Sheltering in Place

Shielding masks

Social distancing

SOAP – and plenty of it!

These are expressions seldom heard before mid-March 2020 when I noticed the Covid-19 virus had spread to became a pandemic. Scientists speculate that a 55-year old person from Hubei province in China may have been the first to contract COVID-19, probably back in November 2019. Researchers suspect that a bat transmitted the virus to another animal, possibly the pangolin, a horny scaled mammal, which then passed it on to humans. (Other theories are circulating.)

Our globe has sustained pandemics before. In 1918 during World War I, the Spanish flu raged. In Shakespeare’s time, the Plague (one of many) besieged London during 1604 – 1606, a disease believed to have been spread by fleas feeding on infected rodents. Ugh!

Stand-in during an in-class birthday party, Shakespeare died on his birthday, April 23, 1616.


Shakespeare kept busy during the Plague, writing King Lear, the story of a conflicted King, who in an attempt to avoid future strife, bequeathed his land to his three daughters. Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. My Lit. I syllabus featured this drama more than once. Plain and simple, the play is a tragedy. There is a big body count–things do not end well.

A quote from the witches in Shakespeare’s tragic MacBeth, sums up my feelings during these last months. This chant from the witches:

Double, double, toil and trouble/Fire burn and cauldron bubble. . .


And from scripture:

Yet man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.   ~ Job 5:7


There is no denying this horrid disease has caused disruption, even death and despair. We endure the mystery of suffering, with questions unanswered. Yet, in the midst of the plague, for me there is a steadying, hopeful thought . . .

His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.   _~ Lamentations 3:22-23



Mother Nature, though, seems undisturbed:

Jacquie Lawson Cards


Birds are still building nests in our back yard, birds take off on the “lake” runway, and bees are making honey in the meadow.

Son Joel assembling bee hive partitions


They remind us of the constancy of seasons, the rhythms of life . . . life going on. In spite of all, life going on.


* * *

How have you spent your time during the pandemic?

What/who has brought you comfort?

What would help you feel more normal again?


Bonus: Other Shakespeare-themed Posts

Lesson with the Bard of Avon with an easy quiz and quirky words

Happy Birthday, Will, celebrating the bard with cupcakes in my college classroom

Shakespeare, Vets, and Denzel Washington