The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is waning now, and the world is slowly beginning to return to whatever the new normal will be. Everyone will have a story to share about how they coped during this historic event...here’s mine.
I am retired from a career in print media, am legally disabled, and was already mostly homebound before this crisis even began. Writing books with my co-author Cyndi Barnier or formatting and publishing books for other authors had already engendered a solid work-from-home practice long before COVID-19 was born (however it was). Seeing as how we live in hurricane country here on the South Carolina coast my wife Mendy and I already had our supply of toilet paper and canned goods well-stocked as a rule.
As the COVID pandemic began to spread I was partly amused and saddened at the news reports of people bulk-buying toilet paper and cleaning goods. Going into Walmart or Bi-Lo just shocked me. That was an amazing example of panic-buying. In my house, there was never a shortage of anything...but as the stores’ shelves refill we will have to replenish our hurricane-event stock level.
So how did I do during all this? Frankly, I barely noticed. Yes, my wife was home every day teaching her students via Zoom at her desk right behind mine in our office instead of at her school building. I did my normal day’s work at my desk, completing work on two books for two different authors to go on sale in June and July, plus sign on two more authors whose books will have me busy through to early-to-mid 2021. The YBR owners even interviewed another prospective author via Zoom who is coming to us for publishing a book of poetry. All this I did from my desk, where I am every Monday-Friday from 10-3, except to have lunch or refill my coffee or take care of other business. I’ve done nothing different that I wouldn’t have done anyway had this disease not left China.
I am also a Catholic laity and liturgy chairman for my Parish, Saint Peter's Catholic Church in Beaufort, SC, so when my church went to 100% online-only services I served every Sunday as the lector with the Pastor. I think this is where i was truly impacted, as only the Pastor and I were on the altar; and the organist, cantor, and media controller were in the choir loft. In my youth and early adulthood I was also a stage actor and performer, which made me very comfortable serving before hundreds of people in the Mass. Since before Easter I have served as the sole Lector for our Parish at the streamed Masses from Palm Sunday through Holy Week, and through mid-May, speaking to a camera six feet away instead of all three wings of the church with hundreds of people watching and listening. I never trained to be before a camera, but now I’m used to it. I may find speaking before a congregation will take a little getting back used to!
Millions of people have been impacted during this crisis. While my personal impact may have been relatively minor, there are those who are in dire straits. My prayers go with everyone to return to our new normal life quickly, and to those who lost family and friends to the virus...
~Jack Gannon, YBR Co-Founder and Production Manager