COVID-19 Musings, April 15 edition (or: How to Blog through Writers’ Block)

On this morning, April 15, 2020, I sit looking out at an unnaturally quiet street, feeling like a stranger in a strange land.

How, in this new place, will I use True Stories Well Told? How will I blog while not feeling particularly wise or witty about anything? There’s nothing in my mind that’s fit to print. I haven’t found the time to reach out to some of you for guest posts. I will, but for now, I’m gathering links to articles that feel helpful to me. Call it my ‘COVID Resilience Collection.’

I’m continuing to journal almost every day. Just a few jottings but I’m hopeful, like a traveler, that what I’m capturing will bring back greater recall–and deeper understanding–when this trip has shifted from present to past tense.

Today’s link is an article in the Canadian magazine Maclean’s by Ayelet Tsabari. Ayelet is a mentor with the U-King’s-Halifax MFA-Creative Nonfiction program. She joined the program in my second year and I had the opportunity to attend a few classes she taught. I was charmed. She has a poet’s heart. Her memoir The Art of Leaving (link to review) won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Memoir. She knows a thing or two about resilience.

What the Gulf War taught me about coronavirus

What the Gulf War taught me about coronavirus

“The futility of planning.” Yes, that puts a pin in it–what I’ve been feeling for the last month.

Just one example: After my mom realized she absolutely had to use oxygen all the time, she was virtually a prisoner in her room because she couldn’t manage without assistance the transition from room oxygenator to portable tanks. I spent a week on phone calls and websites trying to find the best deal on a portable oxygen concentrator that would give her more independence. (Turns out that’s a whole shady  underbelly to the medical equipment supply industry.) The day her concentrator arrived, her assisted living facility went on full shut-down–residents not allowed out of their rooms. The futility of planning.

“Life in crisis doesn’t leave time for pondering,” wrote Ayelet. I won’t ponder, but I will try to capture what I’m living through. “…the only way to cope with the uncertainty is to accept it, to root ourselves firmly in the present, to live small…I hold on to the now like my life depends on it.” Thanks Ayelet, me too.


What is the story of your resilient moment? How are you facing this challenge and coming through?

See submission guidelines here–then send me your true RESILIENT story well told. Or hey, just a link to any resource that helps you refill and recharge.

  • Sarah White

About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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