Ok World – What Happened?! (Coronavirus)

OK world – what happened?

January 2020 was full of hope, dreams, and longing with a new year on the horizon. Plans to travel, connect, learn and re-energize made the top ten list. And then something else happened instead. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) entered our lives. It sort of creeped in really slowly. And although it existed, it was mostly ignored.

When I first heard about this virus in early January 2020, I thought ‘These viruses happen to other people who live far, far away in places like China.’ Ebola, HIV, Dengue, SARS, MERS, Swine flu, Zika and so many other deadly health threats were distant to me – or so my small mind thought at the time.

I realized that as the COVID-19 virus spreads, our lives become smaller.  Travel is halted. The border between Canada and the US has closed. ‘Shelter-in- place‘ has been issued in San Francisco. Gathering with others has been discouraged and ‘social distancing’ has been encouraged in ways there were unimaginable at the start of March.

All sports events at all levels have been cancelled. Broadway plays, theaters, universities, schools, libraries, ski resorts, meetings, churches, fitness centers, bars, breweries, and casinos have been mandated to close. Colorado has pretty much shut down the state. Drug stores, grocery stores, liquor stores and department stores are still running and are looking to hire workers to help keep the shelves stocked.

Social Disruption initiated

Universities announced they will teach classes online so students are not allowed back on campus for the present time. Businesses want their workers to stay home and work remotely. People are home. They are not driving their cars, using gas, entertaining or socializing. They are hunkering down BECAUSE there is nothing to do.

And that is the goal. Nothing to do will keep people home. Nothing to do will help decrease the spread of the virus. Nothing to do forces us to stay inside and away from others. If there is no one around, there is no one who can give me the virus. And there is no one I can give it to if I have it.

Now we are told it is not about IF it happens but WHEN the virus will happen.

Everything I’ve just written is fact. And most everything has occurred in the past 2 weeks for US citizens.

So what now?

Stay healthy. Here’s my list of things I am planning to do.

Taking Control of My World
  • 1st of all – I refuse to spend my day watching the news. The TV news will destroy my soul and take me down to a very sad place. I watch Norah O’Donnell on the CBS evening news  then turn it off. I also go to youtube.com/news and choose something from that list if I want additional coverage.
  • 2nd – I have a whole list of youtube.com music that I can click on and listen to uninterrupted for 3+ hours. That music helps ground me. Want to breathe in Mozart?  How about relaxing Zen music? Good morning music?
  • 3rd – I plan to make regular phone calls to my family and friends. This is the perfect time not only because they are home with more time on their hands as am I but also because if not now – when?
  • 4th – Since all the fitness centers are closed, I’ll push myself out the door to walk. It’s good for my head, heart, soul and body. And I am practicing ‘social distancing’ in a healthy manner.
  • 5th – I am downloading books from my library using Hoopla and Libby and Overdrive. Also, through my library, I can download videos and movies through Kanopy. I can read magazines using Flipster, learn a language using Odilo or visit a music library.Poudre River Public Library download resources
  • 6th – And most important for my psyche is I plan to incorporate color into my life. Now is not the time for black or white. I am thinking all the colors of the rainbow! Color is such a great mental stimulation for me.

Next year at this time when I read this blog post, I want to close my eyes and remember how well we all got through it. How we pulled together as friends and created togetherness where before there were only strangers. How we reached out and offered help, comfort and compassion when others were struggling.

In the meantime, I will be writing it all down as a way to help me remember it, make sense of it and learn from it.

Loving you, Marge Katherine

Resources –

The Holidays are OVER – Amen!

The Do’s & Dont’s of Social Distancing

Symptoms of COVID-19

Corona Virus Near Me 

When I get older … many years from now!

But sometimes I get lonely and wonder how in the world I ended up here. I miss having that someone special in my life and yet, I love the freedom to pick up at a moment’s notice and go off on an spontaneous trip.

I’m retired and keeping busy in a million different way. But sometimes I get lonely and wonder how in the world I ended up here. I miss having that someone special in my life and yet, I love the freedom to pick up at a moment’s notice and go off on an spontaneous trip. I’ll be sure to tell you about some of my adventures as we go along. I have a fun one coming up.

So, what about you? You feeling at loose ends? Looking for guidance? Need a sense of purpose?

I know having a sense of purpose keeps loneliness at bay.  I always have the library to go to when I feel the walls closing in. I have 4 books on my table to read and I also have 2 books on my Hoopla app that I can listen to as I garden, clean or drive.

This is actually a great time for me to try something new. Last summer I took pickleball lessons and LOVE playing. It is social, aerobic and super fun! I also enjoy bowling and have special friends that I only see at the bowling alley. Next on my list I want to go to a music store and find a used instrument and take lessons. That will wake me up and get my brain cells firing again for sure!

Some days I wonder how other retired people fill their time. I want to peer into their windows and ask if I can join in. I want to connect to a community of retired people and unite. Does that make sense? I will sleep on it and decide in the morning.

In the meantime. I shall say adieu until we meet again.

Libraries, Lessons and Learning

It’s Monday. I visited the library. I checked out 2 books, 3 books on cd and 2 music cds. I grabbed some magazines from the “free magazine” table and read the local newspaper. I read some chapters from books on the ‘New Non-Fiction’ bookshelf and paged through some Northern Colorado Business monthly newspapers.

Cover of "Little Bee: A Novel"
Cover of Little Bee: A Novel

Now it’s Tuesday and I am deep into the audio cd book titled Little Bee by Chris Cleave. The story uses first person voice alternating between Little Bee and her plight from a British immigration detention center and Sarah O’Rouke and her family from Surrey.

As each cd finishes, I contemplate whether to load and listen to the next one or to proceed with my Adobe TV learning, lessons and projects. I can’t do both.

In the Rotarian magazine (March 2013) was an article titled Living by the Book by Joe Queenan. On average he reads more than 150 books a year and reads about two hours each day.  Last year I read 59 books and remembered the stories from most of them. I remember audio books much better than I remember books that I hold in my hand and read. I’ve found that if the author gets too much into the scenery or other details, I skip ahead in a book. When listening to it, I might miss some dialogue or other important information so I never skip ahead. One would say I am an auditory learner I suppose.

When I am at the computer, I listen to music while I am working on my projects. The music helps with the flow of learning and for some reason my brows are less furrowed when the beat goes on…

The magazines that I brought home with me (recycled instead of thrown away) are playgrounds of images – of designs that I’ve only noticed now as I work in the world of graphic design. Headers, sub-headers, number of columns and image placement – all mean something now. I think about the person (or team) behind the scene who determined the color structure and the layout. The magazines that I once gathered for content are now kept for ideas for future projects.

My world is surrounded by ongoing learning, lessons and application these days. Free tutorials on youtube.com, Adobe TV, lynda.com and other sites help me to continue learning as I sit in my warm computer room (the rest of the house shivers in 60 degrees temperatures). Learning when to push away at the end of the day is the hard part  – and it usually happens with a smile on my face.

Happiness is…

A very clear way to define happiness is to look at where I spend my time. I can honestly say that I am physically in a a library at least once a week. I love getting audio books, reading magazines, checking the selection of music cds, reviewing the “New” book shelf and just relishing the feeling of being surrounded by so many ideas.

Doobie Brothers cd at the libraryIn addition to visiting my local libraries (yes, I have several favorites), I also check the online books and download them to my pc or other device. So, for many of the books I acquire, I don’t need to walk in a door – I just sit here and click, choose and checkout!

I think we all have places we go that make us happy. Some people visit churches, stadiums, mom’s house, stables, shopping malls, sailboats, beaches… know what I mean? For me it’s libraries.

Been to your local library lately?

I went to the library today and returned 3 books, 4 books on cd and contributed 4 magazines to the recycle table.

Library books on shelvesI left the library with 5 books on cd, 3 magazines from the recycle table, one book and 2 magazines (due in 7 days).

When I arrived at 9:58 am for the 10:00 am opening, there were 16 people milling around outside! Moms with strollers, students with assignments, homeless men and women and others like me … wanted to check in my items and check out some more.

Do you go to the library much these days? If you do, you’ll see that the computers are filled up with patrons as soon as the doors open. And you’ll see many more people than ever before wanting to find a place to read, work and relax.

Been there lately?