It’s been almost two months since I posted an article here. With COVID-19 crisis ‘stay home/lockdown/quarantine’ orders in force, I’ve, participated less and watching more online. Since I’m inclined to seclusion even when the world is healthy, this has been less of a strain for me, though still having an impact on daily life. Of course, some idiots overreacted by panic buying, thus creating severe shortages that have caused other people to panic buy as soon as supplies became available. No one escapes that.

Predictably, people were very enthusiastic about solidarity and mutual support in the beginning ‘we’ll get through this together!’ That dwindled after a month or so, but they continued to maintain a light-hearted attitude, down to telling the same joke every day for four weeks. It’s plain at the present time that people are tired, impatient, and frustrated.

For me this has been a time to take my ‘homeless’ mindset out of mothballs. Some refer to this as ‘refugee thinking’, and as a survival approach, it works beautifully. I’ve identified reliable sources to meet my needs, and I’m not hurting for (m)any material things. Some of the resources I identified I had previously abandoned as too costly and inconvenient. Now I find the old sources are more honest and reliable, while the local counterparts have engaged in price gouging to almost criminal extremes.

I’ve embraced setting limits on my thinking. Online, people have reported heightened anxiety and depression, but as a person with chronic depression and anxiety disorders, I’ve noticed little change – I’m no worse than before. I don’t allow myself to think outside a certain time limit. If it isn’t happening between now and the next meal (for example), I don’t think about it and avoid projecting, which leads to panic attacks. Taking it ‘one day at a time’ (or ‘one five-hour block of time at a time’) is very beneficial.

Artists, musicians, writers et al that I follow online  began this period with a great creative expectation that has quickly fizzled. The Spirit of Inspiration seems to be in quarantine elsewhere. One reason I haven’t posted in two months is that I’ve had little inspiration to write. I haven’t been idle – I’ve spent the last two months refining my manuscript for ‘Tea with Violins’, which I’ve just published as an eBook and a paperback on Amazon and other markets. Now that the novel is published, I’m focusing on my most recent novel, ‘The Sacrament of Poison’, which I expect to offer in July.

My thoughts began with excitement, but devolved into chaos. Now, with the change in the season and some framework of resources in place, those thoughts are beginning to rise like the Phoenix.

Phoenix is a wonderful place, so I’m told.

Paul TN Chapman

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