What I’ve Learned, So Far, in the Time of COVID-19

I may be older now than the little one pictured above, but I was once that young. Despite the differences in our ages, she and I are both learning. Hopefully, she is still learning about the wonders of the outdoors. The things I’m learning I hope she never has the chance of learning.

This last weekend I attended a writing workshop on the literary essay. It was time well spent. Writing prompts were available in huge numbers, and the words “pandemic” and “quarantine” came up more than once.

One more event via Zoom. The word “together” was used in opening statements from the facilitator. One participant spoke up to say that showing up on each other’s computer screens did not constitute “together.” I have to agree with her. At coffee and lunch breaks, we could not interact and get to know each other.

At one point, our facilitator noted that list-making was one way to prompt the mind as you start writing. I chose to list some things I’ve learned during this pandemic. I’m sure my list will continue to grow, and as it does, I’ll share it with you.

What I’ve Learned So Far

  • Sadly, it is possible for state governments to take the lead in managing a pandemic, especially when there is no master plan at the federal level.
  • You can purchase a new car on December 31, 2019, and drive it only once each week or two.
  • I can read five books at a time. Maybe more — we’re not out of the woods yet in my county in Oregon.
  • It is possible to get along without replacing the overhead light fixture in your laundry room if it’s not possible to go to Home Depot to get a replacement. 
  • Online grocery shopping is not so bad. I may like it so well that when we’re past this quarantine I’ll continue on.
  • Someone else is capable of selecting my produce and meat while at the same time pleasing me. Of course, I knew Bob could do this but he can’t go to the grocery either.
  • We’re accomplishing a great deal that wouldn’t have gotten done if we hadn’t been forced to slow down and stay home.
  • Now I appreciate how much I miss our participation in the music culture of Portland.
  • Worship continues on in this pandemic world thanks to today’s technology in live-streaming, Zoom, and many other methods. 
  • There are things I can live without.
  • I can go much longer than I thought without a haircut. Currently, I’m at month three today.
  • Sadly, I’ve learned how quickly a virus can increase the population in hospitals and the number of deaths in a city or state or country.
  • And I’ve learned how many people ignore the boundaries and guidelines for protecting each other against a virus. We are all in this together, aren’t we?

What Is There Still to Learn?

I don’t know for certain, but I can assure you I believe there will be something. And when I find out, it will be time to update the above list and I will.

And What Have You Learned, My Friend?

Stop below and leave one, or two, or more things you’ve learned thus far in the pandemic. If you’d like to be anonymous, email them to me via my Contact Page.

And a message from Mr. Rogers in honor of all those working on the front lines of this pandemic, whether nurse, doctor, maintenance and janitorial staff, cafeteria workers in hospitals, ambulance drivers, and first responders, and volunteers working food banks and in other areas.

Mr. Rogers, Fred Rogers, helpers, frontline in pandemic, remember


Featured Image Attribution: Photo by John Wilhelm

Lesson Learned . . . Again!

Another day of computer drama that actually started last night with Word not wanting to open.
It isn’t that I didn’t know to do this.  It’s just that this new laptop has worked so beautifully and faithfully . . . I forgot.

Yes, it has an automatic backup feature, as does my Norton software.  And my Scrivener backs up there too. But have you ever looked at some of the file names they use?  They don’t look anything like the file name you assigned!

So, bumping right along trusting my new Lenovo, I forgot (yes, I said it — I forgot!) to back up my files to a flash drive I keep handy for said purpose.  Then, when in need and stumped by technology’s prowess, I can open documents on the second computer in our home, dubbed Old Faithful.

But . . . I forgot!  And therefore spent a couple of hours trying to open Word to get at my A to Z Blog Challenge calendar that I’ve laid out so beautifully for my posts in April.  No success!

So this morning I trekked off to spend my coffee hour with my friendly geeks at the Geek Squad.  And wouldn’t you know, this Lenovo behaved just like a car does when you take it to the mechanic.  A few upgrades ran just as soon as my geek turned it on, then it configured itself, and voila, Word opened every time he tried it!!!  I wanted to curse at that laptop but restrained myself because I need it on a day-to-day basis.

lessons learned
lessons learned
  • Always, always, always backup your files and documents!!!
  • Never expect any piece of equipment or technology to be infallible.
  • Treat yourself to a Geek Squad geek when needed, rather than stay up and lose sleep trying to figure out computer problems on your own.
  • Take a tip from your friend, Kathy Pooler, who said in a recent guest post, “Even though we live in a digital world, I still feel the need to make hard copies of my work,” and instead of giggling at the thought, perhaps hard copies have not become archaic yet!!!