Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – pandemic journaling


By Rosie Preston

So many people are speechless as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. I stay informed about it yet there are conflicts within me as I listen to different news reports from our government officials, switching between facts and opinions.

Doctors and scientist are 24-7 searching for a cure. Many believe the reason of how it got to the United States is critical. But when you are a nurse, doctor or a frontline worker, the answer is to go forward with the available facts and not waste time being delusional when it comes to caring for the victims.

The virus is so unpredictable that the results vary in a person’s diagnosis, as one day he or she may test negative and the next day may test positive.

How could all the people be in line day after day to be tested again and again, since the incubation period can last up to two weeks or more? I cannot understand our government being able to afford this cost, as it involves so many people, so many tests and so much money. I may be lame, but I don’t understand this concept.

In the meantime, when I buy groceries, I am surprised that about half the number of persons in the stores are wearing masks or gloves. How do we continue shopping or re-opening businesses while dealing with a devastating and invisible tornado-type virus traveling with such force and no particular path spreading like wildfire and destroying thousands of lives?

The news is reporting that nursing homes and prisons are the most vulnerable, people living in rural areas are the most susceptible. I would advise my fellow citizens to continue to wear masks and gloves. We will know the answer in a few weeks as the re-opening of many businesses continue to be opened. We will know if our loved ones may continue to venture outside the safety of their homes.

This virus is similar to the force of a tornado. The weatherman can only give us a general idea where it will touch down and cause destruction. Yet, we have no way to prepare for the storm except to go to a safe place, as the storm cares nothing about the homeowners or the loss of lives.
Because I’m familiar with the residents who reside in nursing homes, I’m saddened daily about my mom living in one. I know how she calls loudly for my sister and me. The days seem longer as I try to keep in touch by phone and get updates on her. I wake up every morning with the desire to see her.

It’s very unsettling, but I’m not alone. Everyone is facing the seriousness of the virus in different ways. But I can’t complain, because so many family members have lost loved ones. So I keep hoping and praying I will get to visit soon!

It was not my intention to share the sadness I feel, because I know that you and I are in this stage of history together. If you are healthy, be thankful. If you have enough to eat, be grateful. If you get through this without losing a loved one, be thankful.

There is some joy we experienced during this crisis, like having the great-grandchildren visit for a few hours. It gives me precious time to forget the sadness for a while as they fill our hearts with joy and laughter. They bless us with entertainment lifting us from the gloom and doom when we watch and hear the hilarious things they do and say.

We call two and a half-year-old Ella our little firecracker, as her short legs carry her running to and fro. She loves to make a game in opening and closing our kitchen door as she lets the dogs in and out of the house. Ella is just tall enough to reach the doorknob and the dead bolt above it. She can unlock both and makes it her duty to know what the dogs want. They see it as much of a game as she does. We have to watch that she does not feed them all day long. She is as serious about taking care of our two dogs as if it was her daily job.

Ella is potty-trained, so it’s a natural event for me to go into the bathroom and make sure she washes her hands. If I didn’t stay with her, she would play in the water in the sink all day!

Recently, Ella’s Papa went to the bathroom and locked the door. I heard her knocking on the door while telling him she needed to use it. I told her that she would have to wait.

“Why?” she asked.

I told Ella it was because he is a boy and she can’t go because she is a girl. She thoughtfully processed this and announced to us the next day, “I am a boy!” Of course, she knew that she might get her way if she could convince me. It didn’t work, but it didn’t stop her from telling me many times that day that she was a boy. Of course, I had to explain to her mother what had occurred when she came to pick up Ella.

Three and a half-year-old Brooklyn has her ways of keeping us smiling. She loves to be a mommy to her five-month-old baby sister. I was quite amazed at how proficiently and safely her mom has taught her to do so. The only heartbreak Brooklyn experiences is when she wants to take over the responsibilities without an adult helping her. Brooklyn is compassionate and cries when she has to face facts that she is too young to take care of the baby without an adult beside her. I know that she will develop coping skills as she grows older.

I recently told Brooklyn’s mom that I was a crybaby all my life, right up until being a grownup. I know how it feels not to be able to control my tears, and it was very embarrassing to be so sensitive. I was 34 years old when I bought a day care center. As I look back, it gave me a dose of confidence, and I quit being a person who cried at the drop of a hat.

I did, however, shed some tears the other morning. I had just gotten off the phone from checking on my mother. I was in the middle of preparing scrambled eggs and broke an egg into a bowl. As I cracked the second egg, I noticed that the first egg was not in the bowl. I immediately knew what happened – I had dropped the raw egg into my coffee cup. I put the second egg in the bowl and had to start over by pouring my delicious coffee down the sink. I wrote an article quite a while back in which I shared all the different ways I’ve made coffee in my past, but this one tops the coffee cup.

This column is part of my journal about living with the coronavirus. I hope you are keeping a journal as we live through a pandemic that the world has never seen before. A journal could prove to be very valuable to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If you would like to join my journal with our own story, please send it to the e-mail listed below. It will not be published as I may not have room, but it could possibly be part of a book that we could publish on free of charge. Recording your life story during these trying times would be a fun way to spend a few hours a week. Think about it and let me know.

Keep smiling, Rosie

Please visit my blog at, look me up on Facebook at Rosie Preston and e-mail me at

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