Coronacation Chronicles – May 10, 2020

“Tanager Blues”

I’m starting to think that our timeline somehow became skewed to follow Biff Tannen’s alternate 1985, and that’s what directly led to the bizarro life we’re living today. Damn that Marty McFly and his terrible Grey’s Sports Almanac get-rich-quick scheme!

I battled a bit this week with staying positive in my search for silver linings. For starters, the week began with the announcement that schools will remain closed for the rest of the year. I knew it was coming, we all knew it was coming, but to actually hear the official announcement was like a punch in the gut. I won’t see my seniors ever again in my classroom, and I won’t see the others until…..who knows, September, hopefully? Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking as an educator. I chose to become an educator because of my innate desire to help students become the best versions of themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the seriousness of our bizarro-world, but it’s nearly impossible to inspire students from behind a screen. My heart hurts because I never got to properly say goodbye to any of them, especially my seniors.

Maybe it’s a side-effect of that announcement, but the increased screen time from both teaching remotely and the hours of preparation that’s required to effectively educate from a computer negatively affected my ability to produce flowing sentences with meaningful words this past week. I want to write something that inspires and provides readers like you with a sense of hope, yet this week, I stared the blank screen or the blank page like Alley Oop without producing anything worthy of posting, including this sorry excuse for a post. I even neglected the two books I’ve been researching and drafting since February.

My increased screen time has also caused me to further isolate myself. After staring at a screen for nine-hours-and-counting on any given day, I am so screened-out that I simply cannot accept after-work-hours virtual Zoom or Google Meet or FaceTime invites for voluntary online get-togethers from family, friends, and fellow writers. Instead of experiencing camaraderie and a sense of belonging, virtual meetings, workshops, and interactions actually cause me to experience anxiety. If you’ve sent me an invite, I certainly appreciate being included, but please understand why I might not show up in one of the Brady Bunch boxes on your end. It’s not you, it’s me, and hopefully someday, I’ll become more at ease with sharing my virtual self.

Despite the creative void, a positive moment from the past week was spotting a male


Terrible photo I took of the Scarlet Tanager.

Scarlet Tanager in my yard. I saw a flashing bright red body with sheer black wings fly from the cedar tree to the oak. The bird was about the size of a sparrow with its shocking red hue different than the coloring of a male cardinal and a shade I had never seen on a bird before. I observed its mannerisms as it hopped and flew from branch to branch high in the oak tree’s branches, and with a quick search on my phone, I confirmed it was a male Scarlet Tanager. He was one of the most beautiful little birds I’ve ever seen and a bright spot in a week full of the blahs.

Another positive this week: socially distanced visits allowed me to see all of my nieces and nephews over the past week in person. Their smiles never fail to light up my world and I long to scoop each one up in a tight bear hug. When they’ll once again be able to sit on my lap as we play a game or sit next to me as I tell them a story, I don’t know, but I wish it was today. Again, I understand the virus and all of its serious intricacies, but having to sing Happy Birthday to four out of five of them over the phone since the shutdown without being able to hand each a special gift in person was the absolute pits.

The times, they’re getting to me today, for sure.

Please don’t misinterpret what I’ve shared as complaints. Rather, my intention is to share with you the reality of what I’m living and feeling right now without shame and without embarrassment. It’s real, it’s unedited, and it’s authentic. As the saying goes, it is what it is, and it’s all part of the human experience to experience the good with the bad. Life has its highs and its lows, and last week was a subpar week at best.

Here’s looking forward with a renewed attitude to a new week, and if the doldrums continue, there will be another new week coming along, shortly.

cropped-img_0764 Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With gratitude,


“Coronacation Chronicles – May 10, 2020” was posted on and on on May 10, 2020. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not compensated in any way by any entity. Copyright 2020, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

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