When I first heard about the Corona Virus, I was on my way to San Antonio for the annual Association of Writing Programs and Writers Conference. There was much talk of canceling the conference, but it went ahead as scheduled, although maybe half of the registered attendees cancelled. It was a sparsely attended event, but I enjoyed myself immensely by seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a while and attending packed presentations. This was the first week of March.
Despite living in Denver, I was headed to El Paso, TX to visit with my mother after the conference. That’s when I began to realize the Corona virus was serious. Watching the news with my mother made me realize I needed to take precautions. I had a lot of hand sanitizer because I had had MRSA and was hospitalized for it in late January, so I was already somewhat paranoid about catching some virus or bacteria on surfaces and from bodily contact.
I ended up taking a bus, a train and an SUV that Greyhound Bus used because there were not enough people who bought tickets the last leg of my trip from Raton, NM to Denver. By then I was trying to keep my distance from people. I spent most of the train trip in the café to avoid sitting next to someone on the train. We were all crowded in the SUV and people were asking me to use my hand sanitizer. Finally, the SUV driver dropped me off at Union Station in Denver and I caught a cab home.
The cab driver was very concerned and used a napkin to hold my credit card. He talked to me about how this virus was serious, whereas the SUV driver said the whole thing was being exaggerated.
I do not have a car, and when I got home, I knew I didn’t have any groceries. I attempted to order them for delivery from Walmart like I always do, but I couldn’t get through. I tried Safeway delivery and the same thing happened. They were inundated with orders, so I ordered a pizza.
This is when I learned that overall people are kind. I posted on Facebook how I had little food. Almost immediately, a writer I know said she would drop off some groceries for me and she did. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel better. I proceeded to cook a great deal of garbanzo beans in my slow cooker. Then, another poet friend, brought me paper goods, a few roles of toilet paper and paper towels. I was feeling grateful to have someone care. Finally, about a week later, my aunt and uncle brought me a ton of groceries and more toilet paper. I had never felt so blessed to have such kind people in my lives.
I have been self-isolating for some time. I only go out to fill my prescriptions. Surprisingly, I have enjoyed the quarantine. I go for short walks and enjoy solitude.