>Our Own Worlds<

A Speculative Fiction Community for Independent Writers & Readers

What just happened?

3 min read

Trying to make sense of living through a pandemic and learning to stay safe by OOW author Claire Buss.

I’ve been thinking about writing this post all week as I marinated in a bubble of uneasiness. How did we get to here? What makes this virus so much more frightening than any other we’ve faced before? Am I safe?

Well, events have outstripped me, world-wide measures have been put into place and the UK has begun a three-month (at least) self-isolating, social distancing, stay indoors regime to ensure everyone stays safe. And surprisingly, my uneasiness has been somewhat replaced with a sleeves-up, can-do attitude because now I have something unexpected to do.

I am now my son’s year 2 teacher. Luckily for him, I used to teach albeit it adults and ICT but the theory is the same thing. I’ve made a timetable, I’ve got resources, I will be lesson planning – more than likely the night before, but I will be doing it and I am actually looking forward to it. Sort of.

My son is autistic with fine-motor control issues and the attention span of a gnat, bless him. So I imagine the next few weeks (months?) will be trying for the both of us but I’m steering away from the laissez-faire attitude I’ve seen elsewhere. No, I will not be giving my child a huge school holiday and yes, he is only 6 and a half but by home-schooling him at least I can fill our days with constructive activities and not eyeballs glued to a screen.

Of course, this doesn’t replace my uneasiness and admittedly, downright fear, for my parents, step-parents and parents-in-law almost all of whom fall into the at-risk category.

The daily toll is a stark reminder that events are very much out of our control despite these various measures being put into place. It feels like I stepped into a dystopian novel and I have absolutely no clue how I got here.

On the one hand, the world-wide response should be partly respected. At least some measures have swung into place. On the other hand, the question as to how effective they will be remains to be seen.

Sadly, I have yet to be warmed by community strength stories. All I see, especially here in the UK, is selfish hoarding of items. For example, my son requires night-time pullups, an item I can usually buy with no problems but this week I had all my friends and family on high alert because they could not be found anywhere (I managed to get some eventually). I am certainly not the only person impacted by this behaviour and I fear I will not be the last.

My only hope is that while our global community focuses inwards, at immediate family support, love and entertainment whilst looking after our mental health in these troubling times, we take the time to also reach out and connect with our communities.

Our Own Worlds has a presence online on Twitter and Instagram, a Facebook page and group, and of course our website. Many of our authors have free books or are part of anthologies that are being given away. The indie author community is giving back with massive free book promotions on Smashwords and an extra free month when you sign up for Kindle Unlimited. Now really is the time to settle down with a good book!

As a stay-at-home mum, wife to a policeman and proud indie-author I am here if you need me. Stay safe, look after your loved ones and keep in touch.

Find out more about Claire on her website – www.clairebuss.co.uk – and message her at claire2407@live.co.uk. Check out her OOW author profile for all her social media links and grab a free book by clicking here.

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