Pandemic Diary: January 26th, 2021

A year ago, on this very blog, I wrote the following:

Sorry, guys, but I am going to be continuing to post about the Wuhan coronavirus situation on this blog. Given my background as a flu prepper, and despite my attempts to inject some laughter into previous potential pandemics, everything I have seen and read so far indicates that this is situation which requires all hands on deck.

Given that this blog gets between 600 and 6,000 views per day, I am hoping that I can use my little soapbox to help bring other people up-to-speed as to what is happening out there in the real world. Yes, we in virtual worlds do tend sometimes to use them to escape aspects of reality that we would rather not have to deal with. I am certainly guilty of this myself, and I suspect some of you, my readers, are as well.

But as a librarian who works at a university science library, I owe it to you to make sure that you are connected to the best, most up-to-date sources of information to make the best decisions. So here goes. Expect a new blogpost with updated information and links every day.

Well, as it turns out, we did, indeed, have a global pandemic on our doorstep. Now, I did not write “a new blogpost with updated information and links every day”, but I did keep up-to-date on the rapidly-evolving situation, and I wrote many blogposts warning people about the danger, and urging them to prepare for it, starting with that very first blogpost on January 25th, 2020, and throughout the next several months.

Here we are, one year later, and I must confess that I am struggling. As I have often written before, anticipating and preparing for a public health emergency is one thing; actually living through it is another. I am feeling emotionally battered, and quite worn down, on Day 317 since I began working from home in self-isolation for my university library system. I wonder how much more of this I can take.

I find that I have to keep reminding myself that these are unprecedented times, that it is okay not to feel okay. Some days I am sorely tempted to take sick time off work, pull the bedcovers over my head, and stay there—but then I tell myself that I would be struggling even more than I am now, if I were to become unmoored from my job as a professional academic librarian. So I force myself to stay the course, and I try to do the best I can every day, even though I know it is not my very best work.

And I find myself clinging to the other avatars I encounter in the various social VR platforms and virtual worlds I write about on this blog, talking their ears off in my fervent desire to have some sort—any sort—of social interaction. I have become a Chatty Cathy! (Not that I wasn’t before, mind you. But I do find myself talking with strangers I meet up with, in my peripatetic metaverse travels, much more frequently than I used to.)

Today has been a difficult day, but I will get through this, in one piece. Whatever it takes, I will do. You are my witness, and you have my word. I will survive!