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Re-imagining a pandemic through books - what are you reading?

By Felicia Clark. 

As we all know, Covid-19 put a damper on all of our spring plans, summer plans, and travel endeavors. It changes the most in the spring. I love spring. It reminds me of new beginnings.  We had a new beginning, just not the one everyone hoped for. 

I don't know about you, but I tried everything I could to release my Covid anxiety. All through my timeline I saw, push-up challenges shot challenges, and wine.  Everyone was stocking up on wine. This was completely understandable, right? We can't do ANYTHING, we're losing our minds and our jobs, so let's all just get drunk; and exercise.  

And somehow, there was a race for tissue. Nevermind racing for beans and rice or non-perishables. Folks were running for toilet paper. It was insane. No judgment. Well, maybe a little bit. But, hey, it happens. After the Charmin Olympics ended, there was a level of acceptance. This was around the time a lot of us picked up new hobbies, and further exercised self-care. 

I meditated. And I still do. It works wonders for me. I can’t do without it. I also nestled up to a good book, or two. I am a collector of books. I have hundreds of them. SistaGurls, I have no plans of stopping. Books calm me in a way that television never could. After pushups, a bottle of wine, or two, and becoming one with the universe, I decided to dig into my library and escape.

“Becoming”, by FLOTUS Michelle Obama, was the first book that grabbed me. With being stuck inside and death looming outside, I was more than willing to be taken to a time of before; before Trump, before Covid, before empty toilet paper aisles. The first lady’s knack for storytelling had me completely drawn into the storyline. 

I imagined myself playing with her as a kid. I saw myself sitting at the dinner table with her parents and brother.  I was there mentally when she met Barack Obama.  I shared her wedding day with her. The heartbreak and pain from miscarrying. And later, going on the campaign trail. I felt for her, as she was judged and nitpicked. I was able to transport myself to the moment when she and Barack shared their first dance at the Neighborhood Ball. 

At last... Every page, bringing me closer and closer to her. Idolizing her more than I already did. And it was in those moments that I spent curled up on my couch, I escaped the pandemic. Through my book. With Mimi, at least for a little while.  As a divorcee, it brought renewed hope that love will come along. The kind that makes you want to cuddle and kiss in front of the fireplace...with a glass of wine. And beans and rice on the stove. And an unlimited supply of toilet paper in the linen closet. 

So…your turn... What are you reading?


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