It’s been a mad, wild ride, this year of 2020. For much of this year, it’s been hard to feel optimistic about anything, right?
And now we’re into November.
I’ve written a couple of blog posts this year – mostly about pandemic novels. From that, you can gauge what 2020 has been like.
A quick summary of 2020 (to date):
I work full time in Supply Chain for a large meat company in New Zealand. The year began with China shutting down its manufacturing and borders, (try running a supply chain without China) and progressed through to a worldwide pandemic.
In April, New Zealand closed its borders and went into lockdown. 4 weeks or so of no-one traveling, workplaces closed, etc. But not the business I work for – it’s a food manufacturing business.
And in April, what was my job? To source sanitizer. (Not romantic or writerly, I know – but hey, it’s a living!) I wasn’t buying the little bottles you find at the supermarket: I buy barrel-loads of the stuff. And over April 2020, you just couldn’t find it, because the whole world was buying it and New Zealand is a long way away from most manufacturing.
Things grew easier in May, as some distilleries began to produce, and by June we were fine. But April was the toughest period, work-wise, by far.
Writing went on the back-burner for many months. Not only did I not have time: I didn’t have the energy. Watching the numbers of deaths climbing and the insanity of leaders – well, it saps your creativity.
Thank goodness the leader of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, listened to the scientists when they said – This is not just the flu. This is going to be really, really bad.
So now it’s November. At the time of writing, New Zealand has almost no active cases of COVID-19 in the community. Pub, restaurants, and bars are open: concerts and gigs are back to normal. We aren’t stupid – we know it can come back. But we have systems and tracking in place to manage this and the border is generally well managed.
It’s spring here in New Zealand. Today it’s Sunday, and the sun is shining. Flowers are out, birds are chirping.
Birds don’t notice the pandemic.
Today, Biden won the U.S. election. And I’ve written 20,000 words of a new story: a romance, set in my home-town of Ōtepoti, Dunedin. Starring a witchy-journalist and an absent-minded scientist, the story’s about nature and creativity and love and myth. It’s cautiously optimistic. Like me.
Oh, I don’t have a title yet. But at least I have words on a page.