In the very beginning of the quarantine, my daughter asked me to promise her that I will send her a short email every day for her peace of mind. It sounded as a very reasonable and doable request since we live close to four hundred files from each other. Shortly it became evident how boring it can become. How many times can you write “I am still kicking” or “nothing is happening”? I had to come up with something to make this exercise more interesting. So I started to send little tidbit stories I came across by searching the internet, or a quote from some interesting person, or a link to a recipe that looked interesting from a show I saw. Yes, I started watching cooking shows surprising myself since I never was too interested in cooking.
Found it a welcome diversion from the discouraging news of the day. Funnies and interesting pictures were a must send. . . and the days kept passing.
For a while I used today’s date on the subject line of the email, thinking it will be like a diary entry documenting the time we lived true, but I had to stop when the weeks were grinding down and nothing I wrote could be back referenced.
On the lighter side, since news people were working from home also, me and many other viewers could scrutinize the commentators' surroundings. We saw endless bookcases, some jam-packed with stuff, some nicely organized. It gave an insight into the interest and personality of the owner. We saw plain apartments and rooms which looked curated. Sometimes more than one journalist reported from the same kitchen, but different times. What’s going on?
Eventually found out that the two people we were familiar with seeing on tv are a married couple ... and the weeks kept passing.
Occasionally I skipped a day of writing. My daughter didn’t seem to notice it. I tried more than one day, it raised a red flag that maybe something is wrong with me. Of course, there was plenty of upheaval in the country to comment on or be indignant about. There were huge fires with orange skies and evacuations, large demonstrations after the police murdered a black man in Minneapolis and constantly rising unemployment. These emails weren’t one-sided. I got regular updates of the family who were working and attending schools from home. We had many interesting back and forth “conversation” like evaluating the pros and cons of the California propositions or commenting on a book which I was able to acquire on Kindle. She was lamenting on the status of the non-profit world, writing many grant applications hoping to keep them going, and of course, the perennial topic of how to obtain food with the least exposure to other people ... and the months kept passing.
It is 2021 now and I am still writing my emails, and the pandemic continues.