While this is not going to be a column about toilet paper, I sure hope you got some while the getting was good. May that extend as well to whatever else you need to keep yourself comfy during what may or may not be a very trying time yet to come. As columns are submitted in advance, this is one of those times I type not knowing if the resulting column will be relevant on the day when it is read.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mignon McLaughlin and reads, “Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.”

Isn’t it true the unknown creates a different kind of tension? We ponder and ruminate, plan and prepare for possible outcomes without knowing if we truly have a handle on things. Considering we have never experienced situations of this nature add to the intensity. We really don’t know.

Thankfully the brightest minds and most skilled researchers actively work while we consume each update. Then, more questions and discussion. Will communities follow guidelines? Can the curve be flattened enough, soon enough? The ongoing nature of the thing becomes wearying. It’s like hurricane prep that never ends and if we aren’t careful, we’ll be spinning right along with it.

We discovered days into the deal we needed to create moments in our day when we weren’t discussing COVID-19. Mentally a rest from the dire predictions, mind boggling changes and uncertainty were needed to better help us handle what might be coming. This is a marathon and just as runners add a rest day to their training, we needed hours focused on anything but the clamoring chaos. Even so, daily fluctuations make even these moments of disconnect a challenge.

Each approaches the situation in their own way, a testimony to our differences in personality and outlook. Some verbalize dire predictions while others shrug off imminent danger with humor. I’ve giggled at posted memes, acknowledging how we as people are doing our best to absorb and keep moving despite the fears. Hilarious or inappropriate, if it vents off the building tension then keep them coming right along with those news reports. I remind myself often that if there is a need to panic, there will be plenty of time later on to do so.

For now, we prepare as we can and attempt to stay vigilant. That said, when you’re still working each day, social distancing is a bit hard to follow. Even if that changes and I’m eventually homebound from my day job, with a first responder in the house our daily grind will still include possible exposure and the need to care for others. The seriousness of the situation is sobering.

There will be no coronavirus vacation, but maybe, just maybe it could all be more than was necessary. How marvelous if all the precautions and preparation weren’t really called for and we could tsk, tsk after it passes about the folly of it all. The breadth and expanse of just the economics of the thing takes my breath away. I pray the virus won’t do so as well for our community.