I took the 1st week of March to decide which story I was going to work on in March to submit to the writing group at the beginning of April. After an extensive search of 20yr old computer files and a stack of old handwritten work from the same era, I came to the conclusion that the story I wrote that I called RTF/Cop Guard was originally written in script format, and nowhere could I find a copy of it in non-script format. Based on my last share at the writer’s group they need a big picture to see where I’m going with a story/novel so instead of spending the month of March rewriting a script into a novel and then editing the hell out of the first 8 pages I decided to go with a different story. A short story that I wrote back in high school, grade 12 to be exact. It needs some editing, especially the middle but it is only 2100 words so I have room to play.
By the second weekend in March local organizations were shutting down access to the public. No more gyms, pools, guided tours, kids camps for March Break the following week were all canceled, no out of country travel for high school students during March Break either, all canceled by government. The prime minister is working from home as an example for other Canadians to do the same. Grocery store shelves are empty (according to FaceBook photos), I mainly shop at farm markets and there is plenty of everything still there. People are being asked to self-quarantine if they have symptoms, hence the empty store shelves. I work for a public transit company so I’m just waiting for our company to be told to shut down. If that happens I’m eligible for EI but I also would rather by quarantined in Florida, where it is warm, and I can hang out with my sister poolside and catch some rays, claiming it’s good for my health to get natural vitamin D. This could all blow over in a few weeks with nothing more happening than the few 100 who have already died in this country or it could get way worse and way more people could die and marshall law become a thing, people start killing each other over toilet paper, food, soap, and disinfectants. At this moment it’s hard to tell which way the world will go.
It’s the last day of the month and things got worse. There was a State of Emergency put in place on March 22nd that is supposed to be over by April 6th, but at this point, I think they will continue it for a while longer. Only essential businesses are allowed to be open, all others are closed. All restaurants are closed to diners, but most are doing delivery now. Hair salons, nail-making-pretty-places, gyms, movie theaters, are all closed. My work was closed last week but we are back open this week with limited service. Fed and provincial governments are telling people to stay home. Parks, beaches, playgrounds and even walking trails are all closed and people are getting fined if they are found in those locations, you’re only allowed to walk around your own neighborhood. Social distancing of 6ft and no groups of more than 5 people are allowed. There is a fire ban, so no campfires for me. The gov also postponed the opening of the fishing season from April 1st to May 1st. All schools are closed – the first date we were given was April 6th now they say May 1st. The cover photo tells the story of how fast this-worldly pandemic is growing near me. The county where my sister lives shut down last week too, she’s working from home now but her pool and all the local beaches are closed there too.
It’s hard to escape what is going on in the real world. I kept having anxiety attacks at work last week – people calling to bitch at me because the buses aren’t running and they need to go places – even tho there was no place for them to go because everything was closed except grocery stores. I took 2 days off last week just to recover from the days I did work. I was actually sick yesterday Monday, March 30th, gastrointestinal issues, I ate at Burger King on the weekend for a treat – tasted good at the time but doesn’t agree with my guts. So I didn’t work yesterday but I went in today and it wasn’t that bad. I created a poster of what I can do if I start to have an anxiety attack at work and posted it on my wall at work so hopefully, I can see it when I need it. I set up my mess-en-place of “anxiety killers” on my desk right under the poster. Hopefully, things will be good again tomorrow too.
I listen to music at work to distract from the real world, no customers allowed in the office so I can do that now, or at least no one has said anything to me yet, except some of the drivers said that they like it. I have a couple of little projects that I’m working on at work that are great at keeping my mind occupied but I’m worried about what to do once I’ve finished them. I was hoping to be laid off but that isn’t likely, I have tons of projects to work on at home. I binge-watched all episodes of Lock and Key on Nextflix on Saturday, that was a great distraction. Regular tv has commercials warning about COVID-19 so I try not to watch tv, even everything I see on FaceBook is about it (at least FB has some jokes).
April Writing Goals
Now that I think I’ve got a hold on how the world is functioning at the moment, I think I will get back into finish editing my memoir BBC and piecing together my next book AtoA, they are good distractions to this real-world BULL S**T.
I’ll be emailing my short story into the writing group tomorrow and see what is going to happen there as all libraries are closed but we’re not supposed to meet until the last Saturday in April so things may be closer to being back to normal then, or it may be worse, we’ll just have to wait and see.