Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pandemic Diary Entry #7

From Goodreads

Hope you're all staying healthy. And staying home! It's not over yet and I suspect this coronavirus will go on for a longer time than most people think. Until there's a vaccine, and despite the strict measures most states and countries have in place, this virus might continue to ravage our world for many months or even a year.

If you know anything at all about the 1918/1919 flu pandemic (often mistakenly referred to as the "Spanish" Flu), you know it came in three waves: the spring, the autumn and the winter. There were at least 50 million deaths worldwide. Here's one link from the CDC about that pandemic. More links can be found at the bottom of that page. And here's another more detailed article from

This pandemic makes me more interested than ever in historical fiction. Can anyone recommend any MG or YA novels (or adult novels) specifically about the 1918 pandemic? The only one I've read is Like the Willow Tree, a Dear America diary by Lois Lowry (Scholastic, 2011). 

Thursday, April 16 (Day 36):  It was only 39 degrees F when I woke up this morning! (That's about 4 C for those of you from countries more advanced than we are here in the US!) Too cold for April. And cloudy and gloomy.

Spent far too much time on Facebook, and also read for a while. Still reading The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. About halfway through it now. It's a wonderful escape.

Leftovers for dinner. And a few episodes of Anne With an E on Netflix, which is also a delightful escape from reality.

Friday, April 17 (Day 37):  Beautiful day, although still overcast and too cold for April. On our walk, I enjoyed how green everything is getting.

Our back yard

Yes, the American suburban lawn is an ecological disaster. It's only one step above a parking lot. But in a time like this, I love how green it's becoming. (I would prefer that we let it grow wild and turn into a meadow, but we think the neighbors would get upset!)

Didn't sleep well last night, as usual, so by evening I was too tired to do anything but watch Netflix.

Saturday, April 18 (Day 38): Finally got our food delivery. It's been two and a half weeks since our last food delivery! Now I know to order again right away. Thankfully, we received nearly everything we ordered, except, of course, toilet paper. Ha ha. We're okay for the rest of this month, but by May we'll need to find some.

The food arrived at 7:15 this morning. Yes, I was up and had the garage open for the delivery person to place those 17 bags (!) inside, since it was raining at that hour. Our fridge, which had been close to empty, is now full! And our freezer was empty enough for me to clean it out, and is now also comfortably full.

Food, glorious food! Here's a clip from the movie, "Oliver!" via YouTube:

Cold and cloudy the rest of the day. It snowed where our older son lives in New England, but not here.

Mopped the kitchen floor. My one accomplishment for the day.

Chicken for dinner! And two different kinds of vegetables. It's a small miracle. And I actually accomplished something else today: I spent almost two hours working on my next novel in verse. I've been too paralyzed by fear to do any writing at all. 

So I consider that a breakthrough.

Sunday, April 19, 2020 (Day 39):  It's cold again but at least it's partly sunny. I slept great last night! Seven and a half hours. This is unheard of. I must have been worrying about food too much the last two weeks. Or, you know, about this pandemic which could potentially kill us all! (Relax, I'm usually not too anxious these days. I think I may have actually reached the acceptance phase of the five stages of grief! Or at least gotten past the denial and anger parts.)

Talked to my mother on the phone, who continues to sound cheerful. Still no new cases of the virus, so that's excellent news.

On our walk today, which was a long one, plenty of trees were still blooming: 

A neighbor's tree, which I've now decided must be a cherry tree.
Not a weeping cherry like ours, just a cherry tree.
Correct me if I'm wrong, someone!

A wild crabapple tree down the street from us

We treated ourselves to steak on the grill for dinner! So nice to have plenty of fresh food to choose from now (no more SPAM! Yay!).

COVID-19 Stats (for April 19, from WHO):

Countries affected: 213
Confirmed cases: 2,245,872
Confirmed deaths: 152,707

How are you doing? Are you stuck in one of the first few stages of the Five Stages of Grief?

And what are you reading and/or watching to keep busy?


  1. Thanks for sharing how the Spanish flu came in waves. I'm worried too for how long this is going to go on and how unsafe we'll be in large crowds. Makes me glad I work at home. Sorry I don't know of any books about that time.

    I was on a family zoom meeting yesterday and some cousins were mentioning Anne with an E. I have to start that show.

    I've been on the hunt for toilet paper because my mom uses a lot. Check the Walmart website frequently because they sometime have some that can be delivered. I just got some. And order quickly before their supply runs out. That happened to me once. Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Thanks, Natalie. You might have to binge watch Anne With an E. I believe it's leaving Netflix at the end of this month! Thanks for the tip about Walmart!

      As for how long this virus might go on: it seems other countries are doing better than we are. I just read this morning that New Zealand, under strict lockdown, has managed to keep it down to 12 deaths. We're already up to more than 41,000 deaths in the US! Here's a link to the Guardian article about NZ:

    2. And heck, we've had 1,112 deaths in Pennsylvania alone!

  2. I'm glad you're checking in and happy you got steak for dinner! I'm filling the time with writing, reading, art occasionally and the 2 new star trek shows, Discovery and Picard. Currently reading A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor. Time traveling historians. What could go wrong?

    Stay well! :)

    1. Thanks, Marci! Oooo, I love time travel! Thanks for the rec.

    2. Egad! Just realized I spelled your name wrong. Sorry, Marcy! (I know someone else who spells it Marci. Gotta pay more attention next time!)

  3. Congrats on getting back to writing—I can imagine that’s been a challenge with all that’s going on! Also, it's amazing that your grocery store had 17 bags of food in stock! Thanks for the great post, as always!

    1. Thanks, Completely! Well, we're only shopping every two weeks now, and for some reason they put certain items in separate bags. So there were several bags with only one item in them. Waste of plastic bags if you ask me!

  4. Wow. You got back to writing. That's great. I haven't yet. I watched all the Anne with an E shows and really enjoyed them, although I found the girl who played Anne a little annoying. Good to know you have plenty of food. I was able to order a huge package of toilet paper delivered from Sam's Club. If you're a member, it's a good source. My daughter and son-in-law bring me groceries every couple weeks. They have been so great. There are some good documentaries about the 1917-1918 pandemic on YouTube. Stay well.

    1. Thanks, Rosi! I'm sorry I didn't see these comments right away. Unfortunately, no, we're not members of Sam's Club. I'll look into those documentaries on YouTube. I'm laughing that you found the actress who played Anne a little annoying! I can see that. How wonderful of your daughter and son-in-law to bring you groceries! A home delivery service!

  5. I have enjoyed all the Dear America books that I have read. This one sounds really good. I have been thinking about the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the waves. That is what I think the biggest concern for me is. Everyone connecting and stopping social distancing too early. Love that you are keeping a record of what you are doing!
    Stay well!

    1. Thanks, Jess!

      I haven't read very many Dear America books myself. But if they're all as well written as this one by Lois Lowry, I'd consider reading them.

      I'm also concerned about people stopping social distancing too soon. Like all those people on the beach in Florida!


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