I don’t have to tell you the pandemic has changed life for all of us. Many people lost loved ones. Others had to struggle with not being able to visit and support family in hospitals and nursing homes. When my dear hubby Joe was in the hospital with an infection last November, I couldn’t even visit, much less my daughter and grandchildren, who all wanted to make sure he was okay. Most of us are now looking at getting jabbed with vaccines (Twice! Ugh!!) which may or may not make us feel ill as a side effect (Raising my hand as one who felt AWFUL afterward).
But as authors we’ve had to struggle with yet another conundrum. . .how—or not—to address COVID-19 in our stories.
For Harlequin, and consequently for me, we’ve decided to write around the pandemic without addressing it at all. (Although I may choose to write and self-publish a story taking place during the pandemic.) Please God the pandemic will be far away in the review mirror, if not soon, then at least within the next year or two. Quarantine, masks, social distancing will hopefully make way for restaurants, concerts, and sports. Families being able to spend face-to-face quality time together. Hugs, cuddles, and kisses.
So I’ve just finished writing my January 2021 as-yet-to-be-named book in my Rocky Mountain Family series for Harlequin Love Inspired, and I don’t know how many times I’ve cringed as I’ve had my characters shake hands, high-five, hug and even kiss inside a hospital. Thank you, COVID-19 for turning me into a certifiable germaphobe.
In real life, I’m aching to go to music concerts (and have gone so far as to buy tickets for September and October…SO THERE, PANDEMIC!!), attend church again and sing in choir and celebrate special occasions with my extended family.
In my books, I’m rejoicing that my characters never had to suffer through a pandemic. They can live life the way things were. And in a year or so, we’ll be able to see what our new normal will be and maybe I can adjust my books to that.
So tell me…what do you most miss that the pandemic has taken from you? Please be sure to include anything you’d like me to pray about.
My July Rocky Mountain Family book, The Marine’s Mission, is now available for preorder!