Getting Cozy with COVID for Now

A piece by the newest Guest Writer, Biblio Brie.

Read more about Biblio Brie on the And Friends page.

Hello my fellow librarians, archivists, library pen pals, storytellers, library lovers, book enthusiasts and bibliophiles, alike! I hope you and your partners, your colleagues and your families are all doing exceptionally well while we’re all in quarantine during this unexpected pandemic with the COVID virus. It would be a HUGE understatement to say that life has change since the lockdown.

The idea of getting cozy with COVID around this time, especially as we’re forced to remain indoors 95% of the time, really didn’t sit well with me (it still doesn’t) nor did it sound like my cup of tea, not one bit. However, exactly like what we do with our teas, I started stirring up ideas of what I could do and even accomplish right now that I never really dedicated time for (nor gave much to even think about) well before the COVID pandemic, sadly ironic, isn’t it? This reminded me one valuable life lesson I’m too familiar with and have already been made aware of (thanks to a few unfortunate hard life lessons) which is appreciating certain people and things by learning to value them even more and to not to take them for granted.

One really big example of this is the value of our teachers in the American public education system, for starters. Think about it – before the COVID situation, we under-estimated their value, let alone their presence in the classrooms, until this dreadful Stay at Home order was imposed on a vast majority of working, middle-class Americans (working parents, specifically, who were hit the hardest) that depended on teachers to educate their child/ children in public schools during the day.

Fast forward to now with the on-going threat of the virus still present, many parents are now forced to home-school their kids in the hopes that all they’re providing whatever best resources they have to give in order to meet their kid’s educational needs and to help them stay on track ad not falter in their studies once the order has been lifted (whenever that will be).

The same thing could be said for us librarians/ archivists (wink, wink) that, for some, we’re just seen as nothing more than just a person sitting behind a desk answering one’s burning hot reference questions where that one paranoid patron wouldn’t be able to answer on their own without the help of a librarian or even a reference archivist. I think it’s fair to say that, for most of us, we took certain people and certain things for granted before the global pandemic even became a global pandemic. Things like our freedom, my goodness. Just being able to go take a simple trip to get ice cream and sit outside to enjoy ourselves, or the freedom to travel to another city in another state (on a whim, mind you!) and not have to worry nor have second thoughts about contracting a deadly virus in the midst of those very travels.

Now, I have to be honest, here, having a legitimate excuse to be home all the time is awesome and I love it (this is coming from an introvert’s standpoint, mind you) but the last few points I mentioned are some of my favorite pastimes (it also includes hitting up book signings after attending a free educational lectures at a local library, college/ university, visiting bookstores and notable libraries in my travels, among many others fun treats) and I miss them, quite terribly.

So my sounding advice for all of us here thinking that it’s the end of the world because of the pandemic we’re in, is this: it’s not, and I promise you it isn’t. If it helps, let’s stay hopeful, stay positive and rest assured (pun intended), that everything will be okay, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Until the world fully opens back up again and we’re all able to happily stroll through the stacks in a library and/or bookstore (or is that just me??), let’s just enjoy another night in and chill out, place that order from your favorite restaurant through Door Dash and tune into the latest show Netflix has to offer, we’ve got all the time in the world.

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