Survival Mode


We are in Survival Mode. When I was placed on “Special COVID-19 Administrative Leave” (fancy title for staying at home with full benefits but on unemployment), I told my supervisor, that I had anticipated it was coming and had decided to make good use of my time. I would set a schedule and be productive. I would put everything in my planner. I would bake, cook, write, get outside (weather permitting) to work on my garden, and do lots of reading. We are on 5 weeks of L&L (Leave and lock-down) and, while there has been tons of cooking and baking (no WAY I am stepping on the scale) there has been little reading and little to no writing. What does one write about at a time like this? How does one process the drastic change in their everyday life? I was invited and joined a Facebook group for a guided discussion on “The Plague” by Albert Camus, a book I’ve read before. I find that I struggle to concentrate on the book and lack the ability to participate in a comprehensive discussion about the book. I am days behind with little drive to catch up.

We are in Survival Mode. I do a few “House Frau” duties in the morning (cleaning, laundry, cooking, and baking), and do any paperwork and bills that have to get done. Some of them dealing with loan forbearance and delays like many others right now. Though we are set with groceries, we did make a run to stock up for a while (no we didn’t but any toilet paper for I keep plenty on hand) not only for us but for the 28-chickens who depend on us. I spent an entire morning searching for places where I can order needed food items—predominantly for baking. What is it about going back to the way my mother and grandmother baked that gives me comfort in a time such as this?

We are in Survival Mode. I find myself reading the news (reputable medical sites). As a class three asthmatic, I find myself watching the cases climb in our area with trepidation and fear. I remember how it felt when I had influenza that turned into pneumonia. Reading the accounts of people without underlying health issues, scares not only me, but the husbiance too! Though we instituted a weekly Zoom call for “Wine with Friends” with my core group of gal pals, it’s not the same a hiking, kayaking, or snowshoeing with them. Though I can visit with Jaxson, my 3-year old grandson, it’s not the same as hugging and kissing him. Though we talk with other friends on the phone, it’s not the same as having them over for dinner.

Nearly every afternoon I nap….and of course nearly every evening I have that one glass of wine. Why? Because we are in Survival Mode and how long this will last is uncertain.

Avie Layne 2012