For those of you who read my blog, I apologize for not posting the past few weeks.
With working on my new manuscript at a feverish pace and driving all over the northeast to attend readings and book signings for my new thriller, Live to the Network, I’ve been hard-pressed to find the time to sit down and post a new blog. But now with Covid-19, well, that has all changed. All I have at the moment is time and lots of it. I’m still writing, of course, turning out pages of my new novel, almost every morning and sometimes into the early afternoon, but my book tour has been placed on indefinite hold, most of the bookstores canceling events and closing as they wait for the virus to burn out and run its course. With a little luck, that won’t take too long and life will get back to normal once again.
So, with this new reality, what am I doing to occupy my time when I’m not sitting at my computer and writing?
Like most of you, I’m social distancing, and in reality, isolating myself from all contact with family and friends and the general public—except for my darling wife, Amy, who is social distancing in our home as well. I am one of those people who fit, dag-nab-it, right into the “don’t get this disease or else” category. I’m a senior citizen and about to turn seventy. Damn, where has the time gone? I have acute chronic asthma. I am immune deficient, not just from the asthma, but from a tick bite and bout of Anaplasmosis that I contracted nearly three years ago. So, when I do get sick—sometimes from just a common cold—my lungs shut down and stop working, often sending me to the emergency room and a bit of R&R at our local hospital here in the Berkshires of Massachusetts where I live to recover and get back on my feet.
As a result, I have set up a rigid daily routine to make sure I don’t catch Covid-19.
I get up every morning, read the newspapers on my iPhone, shower and shave, eat a light breakfast with Amy, make a pot of coffee, and then hit my computer where I spend the first half of my day banging away on my new manuscript. Then I post on social media, usually Instagram, sometimes Facebook, so I can stay in touch with the outside world and let my friends know what I’m doing. Next, there’s lunch with Amy, and boy, am I lucky. She’s a wizard in the kitchen, a real executive chef, so every meal is like eating at a five star restaurant, maybe even better!
When lunch is finished, I head back to my office, where I read the latest headlines on the virus, sigh, play a little solitaire on my iPhone, and promptly nap for an hour or two—one of the truly great pleasures of life when you become a senior citizen. Then, about three o’clock, I go for a long walk down my driveway, through the woods on my mountain, and along the dirt roads that run through my community. And because I live in Richmond, a rural town, I am usually alone and rarely see anyone, so I can maintain my routine of social distancing without any problems.
By four or four thirty, I’m back at home, where I make another pot of coffee then sit down on the couch in my living room and spend the next two hours reading a good novel. At the moment, I’m into science fiction and horror, so I’ve been reading a lot of Dan Simmons, and Stephen King, and his son, Joe Hill, who has the same gift of storytelling as his father and can weave a scary tale that’ll keep me sitting on the edge of my seat. At six thirty, Amy and I sit down for another gourmet meal, where we talk about the virus, worry about our children and grandchildren and friends, but manage, somehow, to stay happy and positive. Then I read a little more, watch a little television, do a short edit on my manuscript, and head to bed, where Amy and I get under the covers, talk for a little while, and then turn on the food network, which promptly puts me to sleep.
So this is how I spend my days since the Covid-19 virus has descended upon us and changed all of our lives. Living here in the Berkshires with its rural lifestyle has made it relatively easy for me to social distance and self-isolate. But like everybody else who’s living through this nightmare, I too am scared, anxious, and worried. So I’ve tried to change my life, to set up a new routine to keep me healthy until the danger passes, because social distancing and self-isolation, however you do it, will help keep you safe. Will help keep the rest of us safe. Will help us all defeat Covid-19—this new twenty-first century plague.