My Life During a Pandemic by Patty Muenks

It is crazy to be witnessing this worldwide situation with Covid-19. I began following this virus in December when news about it was coming from China. At the beginning of the new year, my husband and I began preparations as we watched the number of cases growing in other countries. Throughout the month of February, as I was preparing for my upcoming spring art shows in March, we also prepared for the impending crisis, stocking up on food, toiletries, and other supplies. The numbers reached the U.S. and I knew it was inevitable. I attended my first art show of the year at the beginning of March, just as the first cases of this corona virus appeared in St. Louis. And then things began to change…

It started slowly at first then the wave of cancellations started. But I do not have to tell you this. We all have been impacted by this pandemic. Art shows, conferences, gallery openings, workshops…all of it cancelled. What seems most unsettling for me is the uncertainty of this “ending”. But I have chosen to keep a positive attitude, stay home, and keep my creativity alive!

By trade, I am a ceramic artist.  But the strange thing is in the past month and a half I have not touched clay! I have been exploring art journaling, using an old book, and filling the pages with paints, markers, crayons, scraps of paper, fabric, magazines, and any other art supplies I have around the house. I enjoy time throughout the day creating foundation pages that I can go back and add photos, poems, phrases, and words to express my feelings and emotions. I follow an Irish artist on IG that offers great instructional videos on making handmade journals and creating these abstract art pages.  I have gotten to be good friends with her and am currently enrolled in a month-long workshop with weekly Zoom calls with participants from around the world.

Which brings me to the internet and the connections we can make across the globe! I am so grateful to have the access to people, artists, musicians, and museums around the world that are sharing inspiration in this time of crisis!

I am also filling my days with germinating seeds for my garden this year. (Google Victory Gardens) There is something quite satisfying knowing I will be growing veggies that started from a tiny seed this year! I have been spending time outside prepping the garden beds and welcoming spring blooms. I am currently crocheting my second Afghan blanket and have tried out a few new recipes in the kitchen. I have cleaned out closets and gone through areas in my house that I knew I would “get to someday”. I am reading books and taking naps when needed. I do morning yoga thanks to online instruction and walk most days in our neighborhood park. I try to keep myself busy, but I have also put in many hours of Netflix watching!

I am grateful that my husband still has his job and has been working from home since the beginning of March. I am grateful that we are both healthy and strong. We will see the end of this pandemic and we will be sure to talk about it the rest of our lives!