The following is part of my series, Filipinos Coping with Covid.
Linda Ty-Casper is a multi-award Filipina novelist noted for her historical fiction set in the Philippines. She is the author of over 16 books and has been awarded the SEA WRITE Award, Rockefeller (Bellagio), Radcliffe Fellowship, among others.
Responding to my interview questions, Linda describes life for her in Massachusetts, USA, during the time of coronavirus. This was written on May 24, 2020. ~ Cecilia Brainard
Life in Massachusets, USA during Covid 19
By Linda Ty-Casper
We’re still in lockdown and I have been in for over two months now. I’m in the house by myself but neighbors look after me, bring me take outs, include me in their grocery deliveries. A friend’s daughter asks for my grocery list when she shops for her mother. I get help with the computer and, once, checking the fuse box for the refrigerator.
We practice social distancing, so we talk at the door, keeping it open a bit. We have stopped visiting.
I work at the piles of material and letters — later this year, will go on to the boxes of photographs. So this stay-home policy is helping me do the jobs I should have done before. I rest my eyes from reading by looking at the river. A pair of swans have been staying around and must have a nest either in the island or cove, and I see them most of the day, chasing Canadian geese. It would be a good time to garden but I can’t bend any more so I garden standing up, along the driveway. I can’t go to plant nurseries because I have to call ahead and I can’t tell what I want unless I browse. But some perennials are brightening the beds.
Luckily, I have not been affected financially, but I have so few needs now, I can even help others.
I’m up by 5 am. Say prayers for those who have asked for them. I check the news on TV, check the emails, then have breakfast. I garden if I feel good enough, then work on files on the dining table, mostly looking over old notes, diaries to make sense of the years that have passed almost unnoticed. Not always happy, news of deaths among family and friends darken the day. A friend shares her cookies and meals she still makes at 97. I feel guilty. In between, I call friends here and in the Philippines, it is good to talk to them; besides emails.
I got my first set of masks from a student of Tina who made them to donate to causes, but since I stay home, have not used them. I talk to neighbors at the door, spray mail and delivery bags with Lysol. I also spray surfaces. I’m thinking of having my meds delivered.
I take the car out for a drive, just to drop off mail at the mailbox in front of the post office. I make a loop around the river and come back. A neighbor said I have to do that for the car.
I worry about how long this crisis will last, especially for those with children. I lived through the Japanese Occupation so I have some survival instincts. And I don’t have any plans for travel anymore. Or have any ideas for writing. I’ve written all I need to write.
We all need patience to get through this, need hope, for which we need trust and faith that we are in His good hands today, and tomorrow will come with good news for all. And Gretchen and Tina will be able to visit again.
Coronavirus: The Beginning, by Cecilia Brainard
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part One (Cecilia Brainard, Positively Filipino)
How Filipinos Are Coping With Covid, Part Two (C. Brainard, PF)
Lia Feraren, Germany
Teresa Concepcion, Canada
Ofelia Gelvezon Tequi, France
Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, France
New Zealand: Jay Montilla & Monika Tawngdee
Linda Ty-Casper, Massachusetts, USA
Barbara Ann Jacala, San Diego, CA, USA
Brian Ascalon Roley, Ohio, USA
tags: #coronavirus #covid19 #covid #Filipinos #copingwithcovid #Paris #France #Europe #FilipinoFrench #FrenchFilipino #FilipinoAmerican