Okay, it’s not actually quarantine; it’s social distancing, but it feels very quarantine-like and makes me think of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. It may be time to re-read that one–timely to say the least. As those fleeing the Black Death told stories to pass the time, I am planning to do a lot of writing to pass the time, planning being the operative word. I’ll also be doing a heck of a lot of paper grading and a fair amount of digital lesson building for my students.
But passing time is not the real payoff of writing during the Covid-19 “quarantine.” In this uncertain time, writing gives one a sense of control over SOMETHING. I can’t devise a vaccine or prevent people from hoarding. I can’t make my loved ones stay home and out of danger. I can’t even see, truly, the scope of the whole situation. Three things I can do: I can be calm, I can pray, I can write. I can create characters and make one a victim and one a murderer, plant clues and red herrings, send my sleuth on daring adventures, and have a measure of control over the world I create.
A measure of control sounds pretty good right now.