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It's an unprecedented time in modern history. Coronavirus has changed all of our lives. More than likely, before we are out from under its spell, we will all be personally affected and changed by the pandemic. From being infected ourselves, knowing someone infected, to just being made to change our routines, life will look different as it did after 9-11, as it did after Katrina. 

Daily use of antibacterial lotions will be the norm. Perhaps carrying a napkin or tissue to open doors will be too. Working and taking classes from home will no longer be the exception. Like the hurricanes we get in Florida, with each passing one we will be more prepared for the next one. 

As I start my first day working at home from the State Attorney's Office, seated in my home office with my mother in the den watching episode-after-episode about zoo life (I kidnapped her from her nursing home before they were aware of the governor's order of no visitors for 30 days), I wonder how to view this very difficult time positively. It's human nature to find the good in life and remarkably, even with the novel coronavirus, it exists.

In Italy, quarantined neighbors are singing and doing exercises together on their balconies. In Spain, a group of socially isolated apartment dwellers were on their terraces applauding first responders. At my office--and offices all over the world--we are banning together, helping each other get organized to transition to working at home, and offering to help anyway we can. In my apartment building, I gave my older neighbor a couple of N95 masks as she braved a trip to Publix. She offered to do my shopping. I offered to go to Publix for her. 

On an individual and family level, now is a time for a reset. Think of it as New Year's Eve, Rosh Hashana and Lent. Not in a celebratory fashion but in a reflective one. Now is the time to take a breather and regroup, reorganize, de-clutter, pick up our phones to call friends and family, write emails and letters, exercise, and just do those things we've been wanting to do. Don't we say that all the time -- if I only had the time I would...fill in your blank. 

For me, while I'm working at home, I'm also digging into my next president book: Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals", another 800-pager. And I'm going to double down on my efforts to figure out the subject of my next novel. I think I want to write something with John Quincy Adams as a character, maybe historical fantasy, a ghost story? As you can see, I have a lot of double downing to do in this department!

On a global level, perhaps now is the time for an environmental reset. Did you see the photos of the Venice canal? The water is clear. Look at the photos below. Wow! What other environmental benefits will there be from less human interaction with our land, the seas, the earth? That's one story I'm anxious to double down on.

 

Please everyone, stay safe and be kind to yourself and to others.

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Joanne Lewis Blog