Pandemic Plusses: Sometimes the Simple Things Pull Us Through

Five days in and the pandemic is getting worse. Governors from New York, California, and Illinois are moving to enforce the quarantine in an aggressive effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 after the numbers of sick jumped dramatically again.

Five days in and walking the empty streets of our town without a mask seems so offensive I purchase four of them, and plastic gloves, at one of the few stores still open.

The goddess and I return home and stark reality has burrowed deeper into our psyche. I see it in her beautiful face, that glow of pure love and positive intent is dimmed by the enormity of how much of our lives went away in a matter of days. Our worlds are reduced to our homes, especially this weekend, when we are all asked to simply stay there in an effort to slow this unseen monster.

The goddess wanders the kitchen, from pantry to fridge and back, each step revealing more sadness. And when the goddess is sad my whole world cries. In a truly rare occurrence, she says she doesn’t want to cook. Then after looking at delivery options, it becomes clear none of that appeals either. She roams the kitchen some more, then finally announces, “I’m just going to make pasta and butter.”

She says it with a tone of defeat, but in her hands this simple comfort food is a miracle. The familiar cooking process get her moving with more purpose and seemingly less despair. She makes a huge pot (she’s Sicilian, that’s the law), cooks the pasta al dente, stirs in the butter perfectly, places red hot pepper and cheese on the table should anyone want to add them.

And that’s it. Nothing fancy and everything we need. Each bite warms, reassures, suggests familial love, and home. Home the heartbeat of our lives, not the prison of COVID-19.

A nice bowl of simple pasta, and our world improves. Sometimes that is all it takes. The huge pot emptied quickly, as the goddess’s gifts chased away the blues today.

Sometimes the simplest comfort food is exactly what we need to keep going. What is your go-to comfort food at times of stress? Please share it in the comments below, we all need a bit of comfort right now.

I am writing this series to share ways to keep our spirits strong during this test of our humanity, our sense of community, and our faith in life. If you have something similar that works for you (for today, comfort food) please share it in the comments section below. Your suggestion might save others right when they need it most.

About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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