I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

I alternate between laughter–  those videos people keep sending me really are funny. Have you seen Pluto the talking Schnauzer?– and tears, like when I listen to or watch the news of the suffering and dying– especially those families with a grandpa in the hospital that can’t hold anyone’s hand. And there’s the fatigue in the eyes of doctors and nurses– face masks can’t conceal that. Just as I despair, one of my daughters that is trying to work at home while her husband is too, and also teaching their children, texts me a colorful meme: “It’s OKAY to NOT be at your most productive during a  %$#!&** GLOBAL PANDEMIC.”

Yesterday, as the daily afternoon press conference from the Whitehouse raised my blood pressure,  I realized all I had to do was turn off the radio. Then I baked some molasses cookies, because molasses has iron in it which is good for you, and because I like to eat them. Sometimes baking the perfect, gooey molasses cookie can save the day, maybe even save the world as I know it.

There’s that, and Emilia is two weeks old,

Home schooling with the grandkids is going as well as can be expected from Alaska to Australia

I have managed to hack most of the ice off the path to the beach,

And it may be cold, but the sun is shining, and what a place to walk the dogs!

Luckily, Haines does not have a confirmed case of Covid 19 yet. The social distancing, quarantine, travel restrictions  –basically staying at home that we have been doing for two weeks now– is helping. Still, they are making plexiglass enclosures for the clinic in preparation for contagious patients.There are five people in Juneau with it. One of them called me to talk on the phone yesterday. He is at home, and says he’s  getting better, but his cough sounds awful.

I think what I’m feeling in my low moments is similar to what I felt when I was runover by a truck and broke my pelvis so badly in April 2005. The months of home confinement. The uncertainty of the outcome. When, if ever, would life be back to normal? My worry is worse at night now, just as it was then. Morning sun, as Mary Oliver wrote, really is the best preacher ever. One practice that helped me then, and is helping now, is saying this prayer before I go to sleep at night,

Another one, is having tea and toast at the table with a quiet book of poetic essays rather than at my desk, or with a tablet reading the latest headlines.

I have also decided to keep a virus journal, not for publication, but to share my fears with, and even vent a bit in way that I don’t in public, because what good does it do to upset anyone? Henny Penny is not someone I’d like to be on a life boat with. However these are tough times, as Dr. Fauci says, “Really tough.” Here’s something to think about:  when I wrote down all my worse thoughts and read them back, I started to laugh. “Oh come on, buck up!” Get a grip, I wrote to myself. “Look out the window, count your blessings, you are luckier than most. Send a check to the Salvation Army, compose a poem, sing John Prine ‘ …turn off the TV, plant a little garden…’ ” —  And later, I read that he’s doing better, and then I ordered some seeds.