Around the world, we find ourselves in uncertain times. COVID-19 has created a dangerous and brave new world of sorts. I live in Louisiana, hurricane country. We are familiar with nature playing dirty tricks on us and turning our lives upside down; however, when a hurricane strikes, we’ve always had the option of evacuating to another state where life is normal as we see it in this 21st century. COVID-19 has changed all that. There is nowhere to which we can escape; however, we can escape to the corner in our homes that is our sacred space, embark on walks around the neighborhood, and hibernate within the hobby or vocation we love.
I am a teacher and a writer, and I’m still teaching even though my students are not in a physical building. I post info, enter grades, and email parents. As a writer, I have entered three different worlds with three different manuscripts. My husband shakes his head. To him, I’m creating my own stress, but the writing keeps me from stress. Writing and researching fiction also helps me put the COVID-19 epidemic into perspective. Generations before us suffered other illnesses: influenza, polio, plague. They went to war, lost their lives, and lost or made their fortunes.
My historical fiction especially has shown me this reality. In Love at War, those young people now called “the greatest generation” answered the call of their country to defeat a bully. Young men and women responded to the call to do their part. In From Ice Wagon to Club House, many in my country lived in poverty. They suffered through the Depression and Prohibition. In Ireland, they fought to be free of tyranny. The Progeny, the sequel to Ice Wagon, also recounts the struggles that “greatest generation faced” as they confronted a powerful enemy.
The pain and uncertainty—the heartache—we are experiencing is terrible and frightening. I have many family members and friends who are on the front line as healthcare workers; I know the sacrifice of our healthcare professionals, grocery workers, first responders, delivery people, and mail carriers. These are frightening times, but we will persevere. We will mourn those lost and celebrate those left when we finally come together. Perhaps we will form another “great generation.”