Chronicling the Days – Marie Tully

Welcome to QWF series ‘Chronicling the Days’, specifically for this strange uneasy time of coronavirus and pandemic, of social distancing and self isolation, of lockdown and quarantine.

In April 2020, we invited writers in Quebec to submit a story – of a single day at this time, because while we’re all living through this time, we know that we’re not all living through it in the same way. To stay connected – to know how we’re getting on. Every story valid.

Submissions have now closed for the series but we’ll be continuing to publish the pieces throughout May. Keep an eye for them here, or join us on the QWF FB Community page, and let the authors know if their words resonated.

This piece is by Marie Tully, writing on Monday, April 6, 2020.

Photo: Marie Tully

I am entering my fourth week of social distancing, and confinement. We, my husband and I, started social distancing two weeks before it started being recommended. When I started really listening to what was happening in Wuhan in December (2019), my guts started talking to me. They (my guts) are rarely wrong. We cancelled appointments that involved big crowds of people, concerts, suppers with our gang of friends, because some of them were returning from vacations outside of the country. My guts told me to sit up and take stock of the situation, which I did. It turned out they (my guts) were right. Everyone in my entourage however, thought we were a little paranoid, but I knew something was coming, something big, something unbelievably big.

Now, here we are three months later, confined to our homes. In many, if not most, parts of the world, we are all doing the same things. It’s an odd feeling to realise that you sudenly have a lot in common with everyone else in the world. Odd, and comforting in a, “oh they’re doing that too,” kind of way.

The restrictions have not changed my life much at all. We take walks, meet neighbors we have never seen, even after thirty-eight years living in this same home. They (the neighbors) are nice. Obviously, we all have the coronavirus thing in common, but some have grandkids the same ages as mine, some know people we know. Some have interesting jobs, and some are loving retired life, as we do. So, walking, chatting with people (at a distance of course), watching too much news, shopping on line, it’s all pretty okay really. We have an acre and a half of property, and it’s an absolute pleasure to get out there and work in the gardens. During inclement weather, we gladly stay inside too. My husband hides out in his painting studio, and I work on my novel, and other book projects (each grandchild gets his or her own picture book, written and illustrated by Grandma and Grandpa). We can quite easily wait it out, having a high old time every single day.

There’s only one hitch. Of course, there had to be a hitch. The thing is, this coronavirus will kill me if it ever gets me. I’m one of those people with chronic diseases. You know, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, (as in COPD and asthma). Well, I have them all. So of course, I’m terrified. If it weren’t for that hitch, this whole thing would be a piece of cake. But damnit, I’m not ready to give it all up yet. I want more. More time with my grandchildren, and my kids, more time with my husband, and our gang. More time for writing, I want more time in my brand new garden house/writing studio. I have still so much to say. So I’m going to wait it out, for a long as it takes, because I want more.

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