The COVID-19 Diary Entry #1

We makers like the idea of uninterrupted days of creating. It is on our want list. Unfortunately, we must not have been very clear when we sent that request out into the universe.

Who knew that we would get what we wanted with just a few caveats.

We can make us much as we want BUT there will be people dying daily while we do, AND their caretakers will not have adequate protection or support, AND—last but not least,  the world will spiral into the darkest economic times since the Great Depression.

Okay, folks, go ahead and make some things.

What to do? Each morning, I check three websites and record the data in my daily journal.

The Alaska Department of Healthy and Social Services Coronavirus Response

Alaska Covid-19 April 11

The Worldometer Coronavirus US page

Worldometer US April 11 2020

And finally, the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center .

John Hopkins Report April 11, 2020

Today’s entry looked like this.

246 Cases (7 Deaths) Alaska/ 19,819 Deaths US/ 104,938 Deaths World

I started recording the US deaths on March 18, 2020. There were 110 recorded deaths at that time.

Mid-morning, I begin cooking. I am feeding four, basically grown, men. That is a lot of food, and I have been very stubborn about wanting that food to be whole food and plant based. Someone on the blog suggested that I let the boys cook, well, I am trying, but their idea of healthy food is very different from mine. And I, let’s be honest, want to control this small little part of my world.

So, I cook, and I cook. Yesterday, I made mashed potatoes, black bean soup, brown rice with tofu and veggies, and vegan potato salad. If I am lucky, this will last until Sunday morning.

Then, I spend way too much time checking news sources. I have several daily reports sent to my email box.

I like NextDraft


The New York Times provides a very good bulleted list called Here’s What you Need to Know

NYT Covid-19 April 11, 2020I round off the list with the Washington Post whose tagline is Democracy Dies in Darkness

Washington Post April 11 2020

I also like  Ann Friedman . She was spot on yesterday when she wrote this.

“I have been trying to find an impossible Goldilocks “just right” zone between focusing on the closed-off world of my own house, which is safe and peaceful, and spiraling into guilt and despair about the political incompetence and raw pain screaming through the world at large. It’s not right to ignore what’s going on outside my walls. And it’s not sustainable to engage with it all the time. This is true all the time, of course. But lately this tightrope walk is constant. It’s also true that I am lucky to be teetering, trying to find the balance between living in my immediate reality and letting in the struggles and horrors beyond.”

So, no, I am not on social media right now. I haven’t been on Facebook or Instagram in weeks and weeks. In my mind, that would be a waste of time, but somehow watching the death toll rise is not.

I end the day with the PBS News Hour (and knitting).

Knitting Socks April 2020

For many years now, I have logged the hours of my day—recording how much time I spend managing our household, exercising, working in my studio, and whatnot.

I am considering adding a new category to my log. What will I call it? Covid-19 Witnessing? I suppose that is what I am doing. Covid count & coffee in the morning, beans & rice and NextDraft for lunch, and an evening cocktail called the Judy Woodruff before bed.

I have not been this bad since Bush v. Gore which I watched like it was a reality tv show. Hello C-Span. I love you.

Three days ago, Son #1, started to complain about a super sore throat. Of the sons, he is the whining one, so we took it be an exaggeration.


Two days ago, he spiked a fever of 101.

My husband Walt’s Covid-19 work policy states that if any family member has a fever or presents an illness he (the worker) must be quarantined for 14 days. So even though his work is deemed essential, Walt is now at home–taking conference calls in the garage and bedroom. A hazmat team showed up at his office to wipe all the surfaces he may have touched cleaned. 

Yesterday son #1’s fever rose to 102.5, and he and Walt went to the doctor where he was tested for strep throat. The doctor said he would have bet his yearly salary that it was strep, but the test came back negative.  What is it then? Maybe mono. Maybe Covid-19. 

So, they went to have a Covid-19 test administered. The doc there, said that on Thursday (April 9) they would NOT have given him a test, but on Friday (April 10) they were going to. In the past, you needed to present four symptoms and Son #1 only had two. But times are changing quickly, and he now qualified for the test.


Notice how they repeat STAY HOME EXCEPT TO GET MEDICAL CARE twice.

So, we wait.


Son #1 will turn 22 on Sunday. As he pointed out a few days ago—This is no way to celebrate a birthday.


This entry was published on April 11, 2020 at 12:53 PM. It’s filed under The Covid-19 Diary, Thoughts and Opinions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

48 thoughts on “The COVID-19 Diary Entry #1

  1. Bookwife on said:

    Thanks for the update and praying your son gets well soon.

  2. Oh goodness. New blogger here, wishing your family answers and health, and a speedy recovery from what I hope is just a quick flu bug for your son!

  3. jphoddick on said:

    oh so sorry Maria to hear that #1 son is ill. Hope it is not COVID19. I will keep my fingers crossed. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Jill Hoddick

    • Jill- I am sure things will be okay in the end. It is just one of those things. If you get sick right now, it could be Covid-19 and so we wait. Please take care of yourself!

  4. Keeping you all in my prayers. I really do pray that it is not C-19, for all of your sakes. Stay safe and keep on Quilting. It will help with your sanity during this time of stress, or at least it’s helping me.

    • Dear Irish Apples- I don’t think it is Covid-19–how could he have gotten it? He has been at home almost 24-7 for 23 days. But in these times, we must consider it. Please take care and YES to quilting!

  5. Janet on said:

    Hope all goes well for your son and the rest of your family if you’re all infected. It is interesting to me how you keep records and lists. I do that too although I don’t always find it easy to Lee up. Is it a quilter’s mind thing? I wonder…

  6. Catherine Purifoy on said:

    Thanks for sharing info

    Catherine Purifoy (210) 857-5168 Sent from my iPhone 8+


  7. ramblingranger on said:

    Oh, Maria, I am so, so sorry to hear that son #1 is not only ill, but having a bummer birthday. Sending much love and healing prayers to you and your family.xxxooo

    • I think we will be okay. I hope you are okay too! I have been thinking about you and wondering where you are and what you are doing if you will be traveling north anytime soon in this strangest of times. Please take care!

  8. ramblingranger on said:

    Probably good to stay off of FB. I have found it both a lifeline and a time suck during these troubled times.

  9. Thank you for sharing your experience – I’m sorry you have to wait and wonder.

    • Thank you! In a weird way, I think writing that blog post has helped me to get back in my studio. Enough hand wringing. It is time to make a quilt. At least I feel that way today…I hope you and your family are healthy.

  10. Cindy B on said:

    Sorry to hear you are waiting for coved results. Waiting is hard. My way of coping is to make masks to share. Every so often I get up and do house chore or food thing then back to sewing. I too have become a person who checks the daily statistics in hope the world is well soon.

    • Cindy- I know what you mean. I think we are all just trying to do our best to keep moving and hoping and living. It is a lot for us to comprehend and, well, we are going to be okay. I know this. And in the mean time, we just keep doing what we are doing. I hope you and our family are good.

  11. kathy loomis on said:

    You’re even more obsessive than I am about keeping track! I do visit the Johns Hopkins site every day and take a screenshot so I can compare day to day. And I am making a coronavirus scrapbook with a whole lot of things (for instance, places that I have been, now photographed empty or with people wearing masks). Somehow it does help, I think.

    Sure hope your son doesn’t have it, or if he does, that he gets the light case. And that the rest of you will be OK. Let us know, will you?

    • Kathy- I think it is the journalist in us that seeks order out of data. At least I think that is what it is for me. I have been following your blog and your documentation. It is fascinating to me. Thank you for continuing to document your experience. That is part of why I have shared what is happening in my world. So far Fletcher is struggling but hanging in there. He has his moments. It is not getting worse, but it is also not really getting better yet. We are hoping for the best. I hope you and your family are healthy, happy, and sane right now.

  12. Judy Shelton on said:

    Oh, Maria, I am so sorry to hear about #1 son. Fingers crossed the test is negative and it is just a bug he can recover from quickly. I hope your knitting and quilting helps your anxiety and stress. For me, at this time, quilting is truly a physical and mental health saver. On a positive note, I am looking forward to seeing you at Art Quilt Tahoe in the fall; hopefully things are back to somewhat normal by then. And then there’s the Hudson Valley Nancy Crow workshop that you fortuitously told me about in Houston! Looking forward to better times and wishing you and your family all the best. Love and hugs to you.

  13. Mickey Beebe on said:

    This is terrible! What a thing to have to wait for,,, hope it’s negative and you son and family are fine. All the best and sending love.

    • I know. He is struggling, but okay. The way that it is affecting him, makes me think that yes. It is Covid-19. Still he is a strong 22 year old person with no pre-existing conditions, so we are hoping for the best. How did he get? Who knows? I can’t figure it out. I hope you are doing fine Mickey. Please take care of yourself.

  14. Nancy Cook on said:

    Omg, Mama Maria. Sorry to hear about Fletch. Fingers crossed. Keep us posted.

    Also i suggest sewing more, witnessing less. We need your colors in this world right now (unclouded…) Sunny would support the PBS News Hour. She is obsessed with the News Hour. I love you gIRl.

    Nancy Cook, MFA


    Writing & Literature Faculty

    Ales & Ideas Coordinator

    Clatsop Community College

    1671 Lexington Ave, T305E

    Astoria, OR 97103

    (503) 338-2335

    Enriching Lives, Inspiring Learning, Creating Opportunities


    • Thank you Miss Cook. I hope the entire Cook Clan is doing good. You are right. I got back into my studio yesterday–just to clean, but it is a start. Much love to you and Izi!

  15. Sooo sorry you have to wait so long for the test results. Hope everything is fine and that Son #1 recovers soon! Much love to you and your family.

    • Thank you Pam! I need to email you! I hope you folks are all doing fine. Calfornia has done such a great job of handling things. Let’s hope that this brings positive change in the world! That is my deepest hope anyway.

  16. Dear Maria,

    Thank you for writing this post!

    I have found myself flustered by this pandemic and unable to work in the studio except to make masks. I scrubbed grey grout back to white on the lake that is the floor. I read “The Mirror and the Light” (754 pages). I pruned shrubs back to nubbins. And I’ve cooked a lot but only for two. I finally was able to re-focus a few days ago. Being back in the studio feels good—I feel more centered and calm.

    I hope son #1 doesn’t have covid-19 and is feeling better soon.

    Wishing you, Walt and all your boys a Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and good health.

    • Thank you Beth! It is strange how we all are just trying to cope. Just trying to make sense of something that is so foreign to our every day lives. We all are just doing the best we can. I hope you and yours are healthy, happy, and sane!

  17. Mark Vail on said:

    Heyho Maria, sending love and light, I keep thinking of the colors and patterns your masks would be. Birthday greetings to Fletcher and best wishes for a speedy recovery from whatever he’s got. Strange times we’re passing through, my list is of all the people I have seen since Spring break. Just in case.

    • Thank you Mark. I imagine you have not seen very many people. I know the stress of trying to navigate how to deal with the virus in a remote mountain village has to be tough. We appreciate you, and all you have done for our community. Fletcher is doing okay. We are pretty sure it is mono. He continues to show signs of mono (yesterday he got a rash which is a good sign of mono) while not showing more signs of Covid-19 (no dry hacking cough, no difficulties breathing). Who would think that we would wish for mono! Please take care of yourself Mark. Much Love!

  18. Pingback: And the First Week Ends | knitNkwilt

  19. Wishing your son well. It is awful that we have to wait 5-7 days for results. But at least he was able to be tested.

    I probably spend too much time on coronavirus news. So be it. It is what I am doing. Along with knitting while I listen. And sometimes catching up on blog reading.

    I begin to realize how much I habitually eat out as I cook more than usual and watch supplies go down faster than I expected. Getting used to new amounts of shopping at the grocery. And that is just cooking for me.

  20. I find myself equally torn between compassion for number one son and you and your family and anger for how stingy they are with the testing.
    So much could have been solved with quicker action on developing the test.
    I too have been keeping the numbers as they pile up day by day. I have a little diary.
    And I just keep thinking how lucky I am. I’m in an ideal position to weather this. And I think about everybody else, parents with young children at home to entertain, people who live in crowded conditions, and those who have to go to work in less than safe conditions.
    Thank you for your post.

    • I know the testing thing is maddening. And then for leadership to say that there isn’t a problem with testing. It is surreal. I know that we both hope that real change will be made in response to what is happening now. If we get that change, the pain of today will not be in vain. Please take care Martha & company!

  21. Dear Maria,
    I’m so sorry your son had to be tested for Covid. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. So scary.
    The first few lines of your post rang so true to me. Ive been feeling guilty lately for all the times I whined and said “I just want time to sew and create”.
    And now there is the time and all I can do is sew masks and turn off the news and social media noise. Keep hoping the joy and inspiration will return and I can use the time productively. How can I express my fears and angers of the uncertainty and chaos when I feel paralyzed?
    I’ve never really made a traditional patchwork quilt but find myself wanting to go there to start.
    It will be interesting to see how these events shape our work…and the future new normal that I know we will find.
    Keep us posted on how your son is doing. Stay strong. Thank you for sharing.

    • I know! It is very hard to find balance in all of this. I have found (strangely?????) that writing this post helped me to get clarity on what is going on with me and the world. My place has always been to try and empower people to tap their creativity. I have often that this such a small thing. And in these circumstances, it seems even smaller. But to not do this small thing, is, in a way, giving up hope. So, I am going to try and move forward doing what I do. I hope you can too. Fletcher is doing OKAY. We really think he has mono. All of the signs point to that. And then of course last night, I got the weird paranoid idea that he had both mono and Covid-19. Is that possible? LIFE! Please take care of yourself Elaine.

      • So many are struggling in big big ways and yet there is so much to be grateful for each day. Taping into someone’s creativity to ease the stress and focus the mind is hardly a “small thing”. Thank for you posting. It is weird wish, but I do hope your son has mono or a very very mild case of Covid that would give him immunity for the future. I’ve organized a group of neighbors to sew masks, and I will end this reply as I end each of the emails I send to them. Be safe…stay well…sew on!

  22. Oh, my! How scary. I sure hope son #1 recovers quickly with no side effects from whatever it is he has. I have been wondering what happened to you, thinking the worst when your last IG post was three weeks ago. I miss your color! Take care and best wishes!

  23. It’s reassuring to remember that 80 percent of cases recover, though I certainly understand your anxiety! Personally, I find it extremely helpful to be in God’s Word, to pray, and to remind myself of Who’s in charge. I can’t change anything except the way I behave (self-isolation). The rest is out of my hands, and so I am mostly at peace, certain that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I hope you find peace yourself.

  24. Get Stitchy with Sarah on said:

    I’m so sorry your son is not well. Live to you all in these scary times ❤️

  25. Barbara on said:

    How scary. I hope your son returns to full health and you don’t have to struggle through a household of covid. This virus is a nightmare. Sending good thoughts from Michigan and wishes for wellness in your world.

  26. Hey Teach, big hugs.Hope the boy is ok. My 3 are spread out all over the continent and Zoom is our lifeline…how I would love to have them all under the home roof! I have found that oddly, the space usually inhabited by creative mojo is now occupied by pandemic concern…have not been able to run both programs simultaneously. I hear that from a lot of artists lately. Strange times, strange times. Looking forward to the return to normal and another class with your own good self, xoxoxox.

  27. Thank you for sharing thiis

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