The article title isn’t exactly welcoming or something that incites comfort or humor.
But as I sat down to begin writing my first Corona Diaries entry, that’s exactly what I was met with: fear and insecurity. Could I write a week’s worth of diary entries about my time social distancing? Would anyone actually want to read it? What qualifies me as someone anyone should listen to?
I’ve written a daily blog for New Orleans Bride magazine for the past five years. I can easily write an entry about the latest bridal fashion trends or what color made Pantone’s “Color of the Year” list. So why don’t I feel up to this task?
Maybe because writing about me, only me, and my experience is a whole new territory that I haven’t really explored.
Or maybe because everything around me brings up fear and insecurity now.
In this new era of social distancing, our feelings about life, what’s going on in the world and how we are actually coping is all a lot of people can talk about.
I’m scared, I can admit that. I have an autoimmune disease that has made me immunocompromised and on a list of individuals that are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. I’ve been social distancing and working from home since March 13. And my mother, who I am social distancing with, is equally terrified I will contract the virus and has yet to let me out anywhere farther than the car to run errands — like buying the necessities, finding COVID-19 gold (toilet paper), or picking up takeout from our favorite restaurants.
I feel this pandemic is changing us as a society — the way we think, act, interact with others. And I believe millennials around my age (knocking on 30) are the ones best equipped to handle this situation. (Except, of course, the greatest generation. I’m not sure we millennials could handle a world war.)
In my life I’ve evacuated from countless hurricanes; I was 10-years-old when I watched two planes fly into the Twin Towers in New York City; I was a teenager just starting high school when Hurricane Katrina took away my home; and I’ve experienced a great recession in 2008 . We may not be the greatest generation, but damn if we haven’t experienced some hardships.
I will admit, however, that this is uncharted territory. This newness is what has brought on fear and insecurity in myself. The fear of the unknown — when will things go back to normal; will I actually catch the virus and survive – and the insecurity that has come along with my role in my company being pushed to the forefront, more expected from me than ever before.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle it. I hope my grandmother, part of the greatest generation, has taught me well enough how to be strong and take life by the…er, horns? I hope this exercise will lessen my insecurity in my own abilities and talents (though my perfectionism says otherwise). And I hope, dear reader — if you’re still with me — that we all come out of this better people with more empathy, sympathy and a want to connect with others and ourselves on completely new levels.
I also promise that not all of my posts will be melodramatic — one day this week, I’m making bread, and if that doesn’t give you a laugh or two, you may just be made out of stone.
The Corona Diaries is a joint project of the Renaissance Publishing Staff. Each week during the series, a different member of our staff will share their day-to-day experiences with working from home, social distancing and the other ups and downs of living through the pandemic.