The WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11th.
On March 12th my province extended the upcoming March Break for an additional week.
On March 14th, my country recommended against international travel.
On March 17th, my province declared a State of Emergency. (The day before, my girlfriend’s office instructed them to work from home.)
On March 23rd all non-essential businesses in Ontario were closed for 2 weeks.
It is now mid April. We are over a month into this in Canada, I have not written about it once. Until today.
I write every day. It’s usually not as much as I like, but I write every single day.
Some days it’s just emails, but most days it’s a review (or seven) of an album or movie, or a paragraph or more on some longer piece I’m writing.
I always imagined that if the apocalypse came I would document it by writing about it every day. Not just in a journal but on my, um, blog. (There’s a word that has fallen out of favour.)
I didn’t think the apocalypse was ever coming, I have always believed TS Eliot when he said “the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”
And, to be clear, I do not think, for one second, that COVID-19 is the apocalypse. It’s not the apocalypse. It is a pandemic whose human impact will be far less than the great pandemic of a century ago.
But it’s still a life-altering event we’re all living through.
And, until today, I’ve written literally nothing about it.
The closest I’ve come is a few brief Facebook posts, none of which meet my standard of “writing about something.”
I had this stupid dream of writing about a crisis and getting discovered.
(In my dreams of success, I am always getting discovered, never doing things that would get me fans. I guess that’s why I don’t have any fans.)
I would provide a journal every day and it would become essential.
I never imagined that the diary would be about living through a pandemic, but I did imagine it would somehow help define the crisis.
Instead, I’ve had no inspiration to write. I’d call it writer’s block but I didn’t even consciously think about writing about COVID-19 until this week. (Also, I’ve been writing constantly this whole time. As you can tell from this website.)
And that’s when I realized I had nothing to say.