Writing in lockdown

Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

It’s now the—what? 6th?—week of isolation and #covisolation, and I’m used to it.

I don’t mind having to stay in, and work from my house. I have a very nice house. I have put a lot of work into it. It looks beautiful. It’s got my wife, my son, and now three cats (I know). What’s not to like? Other than cats waking you daily at 6:15 by walking on your face.

But I understand that this is not everyone’s preference. Apparently, there are people who like to get together, get close to other people.

A lot of people are feeling stressed by the shutdown, physical distancing and need for isolation.

First, a word for those who brave the cold winds every day.

Health care workers, and not only those in hospitals and clinics. Personal support workers in long-term care homes.

And workers in essential retail stores: cashiers, shelf stockers, delivery workers, drivers, shippers, receivers, warehouse workers.

Cleaners and janitors and countless others who keep things working, traffic flowing. Those who are largely invisible in our economy—and among the lowest paid with the least income security.

I hope that we remember them when the crisis is over. I hope we remember it was they who kept us alive.

A small token

I can’t do much to help, but I can do this: I am making my books free, or as close to free as possible for the duration of the crisis.

All my e-books have been 99 cents on Amazon for some time.

And I thought I had done this earlier, I swear, but anyway, now it’s official: they’re free through Smashwords and other e-tailers.

I’m just hoping that you’ll have more to enjoy and help divert you from stressing through the crisis.

Live readings

Another thing that I’m doing is participating in the #StayHome Live Readings at BestSelling Reads’ Facebook Live page. This is a series where, every Tuesday, a bestselling, independent author reads from their books—for free, just to help break up the covisolation.

It’s not a huge thing, but something to do that’s a little different from binge-watching TV, staring at the walls or bickering with the other humans in your home.

What is normal?

Right now, a lot of people are talking about “re-opening the economy,” about “getting back to normal.”

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: normal is not good enough. Normal meant underpaying those people that we depend on, mentioned above.

Normal meant scrimping on long-term care, to the point that long-term care workers, in “normal” times, are living in poverty.

Normal means forcing young people to work in a gig economy, without health benefits.

Normal means jobs that don’t permit people to take a paid sick day.

There is no reason for any of these things. So when we can return to work, to mingling, let’s fix these things we’ve acknowledged as problems for decades.

Tell me what you think. What do you want to see change after the crisis?

In the meantime, stay home, stay healthy, and protect others.

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