Intellectually, I knew that this second lockdown was coming, just in time for the holidays. The news of it still hit me hard.

NOTE: I am well aware that I am playing “Apocalypse 2020” on one of the easiest settings possible. There are a few easier settings, but really, I’m lucky.

One of the ways in which I’m not on the easiest setting is when it comes to internet. I do not have unlimited bandwidth out here in the middle of nowhere.

This summer, it was much easier. I would drive to the Maple Valley library, which is amazingly lovely, both inside and out. The parking lot had been built carefully, so there are stands of trees everywhere.

I would park my truck, get out a camp chair, and sit under the trees while I used the library’s internet. (All of the King County libraries, as well as most of the government buildings, were made into free WiFi hotspots this spring, as a result of the first lockdown.)

My bladder would only allow me to stay for an hour or two. You’d be amazed at the amount of work I could get done in that amount of time. I would have a list of all the things I needed to do, then would do them at the library. I was frequently exhausted afterward because I worked so hard and was so focused.

It really made me prioritize in terms of publishing. The important stuff got done. The less important stuff is still waiting for me to get around to it. (Email is still my bain and I need to get back on top of it.)

It’s fall now, heading into winter. Sitting in a camp chair in the parking lot of the library wouldn’t be pleasant. I had been going to a coffee shop some days. The place was never full, and though the coffee shop is a single level, the ceiling goes up to a second story. It had great airflow. (Blaze went to a bar down in Enumclaw. His mask is such that he can wear it and still drink something.)

Washington state is about to go back under lockdown again. They’ll make the announcement today, and it’ll probably go into effect tomorrow. My lovely coffee shop is going to have to shut down. As will Blaze’s bar.

I was aware that the numbers were spiking. We’d gone to a restaurant a few times this summer. I had already made the decision not to go back to a restaurant until our numbers got better.

At this point, I’m figuring February before this lockdown gets lifted. People are going to be idiots and get together for Christmas regardless of what the governor says. So mid-January will be another spike. Maybe by mid-February things will be more under control.

I have pandemic fatigue. I think everyone does. I have hope that there will be a vaccine next year. I have hope that the new administration is going to actually try to control the virus instead of saying that it’s impossible.

So don’t be an idiot. Wear your mask. Practice social distancing. Don’t get together with your friends indoors without wearing masks.

I know it’s hard. Hopefully, by the end of next year, it will be better.

What are you doing this holiday season to brighten your spirits?