And the First Week Ends

A couple other bloggers are blogging journals of the coronavirus times and the experience of “social distancing.” (Applique PaintboxSo Scrappy, Art with a needle Maria Shell   ); I’ll come back with other links as I find them.) It seems a good idea. There needs to be a record of these unusual times, a record from ordinary people.

Apart from finishing the Stretching Art piece (here), I haven’t done any quilting. That is neither unusual nor a sign of the times. I usually pause quilting after a finish, especially an intense finish.

Nor have I finished a book. That is a little more unusual as I usually manage a book a week. (I don’t usually blog about every book I read, only books I really like.) I am working on Rachel Maddow’s Blowout. Those of you who listen to her would recognize the pattern: start way back, explore many precursors, finally tie them to something current, at which point as reader, I feel like the need to go back to the beginning to see connections I had missed.

I am also working on Voices from Chernobyl on my iPhone. (In the old days–a week ago–when I was out and about, I kept a book on my phone for bus rides and waiting periods. I will be reading more online while my library is closed.) Svetlana Alexievich takes a similar approach here as she did in Last Witnesses (review here), gathering stories of peoples’ experiences of an event and presenting them with little comment. It is, alas, a timely read. The incompetence and lack of foresight is harrowing, as is the lack of honest communication. There is a major difference, though.  There officials followed orders from above almost unquestioning, out of habit–one example, a radiated village planting peas because it is time to and they had received no orders to change the plan. Here most of our state and local governments are taking matters into their own hands and doing what they can.

I am thinking about my next project.  Nina Marie has suggested a coronavirus quilt along with linky party (here). I have many leader/ender HSTs to press and trim so they can become leaders-and-enders again as potential pinwheels. I have leader/ender 4-patches to press and trim and alternate squares to cut. I have many tops waiting to be quilted. Or projects to start. Or I could make masks.

I have pondered making masks. I waver between “something is better than nothing” and “they would be false security” for one thing. I don’t have non-woven fabric for an inner layer desired by some (and seeming to make them more effective). I don’t have elastic, nor do sites where I usually shop.  (And yes, there are patterns for masks with ties, but locally it seems they want only elastic.) And with all the elastic sold out, I wonder if enough others are making masks that mine would not be needed.  I recall other emergencies where requests have been met with such response that the requesters have begged people to stop. I think I’ll keep my ear to the ground and listen for signs that more are needed, truly needed, before I start.

My time has been spent glued to news. I finally realized that no matter the headline, a new article probably didn’t add enough new information to be worth the time or emotion spent on opening it and have directed my attention elsewhere. I will admit that I keep backsliding into news rabbit holes, though.

For the first week, I actually enjoyed having no external demands. I do rather well with unstructured time–maybe not productive, but contented. I am substituting online and phone contact for hanging out with friends. I am reading FaceBook and MeWe more and following blogs more faithfully. I will not be surprised if that attitude changes.

7 Comments

Filed under contemporary issues, novel coronavirus

7 responses to “And the First Week Ends

  1. I think the need for masks may be genuine, but localised according to number of cases. If hospitals are following protocols and discarding surgical masks after each use, I can well imagine they’d run out if they had many cases. The CDC guideline is that correct PPE should always be used except if it becomes unavailable, in which case a home made mask is better than no mask. But that relates to medical personnel, not to the general public. I think you’re wise to hold off… Our local library is staying open for now, but they have doubled the number of books you may withdraw to reduce physical visits.

  2. Betty Colburn

    Thank you for this blog entry. I’ve had many of the same thoughts and feelings this week. I also decided to wait and watch on the mask making for many of the same reasons, plus I am easily bored by production sewing.

  3. Susan Nixon

    I may write something in my personal blog/journal. I haven’t watched a single news show, but I get more than enough news about the virus anyway, and more than enough opinions about it. =) I’m mostly doing other things, though, and not thinking about it much. It’s out there, I know it is, occasionally I check the TN page for an update, but I’m not in charge of anything, and I can’t do anything other than take care of my own family, so that’s what I’m doing. And some quilting, when I have time. And lots of kindle unlimited books. Gotta make that monthly $10 count! =) I think I have it down to about 30 cents a book now!

  4. I have made some masks for family to use if someone gets sick, but am a little suspicious of the tone of some of the appeals received second or third hand. Have a call in to the local health department to find out what is actually needed locally.

  5. Sounds like you are using your head in a measured response, and if the something is better than nothing is the best that can be done, that will become clear to you at some stage. Humans do need to often feel that they are doing something in response to a situation to feel in control, which may explain some of the frantic sewing rather than actual need. Perhaps we would be better to all be (re)learning to make soap from fat and lye. I don’t know about over there, but soap is truly hard to get here at the moment.

  6. Cher Smith

    I am able to continue to work from home 32 hours and only go in twice a week for the other 8. Our company immediatly came up with social distancing solutions and a staggered work schedule. Good that I can still do my job and keep my distance. We are doing ok so far. great neighborhood group other than not enough younger of us to cover as much as I would wish.

  7. We don’t have TV, which is a big stress reducer in several ways, not the least of which is “failure” to keep up with the VERY latest on COVID-19. Enjoy your “free” time!

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