This isn’t a post about books, or writing, or what’s coming next on my to-do list as an author.  This is a post about a very personal experience.

My immediate family and I survived COVID.

All five of us were diagnosed, ages 5-62.  We had varying degrees of mild to moderate illness.  We survived.  However, we will never be the same.

I was in my car alone, my daughter and two grandsons about 20 cars behind me, when I took the swab test.  We knew our results about twenty minutes later.  We were sitting in traffic, texting each other, and my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t hit the letters.  The fear was palpable.  At one point I sat at my desk with my strong, confident daughter’s arms around me, and we were both terrified.


I’m 62 with some health issues.  My grandsons are 5 ant 12.  My only daughter was positive.


Positive for a disease that kills indiscriminately.  You might get a runny nose.  You might end up on a ventilator and die alone in the hallway of a hospital.  No dramatic overstatement.  There are families being forced to have funerals in parking lots.

At this writing, we are about 2 weeks out of strict quarantine, my sense of smell is returning, and we are back to normal.  Well, what passes for normal in January 2021.  But we, like the rest of the country, will never be like we were pre-COVID.  Even if this disease is wiped out tomorrow, none of us will ever truly be the same, whether we admit it or not.  It is simply not possible to return to status quo.

Fighting for survival always reveals who a person really is.  You don’t have to watch The Stand or The Walking Dead or Survivor to see it.  These days, you only need to go to the grocery store.  We show who and what we are daily in a thousand small ways these days.  A lot of it is ugly and terrifying.  But more of it is beautiful.

When we were sick, people left food on our front porch.  I received literally dozens of personal messages, texts, and phone calls to see if we needed anything or just to lend an ear and a shoulder and a virtual hand to hold.  Beautiful souls that I have never met in person listened to me as I raged, cried, ranted, and prayed.  They told me jokes and sent me dirty pictures.  They offered money they could not afford and empathy they could not spare, and I will remember and be grateful for it until the day I die.

I have no idea where this will all lead.  But I do know this. Tolkien was right.  There is good in this world and it is worth fighting for.