#IWSG – Covid-19 Reality

As the first Wednesday of April approaches, I’m attempting to write my IWSG monthly blog post. But I’m more than Insecure.

First off though, I’m grateful the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group as they do such amazing things for writers, from the annual Anthology to friendly advice for all us vacillating writers. Many thanks, Captain Alex, for keeping me inspired to keep scribbling. Even at this difficult time.

I’m attempting to focus on my short ‘Feathered Fire’ in the imminent IWSG anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost due out on May 5, 2020.

Expect great stories – the weekly interviews have demonstrated the wealth collected. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, and if you are tempted, these are the purchase links:

Amazon:        

Print https://www.amazon.com/dp/193984472X/  

Kindle  https://www.amazon.com/Voyagers-Third-Ghost-Yvonne-Ventresca-ebook/dp/B083C4WPR5/  

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voyagers-yvonne-ventresca/1135912991?ean=2940163430857  

ITunes: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/voyagers-the-third-ghost/id1493413956  

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/voyagers-the-third-ghost  

https://twitter.com/DancingLemurPre/status/1230480335625969666

Anyway, on to the monthly question which I wanted to evade this time. Too much backlog? Yes, so as usual apologies in advance for the slow visits on my part – I’m still wading through earlier IWSG-day posts, including last year’s. And now there’s the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge posts and fear…

April 1 question – The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

‘Stay safe, sensible and positive’ are my words of encouragement – to others. But some days they sound false when I absorb too much news.

Safe

My wife and I are safe in the sense of being in self-isolation. However, we’ve hardly been out since we arrived here in Boise, Idaho, USA on October 1st, 2016. Primarily, we went for medical visits – when we could afford those. We’ve only had one weekend away – last September to a cabin. The biggest drawback is getting me and my wheelchair out. So, it’s easier to escape into other realities – reading, writing, and gaming.

Some family members did visit, which helped. Great until the kids sneeze around us, forgetting that grandma and grandpa are vulnerable with chronic illnesses. We’ve both got seasonal colds, contracted six weeks ago from sick kids who recovered in a few days. Now, we are keeping them away, although it’s taken far too long.

Sensible

We’re trying to be ‘sensible’ in everything we do. When the family held a birthday party for my wife and a grand-daughter on March 7th, I was already concerned about the spread of Covid-19. Except almost everyone thought I was paranoid. Forget even flu-precautions like hand washing or hand sanitiser.

And as Covid-19 spread, the lax approach continued.

Then one of my wife’s son was diagnosed as having Covid-19 symptoms. He went into isolation. But not all the family were concerned or willing to take precautions, even when Idaho’s governor announced a lock-down. Sense finally prevailed a few days ago, and measures adopted by laxer family members.

In time? Too late?

Positive

There are glimmers of light everywhere amidst the tragedy unfolding. Places where the virus is being checked by what is called ‘social distancing’ but should be called’ physical distancing’. You are being social reading this rant and when you comment.

There are amazing people – doctors, nurses, scientists, first-responders, volunteers etc – essential fighters in this struggle. They are keeping the ‘positive’ alive.  They are the front-line fighters, we need to focus on.

I was worried about my family back in England and further afield, searching for a positive there. I was relieved when I discovered they were safe, when I got to speak to one precious niece – uplifting news.

And yesterday, we heard my wife’s son was clear – his test results a false positive.

That’s positive news though.

Every day, I’m reluctant to check the news. Will the chaos overwhelm the positive?

Outlook

How we respond is crucial.

Sometimes, I read an article that makes me realise the ‘sensible and safe’ approach is the only way forward – as in this Smithsonian piece: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-we-know-so-far-about-how-covid-19-pandemic-could-end-180974533/?fbclid=IwAR0c13624gYmJni9WWh5uS6Z9ZkZX4FPzqeKMtr79lpFZWXfZIBgw0y-3PQ#.XoJ28Ru72Rs.facebook

The closing statement was powerful and close to home:

“…But letting up too soon would only worsen the consequences, Lilian Alessa, director for the Center for Resilient Communities at the University of Idaho, tells Nicoletta Lanese at Live Science.

“We literally have to have absolute compliance,” Alessa says. “Without that, this is our new normal.”

So, I must be ‘positive’, even as a person more at risk due to my chronic condition, Multiple Sclerosis – and Leukemia. One MS blogger I follow, Dave Bexfield posted an inspiring article – The World Needs Our Help.

“So, I am calling on all of my friends with multiple sclerosis and other disabling conditions to unfurl your capes. More than ever, the world needs more superheroes. The world needs us–the world needs you.”

His words remind me that I’m an MS Warrior who has learnt about adversity and illness – and survival.

My fight pre-dates my MS too.

As a campaigning green for decades, I learnt to never give up. In many ways, this crisis is probably Gaia/Mother Earth defending herself.  Take heed humanity. My politics don’t grant immunity, but they give me hope that people might learn from this.

Stay sensible, safe and inspired, please

*

The awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG are Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

(As always, you must agree these guys are the best. Especially as they all have concerns, fear and insecurities. But they fight on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.)

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

20 thoughts on “#IWSG – Covid-19 Reality

    • Thanks CV, the anthology give me a positive focus. Yes, we had a 6.5 earthquake in Idaho yesterday. Scary as unexpected, although it did no visible damage here. My third, although I felt worse in an LA skyscraper some decades ago.

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    • We were grateful too, Alex – all of us. Now, as long as those around them take this seriously, and they keep their reasonable distance, then we should weather this. As long as yesterday’s 6.5 earthquake doesn’t signal more problems.

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  1. Excellent post! Yes, a big part of the problem in the US (and elsewhere, but I think the US was about the worst) was/is the refusal to take it seriously enough soon enough. I’m glad you are taking precautions and at last have convinced the family to stay away, It is a very strange world right now, but those of us who have long done our socializing long-distance are in a good place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a European ex-pat, moving to the US and seeing how some people react to such a crisis is disturbing, Rebecca. I’m glad some countries responded better, even if the UK was slow too. Sadly, the area where we lived, North Wales, is the worst hit after London – but because of the reckless tourists flooding in. Distancing is harder for my wife, I fear, as she thrives around people.

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  2. Hooray for ISWG – and my greedy self is grateful to writers the world over.
    My MS and my partner’s chronic illness have us hunkered down too. Which is mostly fine, but I feel a bit bereft at having to give up some of my voluntary work (shifts on the very busy crisis line) at the moment.
    Books, birds and the garden keep me sane(ish).
    Stay well, stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The world has gone crazy… and things have gotten really scary.
    Many people this side of the globe are not taking this pandemic seriously enough. Not too sure if this is due to ignorance or stubbornness.
    However, I’ve decided to focus on what I CAN control… there’s enough doom and gloom out there.
    Stay safe, Roland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The earthquake yesterday, here in Idaho, scared some people more than a ‘flu-like virus’ does. Yes, Michelle, the world has gone crazy. I want to be in control, but my disability makes it hard. But I’ll try.

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  4. I’m glad to hear you locked down early. The levity of our mutual ‘leaders’ is a disgrace. Ours is beginning to take it seriously, but there are still some idiots following his lead, rather than the science advisers. Stay safe, and keep well, both of you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lockdown seems to be relevant to some, Jemima. Here in Idaho people are still too lax – crowded shopping market car parks, non-essential workers claiming to be essential, etc. Trump may have finally woken up, but he’s still creating problems. Stay safe, sensible and inspired.

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  5. I’m glad to hear it was a false positive, but also glad you’re isolating as much as you can. Because I’ve been having to go into the restaurant to work, I’m staying away from my mom. Tonight was my last night working as a server (for now, at least), so I’m waiting the requisite time period then I’ll be able to go visit her since she’s alone. Stay safe and well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a huge relief, Shannon. Unfortunately, my wife’s great-grandson now has most of the symptoms, so we’re all anxious – and trying to add to our precautions. He visited the house – at a distance – the day before he fell sick.
      Please, stay safe and sensible yourself – and inspired.

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