If there’s a profession that’s well-suited for “social distancing,” it’s writing. As I sit at my desk at 3,000 feet elevation in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I find myself in the perfect spot to ride out the viral pandemic that’s spreading across the globe.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a recluse, nor do I want to be. But this COVID-19 outbreak makes me appreciate the solitude of the mountains. I can write up here for weeks at a time with very little human contact. The nearest stoplight is 15 miles away.
With the virus hovering over us like a lethal boogeyman, Claudia and I think twice before getting in the car, let alone an airplane. Book club meetings, presentations, and any public gathering are evaluated case by case. We are seniors by any definition, but far from elderly. (I despise that description.) We’re both healthy, get plenty of exercise, and eat well. I do have a compromised immune system, and as such, I’m vulnerable to any virus or infection. So far, I’ve fought off all encounters.
We made a trip down the mountain to Walmart yesterday to stock up for a few weeks. We order groceries and other supplies online and use the pickup service. It saves time and avoids human interaction. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you do. We noticed other shoppers at the pickup stocking up on massive quantities of bottled water and toilet paper. I don’t know what it is about snowstorms and pandemics that make people fear reaching for an empty roll of toilet paper. The same folks tend to buy bread and eggs in bulk. Seems like a circular dilemma to me.
After signing for the groceries with my fingertip, I lathered up with hand sanitizer, and we headed back up the mountain into secluded safety.
I hope this virus runs its course and passes quickly. In the meantime, I’ll follow the advice of our state and federal medical professionals. If you’re also “social distancing,” try reading one of my books to pass the time. But don’t start writing novels. There’s already too much competition.