As much as I know I (and I’m pretty sure everyone) would like to pretend that this global pandemic is a weird, crazy nightmare that we’re all having at the same time and will wake up from, that isn’t our current reality. And then we decided to add murder hornets and snow in May to the mix. Now I am fairly certain that we are simply moving to the next level in Jumanji.
I, dear friends, work in healthcare. So even if I went full-on ostrich and kept my head buried under three feet of sand, avoiding all the news outlets and social media posts, I’d still be confronted with the reality of COVID-19 on a daily basis. With the hectic schedule, constantly changing protocols, and millions of extra steps being taken, I found myself going weeks without reading a single word.
In the heat of battle, I was fairly certain my brain could not possibly handle yet another thing. So my favorite “hobby” if you will (although those of us who are voracious readers know that it’s much more of a lifestyle) fell by the wayside.
That, folks, was true misery. You don’t realize how much you love your fictional friends until you go weeks, then months, without them.
We are living in an era of finding a new normal in many ways from extracurricular activities, to parties, to grocery shopping. For at least the foreseeable future, social distancing and personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be part of our daily lives.
Let’s just get real with each other. It sucks. There isn’t a single part of this new reality that’s easy, but in the best interest of our friends, neighbors, and family, it’s what we must do. For those of you who have been abiding by all the rules, from the heart of a healthcare worker, thank you!
Back to the topic of fairy tale worlds now that the public service announcement is out of the way. We are pretty fortunate that, even in the time of a virus so unique and unknown it’s being labeled “novel,” we live in the age we do. We can FaceTime with friends and family, we can binge watch practically whatever we want on one of the streaming service providers, and we don’t have to give up our fantasy worlds of sexy billionaires who marry their personal assistants or Navy SEALS who charge in to save the day. Ereaders and subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited give us the chance to discover new and amazing stories as much as we want. Thousands of books at our fingertips everyday make reading a decadent indulgence we don’t have to go without.
Jumping back into reading, and being able to share my thoughts on my book blog, was the measure of normalcy I had no idea I was missing until I got it back.
We can still lose ourselves to the fictional world and, at least in my beloved romance genre, we will have the guaranteed happily ever after that reality can’t promise. If you’re anything like me and you’ve lost this important aspect of your world due to stress, anxiety, work overload, work underload, depression, or any other negative impact from this nasty virus, I want to gently encourage you to find a book you can lose yourself in and forget, even for just a few hours, everything going on around us.
And if you’re not a romance fan, I’m definitely going to take this opportunity to bat my baby blues and give you a few elbow nudges to the ribs to coax you into giving it a go. Remember, one of the tried and true rules in romance, even when every other one is broken, is that you’ll find that pot of gold happily-ever-after at the end of the rainbow. Even if the author takes you on a bumpy ride to get there.
If you’ve hung with me through my rambling post, you deserve a cookie! Feel free to check out my book blog for recommendations. I review primarily romance (with a few select urban fantasy stories thrown in when I know I’m getting a talented author), but across nearly every subgenre from RomCom to Romantic Suspense to MM Romance to Historical Romance and everything in between.