Editor’s note: The Virus Diaries is a series in which Mainers talk about how they are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Lynne Lyons has become accustomed to social distancing. For much of the past year, she has been grieving alone in her Clinton home since her husband, Deon, died April 12, 2019, after battling cancer.

But Lyons is also resourceful and independent. She and her husband always stocked up on food in the fall, freezing vegetables and meat in a large freezer. Long before the coronavirus outbreak, Lyons knew how to be self-sufficient. And yet she is worried about the pandemic – when it will end, and how people will adapt before it passes.

“Next Sunday, it will have been a year since my beautiful husband of almost 40 years died, and I have spent most of it choosing to socially distance myself from people. So, I am no stranger to being alone. In my grief, I have had good and bad days. With the promise of warmer weather in the near future, I started walking my dog. I started enjoying eating food again, after not wanting to eat, an unfortunate side effect of grief, along with a staggering weight loss.

“So now, one day at a time, I fight to stay positive, remind myself to eat, try to not cry all day, and I try not to listen to the news. The only problem with that is I might not know about the next structural modification that has been made to a grocery store. We all know how confusing that has been.

“The situation (out there) has gone from bad to worse. People are on edge, pissed off, and confused. I am the latter. There are no answers on a possible end. And, there is no telling what will happen in our society after. Aside from the hits to the economy and government, hospitals and health care workers functioning like MASH units, and schools that are likely to be changed forever. I hope some of the changes are positive ones.

“It seems that the longer that I stay home, the worse it gets when I go out. (Recently), I chose to go to a small grocery store. The first thing that I noticed was that their second entrance was closed. As I made it to the first entrance, there was no one to tell me whether I could go in or not. So, I followed the roped-off area, waited, looked around at the cashiers who were talking among themselves, and I bolted between the checkouts and the red tape on the floor. The two checkouts were crowded and people were not six feet away from each other.

“Then, around the aisle came a man who appeared confused on where to stand to wait on line or what to do next. I told him that it was OK, everyone was confused. He almost looked like he was ashamed of himself to be out in public. I feel like in the little stores, there’s more of a threat of the virus. Some wear gloves, but so many don’t.”

Do you have a story to share about how you are affected by the coronavirus outbreak? Email us at [email protected]


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