’re still okay! How are you? we say, more heartfelt now even with people we don’t know. This morning we encountered a neighbor around the corner, a woman we haven’t seen in a while. She usually stands outside her apartment in the morning, a small weathered-looking gal, smoking her cigarette. She’s probably younger than I but she looks older, with her coarse face and gruff smoker’s voice. But she always has a nice hello and a kind greeting for the dog. Today we lingered a little more, checking that we each were okay. And she wasn’t smoking…

March weather in Vermont is a challenge. There’s elation in seeing the crocus, tulip and daffodil tops coming up, but dejection when the cold invades again. A late March snowstorm last night was a bummer but pretty, and I thought maybe I’d get in a last cross country ski run, but alas, the snow is soggy and melting. The good thing is that the snow will soon be gone and the emerging flowers watered, and soon it will be warm again.

Another thing to be thankful for is that this disaster didn’t happen in November when cold and gray are increasing instead of receding.

Favorite quote of the day:

“This is survivable. We will survive. This is a time to overprotect but not overreact.” –David Kessler, writing on grief as an aspect of what we’re experiencing now:

Grieving our normal life.



Nourshing the soul in a time of social isolation


How to cope? or even, how to thrive in this atmosphere of uncertainty and fear? Here’s are some ideas (aside from hand washing, etc):

  1. Meditation: I have found a lovely guided meditation from Sonic Meditation: Heart Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowls. If anything right now, I need an open heart, and the bowl sounds help me come back into the present moment and let go of the fear.
  2. Exercise: can’t go to my usual class at the Y, and I’ve found some good classes for seniors on You Tube.  Keep moving!
  3. Outside walking: Our dog has to do it, so we are too. Going to our usual paths in the conservation land and along the river or the lake.  Fresh air, walking, yay!
  4. Social Interaction:  Wow, can’t see people in person, but it’s amazing how connected we can be on videoconferencing. Using Zoom and Skype to be with kids and grandkids and my groups: writing group, ukulele ladies. I’ve had some wonderful, soul-nourishing sessions with writing groups on Zoom. Am moving into organizing friend group chats on Zoom.  Let’s have an online dinner party!
  5. Writing: writing about the situation and my already-started writing projects. Keep at it, every day, I tell myself. As Flannery O’Connor said, I write to discover what I know. When I get into the writing, I am there and happy. 
  6. Making it regular: putting all of these things into a regular schedule.
  7. Focus on the garden! Bulbs are just popping up here in Vermont, but spring is coming. I look at the pictures of my garden in April, May and June, and remember that whatever is happening in our world, the flowers will come!