Good evening, ladies and gents. It’s Inion. I say good evening because at the time I am writing this it is nine o’clock at night here in Otto, North Carolina. I am currently trying to fend off two children who want nothing more than to destroy my laptop and laugh as I cry at the remnants. (My oldest daughter is almost two and my youngest is almost one. Which means, they are Irish twins and both nothing short of emotional and financial terrorists.)
I write to you all today because I, like may of you, have quarantined. Yes, in mine and Mathair’s time away it appears we’ve entered some apocalyptic reality where toilet paper and hand sanitizer are the new coin. Social distancing is now the norm and having groups of more than ten people are not only discouraged, it’s punishable by law.
Now, most of you all know that Mathair and I work at Walmart and are wondering why we are quarantining ourselves given we are essential workers. Unfortunately, we were exposed to someone who had a family member pass from the covid-19 virus. We immediately took a two week leave from our store so as not to expose any of our colleagues or customers and were tested for the virus. As of right now, (04/06) we have not received the results from those tests.
I thought, while in quarantine, why not catch up. Mathair and I had taken a small hiatus so that I could focus on becoming a mother and I was blessed with two beautiful girls: my sassy Rowan Belle and my dainty Willow Barry.
Between working fulltime at Walmart and the two new additions to our family, it was hard to find time to write: even with our stories constantly growing like vines around our brains. Paragraphs here and there, plot twists scribbled on receipt tape and taglines thrown at our colleagues for constructive feedback were beginning to become a part of our everyday lives. It wasn’t enough. I wanted to immerse, to lose myself, to escape. I wanted walk down the halls of the Mildred Pierce Academy. I wanted to smell that crisp autumn air in New Salem. I wanted to feel the passion behind Kevin’s fight for freedom. I wanted his arrogant one-liners on the tip of my tongue.
And then came covid-19. As a woman who was born with chronic asthma, this is terrifying. I mean, I soldiered on because… bills and kids and life. My grandmother, (Mathair’s mother) is 77 with chronic asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. My father who is in his fifties has diabetes and COPD. My sister-in-law is one month away from giving birth to my niece. Covid-19 is something that all of us in my family are trying to take as much precaution with as we can.
But, quarantining hasn’t been easy. We are people on the go. We work full-time jobs and have two new babies while getting ready for our newest addition (my niece Avalynn). Sitting at home is not in our wheelhouse. Mathair has been attempting to finish her renovations on her home while I am attempting to master being a stay-at-home mom. (Mad respect for stay-at-home mom’s btw.) Losing my mind and having the worst case of cage crazies, I did what every thirty-something does when they are unsure of life… I called my mom.
“These kids are driving me nuts. I can’t go to work. I can’t leave the house. I don’t know what to do, mom.”
Mathair replied with, “Baby, just breathe. When you put the girls down for a nap or they’re preoccupied with toys or one of their favorite shows, bring out your laptop and escape. Visit Asaria and travel through time or hit up Kevin and face the apocalypse. Let’s remember that in this crazy fast-paced life, we are writers and we’ve drifted from it for far too long now. We all have responsibilities and our family is waiting on the results of a very frightening test so take the time to escape.”
“Can’t just act like it’s not happening, mom.”
“I didn’t say to forget it, but don’t dwell on it, baby. It’s a serious, scary and sad time right now in the world. There’s not a source of media or a newsfeed that doesn’t have the coronavirus updates just plugging into people’s psyche. So, let’s give them an escape. Let’s make them laugh, make them cry, make them fall in love. Let’s send them to New Salem for some show and tell with Sara or have them fight demons with Kevin at the White House. Let’s give them an escape even if it’s just for a little while.”
And, here we are… laughing, crying, falling in love. We’re in New Salem listening to a history lesson from Sara then we’re on our way to Alaska to slay demons alongside Kevin. We’re escaping even if it’s just for a little while.