It was around March last year that here, in Perth, we really noticed our world beginning to tip sideways from the COVId-19 pandemic. Those early days of the pandemic were memorable for heightened anxiety, fear, uncertainty, disbelief and hesitation. No one knew what lay ahead, we were treading a new path.
It affected so many aspects of our lives – how we dressed, how we spoke with new words being introduced to our vocab on a daily basis. It affected how we interacted with each other; social distancing, elbow bumps replaced handshakes, we stood on circles on the floor. Our first lockdown and closure of the schools was a terrifying and novel time.
I began keep an online journal around this time, recording not only my personal experiences and observations but links and excerpts from online news articles and screen shots of statistics and images. I bought an archive box and dropped in pages from the newspaper.
By April 2020 I had decided I wanted to write a novel which would capture this new historical era with its new social norms and dress code and speech patterns (I am a historical fiction writer after all). I wrote a bit more about the book here: Writing the Time of COVID-19 – shannonmeyerkort.com The book was initially called Letting Go, but after I completed it in June 2020, I changed the title to 100 Days of March. I think it’s a lot more evocative.
The novel is finished and I am seeking a home for it, but the journal is still growing. As of today, it is over 51,500 words and 175+ pages long. I wonder sometimes, how big it will be before the pandemic becomes an endemic and we stop referring to it as something that can be stopped or fixed.
Some excerpts from the journal…
to be continued…