A million thank-yous for this, Jessica Valenti. I am one of the fortunate ones — so far, no one I know is sick and I haven’t cried alone for a deceased loved one. I am working a little less but still have enough income to pay my bills. I live in a neighborhood where it’s safe to take walks and enjoy the Florida sunshine. But, I know people who, though physically well, are struggling with finances, children out of school, sick friends or relatives, and a myriad of other problems. Any problem you had before the pandemic is much, much worse during it and will be much worse after it.

I am helping others as I can and maintaining a realistic outlook of fear, sadness, and concern mixed with hope. Posting photos of your most recent shelter-in-place craft project or home gym workout video is not helpful or considerate.

This disaster is just beginning. Although very doubtful even if we could return to work and school at end of this month, nothing will be normal and for many, nothing will ever be normal again.

Besides all the physical death, people have lost their jobs, businesses, retirement accounts, homes, and so much more. People who have been sick may never be physically normal again. Those who have lost loved ones will be depressed, anxious, and fearful. Normal is a thing of the past for most of us.

Get real. Hope is one thing; ignorant and callous denial is another.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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