April 20th, 2020

book cover humor

My tweets

Headache Lorelei

What I do on my coronavirus vacation

My life hasn't changed all that much since the coronavirus quarantine started: I go to work, I come home, and my back hurts.

Just the same, there are some changes. I go straight home, for instance. Once I stopped at the grocery store on my way, and despite the fact that everything seemed normal (they even had a little toilet paper), the few people I saw seemed on edge. My feeling may have been affected by the armed guard at the cleaning supplies.

But in theory, my wife and I got just what we wanted. We both tend to be introverts, and staying home seemed like a swell idea. I got more writing done--in fact, I made it through a complete revision of an 82,000 word novel. To celebrate, the next day I wrote a short story. We're party animals.

I write, you read, everyone wins.

The day after that I tried to get my lawn mower going.

Hey, I didn't claim it was a paradise.

Then there's the back thing. I've had low-grade back pain for many years, and while it's a--wait for it--pain, I'd gotten more or less used to it. Now I was having medium to high grade lower back pain that shot down into the back of my thighs and--perhaps ironically--sometimes made it painful to sit. Emily made the connection before I did: sciatica.

It's nice to try something new, for a change.

Sciatica is pain related to a problem with the sciatic nerve, and now you know a bit more medical terminology. The answer was simple: I see my chiropracter every two weeks, anyway. She's like the mechanic on an old tramp steamer, who manages to keep the machinery chugging along somehow, year after year.

Only my chiropracter has been shut down. By the caronavirus.

I take exception to her being called nonessential, and I'm more than willing to be treated while wearing a full Class A Haz Mat suit ... although come to think of it, even she couldn't make my spine bend through one of those things.

So after three weeks of working on making it better, one day I looked out into my back yard to see a jungle right out of Jurassic Park, complete with strange animal noises somewhere in the high grass. Despite everything, spring had come. Emily was dealing with a pain problem of her own (and not just me), so if anyone was going to mow the lawn, it would have to be me.

I was saved temporarily, because the next day four inches of snow covered that green, green grass.

"Where the frak did this come from?"

But two days later it was all gone, because this is Indiana. So I spent a day trying to get the lawn mower running, because this is me, then another half day picking up poops and sticks, because that's the dog's bathroom. Then I mowed one third of the lawn.

Why? Because I didn't want to mow the other two-thirds. I'll deal with that when the swelling goes down.

So, again, my life hasn't changed all that much. I work, I write, my back hurts; maybe a little more than usual of at least two of those. For some people it hasn't been as bad; for some it's been much, much worse. Meanwhile, people are still arguing about whether it's a big deal at all, which maybe they wouldn't if they had as many immune compromised relatives as I do. I don't pretend to know what the best next step would be, but as for me, I'm going to keep writing, and try to be funny, and in my own small way keep spirits up. Because there are a whole lot of people out there who are not introverts.

Meanwhile, there's something I've wondered for awhile now: If you're in the middle of the apocalypse--will you even know it?

Because it's funny. It IS.