As difficult as the pandemic lockdown was for us, I counted our blessings every day.

We signed up for the Covid-19 vaccine when it became available. Unlike friends and neighbors, I didn’t take the time to hunt down and make vaccine appointments in nearby towns. I spent too much time filling out online forms that collected way too much private information. We waited in long lines and even had to return the next day when vaccine supplies ran out. It was frustrating but worth it in the end.

Securing the second dose was easier. We waited another restless thirty days. When scientific research assured us we enjoyed 95% immunity, we celebrated with our first curbside pickup of prepared food. YUMMM!

The lockdown could have been so very much worse for us in so many different ways.

We did not get sick with Covid-19.

We enjoyed a steady income.

Adequate infection control supplies were available.

Family members weren’t forced by necessity to go to workplaces rife with viral outbreaks.

We didn’t struggle to hang onto a rapidly-failing business we had spent our lives building up from nothing or run through life savings in a matter of weeks or months.

Unlike many, we weren’t trapped at home without any company at all.

No elderly relatives were stuck 3,000 miles away without an adequate support system.

We had no small children to teach, amuse, discipline or care for day in and day out; no classroom to set up and equip; no complex curricula to develop and textbooks to secure and read. We had no lesson plans to make. There was no need to comfort young children when they were dying to go outside and play with their little friends and couldn’t understand why Mommy or Daddy or Granny or Grandpa was being so cruel and unfair.

And we didn’t have to agonize over what might happen to our babies or who would take care of them if we got sick and died.

Sure, like everyone else, we suffered from cabin fever, but for the most part, we enjoyed or at least tolerated each other’s company and support. Worthwhile work and entertainment were available via various electronic devices and reliable internet service. Personal privacy was available when needed.

Groceries and supplies were delivered. We rode the recumbent bike from Central Texas to Juneau, Alaska and back. Wildlife amused us. (The big squirrel that jumps out of bed and lands heavily on our rooftop every morning, rattling the house, has not yet shed his pandemic ten pounds!) We had nearby hike and bike trails when we needed to be separate or to walk in the woods.

We have an old family lake cabin in Central Texas, another escape when we need a change of pace. It holds lots of precious memories and is quiet, woodsy, teeming with wildlife and great views of the lake. Nature regularly delights us with unexpected wonders. Writing comes easier there. Productivity soars. We can fish, swim, walk in the woods or sit on the porch and contemplate the serenity of the lake. It’s my favorite place in the whole world.

I continued editing manuscripts for The Pig Parts Series.

I routinely said little prayers for others not so fortunate, especially single mothers and fathers worn down with childcare, unfamiliar educational responsibilities, lack of income and family resources, eviction, homelessness, loneliness and ill health. We stepped up charitable contributions and tips for services, hoping to help, knowing it was way too little.

Of course we suffered stresses and strains, but dreadful statistics show that for too many tragic souls, they proved to be unbearable.