the coronavirus diaries: week 70

Last week, wow.

There were three different sets of overnight, out-of-state guests: my (distant) cousins came for one night, a beloved friend from college and her daughter spent two nights, and dear friends from Indiana spent two nights.

Also, there was a writing group meeting, phone calls with my mom, a backyard bakery staff meeting, an evening concert and birthday party, visits from my older son and his friend, and a walk with my sister-in-law, as well as I had a couple days of work in there, and we put up three bushels of apples and a bushel of apricots, and I made cheeses and fed people. 

It was wonderful, truly — wildly rich with good conversation and food (I GOT TO FEED PEOPLE) and extra long hugs — and it was also overwhelming and exhausting. After such a slow year with endless time to think and process and be, moving so quickly from one deliciously intense conversation to the next, I felt like my head was going to spin right off.

Seriously. You can see the enthusiam with which I attack a conversation as evidenced in the string of photos below, thanks to my older son who snatched my phone out of my wildly waving hands.

(My mom used to compare me to a tornado and my childhood friends said I gave them headaches. Maybe I still do.)

The sudden influx of traveling and guests and social gatherings, I get the distinct impression we’re all a bunch of creatures — locusts, maybe, or groundhogs — slowly emerging from our holes after a long hibernation, looking around and squinting in the dazzling sunshine.

Thursday, there was a gap in The Busy and I had no idea what to do with myself. I felt empty-headed and stunned, like I’d just been blinded by a bright light. I couldn’t even think, really, and ended up spending the bulk of the day reading and dozing on the couch. 

Then, after the final push — a terrifically fun evening with our small group and then a half day in the bakery — yesterday afternoon, freshly showered, I sank onto the sofa. The weekend stretched ahead of me, deliciously open and empty, ahhh. 

So naturally I invited a girlfriend over for coffee.


Are we coming to the end of the coronavirus diaries? While certain things, like church, still aren’t back to normal, in most aspects of my life, it feels like the pandemic is winding down. Virginia’s done a decent job of getting out the vaccine, and all my children were old enough to get it — two things for which I’m supremely grateful. Also, I’m fortunate to live in a community with a higher vaccination rate. (Actually, I’m not sure what the rate is out here in the county, but the city is higher, and most of the people in my social circles have been vaccinated.) 

This isn’t the case in other parts of the world, I know, or even in other states and counties. In places with low vaccination rates, the virus is, once again, spiking (here’s a map). My guard’s not down completely — the pandemic isn’t over yet — but for now, at least, in these hot summer months when people can be outside, it does feel like things are settling a bit. 

Come winter, we’ll see…

This same time, years previous: mushroom burgers with cheese, margarita mix, the quotidian (6.10.19), the quotidian (7.9.18), the quotidian (7.10.17), reflections from Kansas City, the puppy post, let’s talk, splash, zucchini skillet with tomatoes and feta.


  • Becky

    I’ve been described as a “bull in a china shop”, a “hurricane” and “a walking carnival” and both childhood and adult friends say I have a little too much energy for my own good. I also share your excitement at seeing people! And feeding them.

  • Kris Shank Zehr

    According to the VA Dept of Health website, which I checked daily during most of the pandemic, the county has a slightly higher rate of vaccination than the city. I think the city has a lot of people for whom vaccines are hard to get due to work schedules, language difficulties, access to means of scheduling the vaccine, transportation, etc, etc.

    And our county is has a lower rate than neighboring counties to our east and south, but higher than counties much further south. However, Virginia does rank well among the states in overall rates, and I too am so grateful for the action of our state government in this area.

  • GraceandGrit

    So privileged to be a part of your dizzying social life! I get what you mean by feeling at a loss on a down day. I think I’m going through social withdrawal today. Our July is just packed, and we didn’t schedule anything for this weekend. I’m glum and tired.

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