L.M., 68, a retired special ed. administrator in Normal, IL

I first stocked up on groceries and cooked a lot of meals that I froze. I impulsively bought two fly swatters that I HAD to have! I already have one fly swatter! I still laugh at myself over this! Why that seemed so important at the time I do not know!😂 For the first couple weeks I tackled spring cleaning and a painting project. I tried new recipes and ate a lot of snacks. Luckily I was able to continue my exercise class three times a week via ZOOM. I’m a voracious reader and quickly ran out of books. I’ve spent a few hundred dollars buying books and even got my husband reading instead of watching tv. After my projects I kind of spiraled spiritually and felt anxious and depressed. I started really worrying about my children and grandchildren and 87 year old mother even though we were in constant contact and I knew they were ok. I bought masks and watched way too much news. I learned a whole new virus related vocabulary. I had trouble sleeping and napped every day. The slightest exertion made me exhausted. I was clearly depressed. I felt an extreme hopelessness mostly due to the lies from our President. It became apparent we were in serious trouble and had no leadership to count on. The good part of this is it enraged me so much that it gave me more energy and my hatred for our President Renewed my faith and sense of humor. I’ve seen the worst of Americans and the best of Americans. I believe God did not give us this virus, but he will use it to fully expose Donald Trump as this generation’s antichrist! I grieve terribly for all the families and friends of the loved ones who have died of this terrible virus. I grieve terribly for those who have been financially impacted. I see how we are ALL so interconnected by good and bad times! I grieve for children and our country because it will take a long time to recover. I am thankful that my income has not been affected by this crisis. I have noticed that Americans have a terrific sense of humor and so do I. Americans are ugly and racist and the president has encouraged them. I have no faith in our government until all of the old, white men are ousted. I will continue to pray that Donald Trump is defeated and that our country will rise up to be much better than we have shown ourselves to be. I will continue to pray.

[submitted on 5/13/2020]

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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