My friends…

It’s time in this pandemic journey that I take a full week to re-charge and bask in the midst of nature, a lake, farm-to-table food, wine-making, and the love of and therapeutic time with my wonderful husband.

My gift to you all this week, 10th – 14th August, is to share with you pages from my ABCovid-19 Journal” that I created/curated in the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. We all have our hacks for managing stress and discomfort, and in the first weeks of COVID-19, this was my life-saver. Journaling is one of my self-care strategies; think of it as my art-therapy.

This week I share the entire “ABCovid Journal” pages with you, a few a day, from “A” for “Amazon” to “Z” for “Zoom.”

Please let me know your faves. I’ll tell you mind next week when I return….and make you guess in the meantime.

Welcome to ABCovid…my personal A to Z in the Age of the Coronavirus…

“A” is for Amazon. A is also for “abundance,” depending on your point of view and how good you’ve been at cognitive therapy with your self in the pandemic.

To compose this page, I found the perfect journaling card reading, “It’s an ‘add to cart’ kinda day;” some shopping and grocery/food ephemera; and, a photo I snapped of an empty shelf at Costco that had once stored rolls of bathroom tissue and paper towels – highly sought commodities in the first weeks of the pandemic.

This page channeled my early read of Nielsen’s data on how consumers globally were building their “pandemic pantries,” in search of hygiene,  health products, and shelf-stable foods.

Hoarding behaviors were emerging the world over, with bathroom tissue symbolizing that consumer ethos (stay tuned to the “T” page, later this week).

I particularly like the sticker, “Shopping is my cardio.”

This page represented the shopping obsessions at the base of our Maslow Hierarchies pressed down to the basics during our COVID-19 lives.

“B” is for bats.

In gleaning scientific journals published early in 2020, we read about the possible animal-to-human connection of the coronavirus.

On this letter-page, I marry the bats theme with Halloween fright images from an old scrapbook craft stash. I especially love the “Kiss of the Vampire” movie journaling card which came off of a piece of Halloween “Trick or Treat” paper from Echo Park, along with the running child in the sheet and pillowcase ghost costume.

I had bat-themed Washi tape to use as a trim which was leftover from Halloween cards I made one year for my daughter and friends.

The image at the left was printed from an exhibit published in late March in the Journal of Proteome Research, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society. The paper discussed a “missing link” in the coronavirus “jump” from bats to humans that could be pangolins, not snakes. We must live evidence-based lives, so this as well as other images in the ABCovid-19 book come out of science and economic research journals.

“C” is for crown.

The shape of the coronavirus under microscope features spikes resembling the details on a crown. Thus, “corona.”

Here, I chose a sticker of Queen Elizabeth from the great Cavallini line of papers and cards; some ephemera collected through the years; and, an Instagram-sized printout of an article from TIME magazine explaining that a conference featuring an update on the coronavirus was cancelled because of the coronavirus.

That early conference cancellation was a hint of more meeting postponements to come.

I found this great piece of scrapbook paper, a repeated crown with wings, in a pile of papers I’ve saved over the years. Speaking of hoarding, if one does so as I do with paper and stickers, it’s good to be organized: I knew exactly where to find this piece of paper.

#Obsessed with my #arttherapy.

“D” is for depression.

Here, I married two definitions of this “d” word: our mental health merged with our financial health.

Early on in the #GreatLockdown, my economic spidey-senses forecasted both meanings in my crystal ball.

The “lower than a sausage dog having a lie down” is actually one of those hotel key card envelopes you receive at check-in which I saved, knowing I could eventually use it for a crafting project.

The red alphabet stickers on the left spelling out “depression” come from Cavallini; they are replicas of an old French postage stamp.

The picture at left illustrates the International Monetary Fund global projections for economic growth, or decline, for the next couple of years. The dramatic decline in green represents this year’s negative hit on the world’s economy.

I added some phrase stickers that seemed ironically appropriate: “life is messy,” “you are enough,” and “freaking out over here.” Then, “happy hour!” on the “lower than a sausage” envelope felt right in the moment of putting this together.

“E” is for Europe.

This is a very simple page featuring a map, which has been in the front of my mind from the start of the pandemic.

I am a citizen of the EU in addition to being a citizen of the U.S. My husband and I split time in Europe, he there more than me in 2019-20…and at the start of the pandemic, he was in Brussels pretty much full time for some months….

On March 18th, I heard Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, say the following: “for the coming months, you must ask yourself two questions: ‘Where do I want to be?” and “Who do I want to be with?”

I stayed up much of the night anxiously waiting for 2 am to strike, then phoned my husband in Belgium and asked him to get on a plane back to the U.S. ASAP.

He flew home on 20th March and has hunkered down with me ever since.

Now, we are on a true vacation, renting a lake side home in New York State, just the two of us, living a farm-to-table life, fresh food from local farmers to slow-cook and enjoy, swimming and hiking, feeling blessed, so blessed, to be able to take this week #AloneTogether.

Last night, we lit a fire in the fire pit, scout-style from our childhoods, and made S’mores with the classic ingredients.

We are living low down on our Maslow Hierarchies, feeling safe in the moment, satiated with good food, healthy, and grateful.

Tomorrow, we’ll visit letters “F” through “J.” Spoiler alert: you’ll see what I curated about Dr. Fauci, gloves, hand-washing, Italy, and Boris “J”ohnson.

Stay well, stay strong, stay joyful…