Toilet paper, COVID-19, and Kindness

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people are terrified. Some are panic-buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Some are celebrating they don’t have to go to work or school. I’m more concerned with our kindness and trust for each other. There are children who won’t get any food because school was the only place where they got a daily meal. There are homeless people who will die because they can’t get tested or get treatment. There are people from other countries stuck in the U.S. and people in Europe trying to get home to their American families. Everyone is confused, and everything has been turned into chaos.

Photo of COVID-19 from the CDC. One of life’s ironies is how something so beautiful could be causing so much despair.

In moments like this, it’s extra important to be kind to each other. Check on your neighbors and friends. Offer something you can over social media. I just offered some work materials up for grabs for folks unaccustomed to working online, and I got responses from around the globe. I saw that some college students who live local to their schools have offered to let international students stay in their homes when dorms close. It’s easy to become concerned with ourselves and the disruptions to our daily lives, but when the dust settles (which it eventually will), how extraordinary would it be if we could look around and think, “Wow, look how we got through this together?”

My non-Jane life has been suspended for a while, and writing conferences and conventions are being canceled. That means I can put more energy into my writing. One of the things I love about contemporary and fun romance is that it celebrates the indomitable human spirit. No matter what gets thrown at my characters, they put their faith in love – and they triumph.

If you’re quarantined or your work has been suspended, may I suggest reading a romance novel? And don’t forget to wash your hands and tell people you love them.

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