Warning: crabby writer here.


There are so many wonderful examples to the contrary. But they remain the minority.

What am I talking about?

Trustworthiness in humans. The coronabub (coronavirus hubbub) has made this clear to me. First there are the accounts you hear on TV and read online. Some experts say just go about your business, but wash your hands  a lot. Other reports say that those 60+ and/or with compromised immune systems (also heart or lung disease, etc.) should stay in their own homes and eschew even family events. Still other reports predict gloom and doom.

Because I am in the 60+ group and have had some lung issues in the past as an adult (also as a kid I was a magnet for every respiratory disease around), I am trying to pretend I am a crocodile that people want to stay away from (see photo below). I plan to be careful when I am out. But other people are not that careful. They still go to events where hundreds or thousands of people are attending. Even my own husband is not that careful when it comes to sanitizing and still doesn’t understand the concept of soap as necessity. He believes that big companies sold us on the idea of soap for them to reap the profits. So how does me being careful keep me safe if others I come in contact with are not careful?

The gardener calls me Howey Anne, after Howard Hughes and his infamous germaphobia. I would say that is a little extreme because I am not that paranoid. You have to consider the source. Person who thinks soap is unimportant thinks I am a germaphobe. Get it?

But I don’t like germs. I blame Oprah for an episode she filmed a long time ago about the germs in hotel rooms and your own shower head. ICK.

This coronavirus thing is causing me a lot of anxiety. I suppose it isn’t mentally healthy for me to be trying to keep my hands away from my face (an impossible task) and to be thinking about germs all the time.

I offer no comfort. Sorry if that’s what you need right now.

The gardener and I just got back from Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The first night we were there, the maid service left a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer in my room. I clung to it for the rest of the trip as if it were the last canteen of water in an unpopulated Sahara in a 1930s movie. It allowed me to fly home through two airplanes and four airports.

The trip was not the best, to tell you the truth. Coronavirus was only part of it. The worst was that the resort had accidentally cancelled our reservation back in September, but our travel agent never knew it. I am too tired from thinking about germs to tell you much about the trip, but the animals were fabulous, the Costa Ricans were nice, and the rest of it was not so great.

Then there was the driver who tried to scam us to the tune of $149 in Houston, the Houston hotel whose shuttle was out of commission but they neglected to tell us, and the bank that ripped our mortgage check and sent it back saying it was “torn in the mail” (LIE), thus dinging our credit. I mean, I could probably come up with a really long list like this. People just suck sometimes.

There are all the sad stories I read on Facebook about animals abandoned, neglected, and abused by humans. It never gets better.

The person who knowingly took his/her coronavirus ass to an event with hundreds of people.

I heard some people are stealing masks from hospitals. WTF!

Who would ever trust a human?

But without trust, where are we? We cannot live alone. It is impossible to be completely self-sufficient. What we do impacts others as well as ourselves. We can’t make it different. But we can try to do our best. In the worst of times, we need to be the best we can be.

Don’t brazen it out and go to major events and then drag your germs to other, more vulnerable people. Imagine being stuck in a nursing home right now–you can’t leave, but once coronavirus enters your facility, you would feel targeted. So be kind and think of other people.

OK, pretty sure my readers didn’t need that, but you might want to remind others!


As far as photos of Costa Rica go, I have started (slowly) posting some on my Instagram account: catpoems.  Check them out if you’re interested!

Also, University of Chicago-based Memoryhouse Magazine has published my Whitman tribute poem, “Out of the Cradle.” It refers to “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” and the last two words are used as the initial letters for the lines of the poem. This issue, called “Rattle,” is a good one. You can find it here.


I hope when I check back in here next Monday for my next post, the coronabub has burst, and all is back to normal.

Crocodile on the Palo Verde River, Guanacaste, Costa Rica



Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Poetry, Publishing, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

65 responses to “Coronabub

  1. Well, glad you made it safely back. Stay healthy!!

  2. Family has several big trips coming up – all in May: 1st granddaughter’s:8th graders to Isreal; me to Maryland for 2nd grandson bassoon concert plus 1st grandson college grad, that families’ celebration to Japan in the summer, and a family reunion in MN in September – and me with one lung. COVID shoo!
    Not to mention, Covid is robbing us financially.

    • Oh that is a shame to have so much going on. We have two things scheduled–one in April (family here) and one in May (visiting my mom in Michigan). I’m not thinking about those yet 😉 because I really want to see what the stats are once the test kits are plentiful. We might have super skewed stats right now. Stay safe!

  3. I feel your pain. Since I have a compromised immune system and lung issues I certainly don’t beleve you have a phobia. For the last ten years, we have practiced safe measures when around others. When leaving the house, sanitizer goes with. When returning to the house, washing hands is mandatory. So far this regime has worked. I too hope all this goes away, but think we are in for a long bout of hysteria.

    • I’m sorry you’re dealing with those health issues, John. Maybe after the test kits are out and about we will feel better because the stats might get a lot better. Very good protocol you are using. For now, I have added people Lysoling their shoes and purses/briefcases when they enter my house, too.

  4. I trust you will survive, Luanne.

    • LOL! I like your response, Derrick. 🙂

    • LOL spoken like someone who doesn’t live in a big city. There are at least 5 million people in Phoenix, but more at this time of year because of snowbirds, and we have coronavirus in our part of Phoenix and at our hospital–the one closest to us, so until there are plenty of test kits and the stats settle down, I’ll be careful. Also, the CDC has recommended that 60+ not go to events with groups of people, even religious services, so I would be a fool to ignore what they say since that is what we pay them for. I fully expect things to look a lot better in a week. That said, there is a good reason to limit contact because it is helpful to the truly vulnerable.

  5. Right now I’m more crabby about the change to Daylight Savings Time, 🙂 but I am concerned about the virus. It’s difficult to know what to do. I just went to the gym, and that’s a germ factory. I try to remember never to touch my face there. I know people who have cancelled upcoming trips.
    And the nursing/assisted care home situations are particularly troubling.
    Congratulations on your poem!

  6. Enjoyed every word. Even as you are fighting the urge to retreat, your mood can provide more fodder for the creative process. The uncertainty of this health crisis adds to my anxiety (and yes, I also am in the over 60 category) each and every day. With gorgeous weather to boost my emotions, I am spending hours in my gardens. It’s soothing. Still, there is much to alarm us. On another note, I will be sending you an email in a few days about another subject. Hope the sun is shining for you.

    • Yes, they say going outside is the best way to reduce anxiety! Probably why my husband spends so much time outside gardening! I’ll watch for the email! It’s pouring rain here today. The weather is very unusual in Arizona this year!

  7. You’re right to be careful, Luanne. I hope you manage to avoid the dreaded virus, as I hope we all will, and an extra washing of hands is not going to hurt anyone. Stay well.

  8. Congrats on your poem! People are making me crazy too. I’m starting to suspect that most people never wash their hands. Is there any question why I like cats better?

    • Thanks, Kate! People are driving me really crazy at this point. They so seldom get to the most important points in anything, so when it’s something dangerous that is dangerous thinking. I LOVE cats, and with people, well, I don’t want to be rude. hahaha

  9. All I know is this virus couldn’t be near as bad as the flu I had over the holidays. Honestly, I have never been that ill and I’m pretty tough. When I collapsed coming out of the bathroom, I though I was a goner. Congrats on your poem!

    • Jill, I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but how do you know that wasn’t Covid-19?

      • I didn’t have any respiratory issues, not even a cough. Also, no shortness of breath. I’d been in the ER with my father and had just had a Remicade infusion a few days prior, so my resistance was low. At the time and even now, there hasn’t been any reports of the virus in my area. No one in my family, including my 80+ year old parents got sick from being around me. With the Covid-19, it’s highly contagious, so I suspect it was the flu.

        • Okie dokie. Just one more little thing, though – you say that there haven’t been reports of the virus in your area, but remember that people can be walking around with it before it becomes symptomatic. So we don’t always know who/where is safe! I’m becoming more paranoid, I guess… One thing I must focus on is NOT to touch my face as I tend to do, biting nails… Argh. Anyway, I think you’re right, what you had during the holidays doesn’t sound like the virus, since no cough, no respiratory issues. Also, I think back then it was just in China… though I could be mistaken.

          • True, Ellie. Many who are diagnosed didn’t realize they had the virus. Some who’ve had it and recovered have said it wasn’t any worse than a cold. I’ve always been a germaphobe, so I don’t need to change my much when it comes to hand washing, etc. I’m always wiping down my keyboard, mouse, desk at my day job. My coworkers laugh at me. 🙂 Even though my immune system is comprised due to Crohn’s and the treatment I receive, I have more concerns about the flu, given the high death rates each year. Nice to meet you!

            • Nice meeting you too! Your wipe-downs at work remind me of a tenant who used to live in my building – she would use a Kleenex to press the elevator button when she got on. I used to think it was a bit much, but now I think it was smart! And maybe she was immunocompromised too, who knows. We all gotta take care of ourselves as best we can, bottom line.

              • That tenant might be related to me, Ellie! I use Wet Ones to open doors and push elevator buttons! LOL! I blame my grandmother. Growing up, she was constantly asking if I’d washed my hands. 🙂

              • No one minds the wet surface afterward? What am I saying! They’re probably glad – plus it probably evaporated quickly! Your grandma was ahead of her time! 😁

              • Some of those surfaces are never cleaned…unless I’ve come through. 🙂 Yes she was! 🙂

    • I can’t add much here as you and Ellie pretty much covered it all LOL! I did post a couple of good articles on Facebook today, one from the ex director of the CDC and why we need to socially isolate as much as possible. And this youtube is very good.

  10. Glad you made it home safely, Luanne. I am also a germaphobe and proud of it! I continually use antiseptic wipes in all public places, and many people who know me have teased me about it. I don’t care. It is certainly an uncomfortable time to be traveling! We have a trip coming up too, and we already have plans for our rubber gloves and wipes for the train. Ugh. We had talked about planning a European trip too, but we are going to drop those plans considering what is happening. I am practicing trust in God and not letting fear take over, though it is an ongoing battle. In other words, I hear ya sister! Sending love.

  11. Luanne, I so know where you’re coming from. There’s no such thing as being too careful, I think. I want to visit my son & his wife – they invited me for June, they’re in NYC/Brooklyn, but now I’m not so sure I should book. I’m going to wait some weeks, just to see. Today I notice their case count keeps climbing… and then there’s the whole idea of airports! Where has your seatmate been? Y’know? Ay yi.
    Glad you got some nice moments at least, in Costa Rica. I’ve heard fab things about it, but have never been there. From Montreal, it’s a rather big trip. Anyway, my fingers are crossed that this thing dies out sooner rather than later!!! <3
    And Congrats re your poem!!!!

    • Thank you re the poem.
      Yes, are we allowed to travel between Canada and the U.S. right now or not? I don’t even know! Everything is changing so fast I can’t keep up.
      Costa Rica was an interesting trip. Not my best, but that isn’t necessarily about Costa Rica haha.
      Stay safe, Ellie!

  12. We just came back via a ferry from Vancouver Island to escape all the corona virus news for a spell and walking through the forest and by the beach helped a lot!
    I hope you make your way safely through this, the stats and warnings are relentless…our store shelves are empty and we’re trying hard to be positive while washing our hands frequently…our province (British Columbia, Canada) just recorded its first death…let’s hope it burns itself out soon. Stay safe…

    • I hope things are at a standstill there and not getting worse. We are a little “behind” here in Arizona with only 9 known cases and no deaths. I would only hope it stays this way. One good thing about social isolating is staying away from panic 🙂 and getting some “refresher” time. You stay safe, too!

  13. Oh my goodness, Luanne. As my grandmother Ma used to say when she was dealing with an unknown evil karma, I think you’ve seen the green weenie. The corona virus is bad enough without having to deal with a trip to Costa Rica in the middle of it. You have seen the green weenie.
    We are indeed flawed as humans, and my only hope is that anyone who is unkind to animals or children will surely burn in hell – or wherever.
    Thank goodness for the new acceptance of your work!
    Buck up, my friend – at least you’re not 74 with the third cold of the winter.

    • We are doing ok over here. How about you and T? Are you staying home? Hah, I hear you about the unkindnesses to the most vulnerable! GRRRR. Please stay safe!!!!

      • I have been self quarantined for a week now, Luanne. I was sick with bronchitis all last week but my doc gave me two shots of who knows what plus high powered antibiotics so I am feeling much better this week. T takes good care of me!

        • Oh no! I am so glad the shots worked! I actually started to get a little worried about antibiotics after discovering they are almost all made in China. I mean, are we crazy? I went through my medicine basket and found a newish bottle and a partial packet of 4 year old antibiotic. At least that is something hahahahaha. I am so glad that T takes good care of you. You two STAY SAFE.

  14. I’m sure under the circumstances you describe I’d be pretty grouchy, too! Keep healthy there. I think the risks are perhaps overblown, but no one wants to get sick, even if it isn’t life-threatening.

  15. I am a hand washer. I vigilant hand washer. My family mocks me for it, but how much more time and energy would I lose if I wasn’t a vigilant hand washer?
    I will eat from plants and trees in my own yard without washing them, I will let my pets kiss me, but you can be sure that germs in public spaces are an entirely different crop and as a result, am vigilant about washing my hands.
    I am a big fan of soap, Luanne. Big fan.

    • This is the craziest time I’ve ever lived through. Glad I’m a handwasher. My bottle of anti-bacterial liquid soap is always down to half yikes. Do you think regular liquid soap is just as good? I have more of that. I ask you since you are a soap expert! Stay safe!!!

      • I’m not yelling at you, but regular soap is always best! For one thing, this is a virus and not bacteria. But also, if you or hubby have allergies (!!!) or autoimmune issues (!!!) you need to keep ALL your good bacteria and you don’t want to suffer antibiotic resistance – yay regular soap! Check out the CDC and the FDA on antibacterial soap guidelines.

  16. Strength to you, Luanne, and to all our blogger friends, in these, trying and stressful times.

  17. I was initially skeptical that soap would have any effect upon viruses. But this video explains why soap is extremely effective against viruses:

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