Friday, December 8, 2023


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “What we are experiencing is grief”

CAVEAT: Comments, posts and/or tips in our newsletters are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or its staff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Beck’s story: 

“I read that what we are experiencing during self-isolation days is grief. It makes sense. I am healthy and, by avoiding mirrors or accidentally twirling my phone camera towards me, I can be in denial that I am in a high-risk category, aka over the 65 hill.

Knowing it is grief and experiencing it are two different things. A feeling that caught me by surprise upon reading my friend’s account of her COVID-19 days.

She is also healthy (I make another check-mark on my virtual gratitude meter) and, like me, has a dog to walk, woods to wander and no significant personal or economic problems.

Unlike me though, she is an extrovert.

My friend is a gifted, gifted, gifted teacher.

I first met her when she graced our neighborhood with an opportunity to rehabilitate a historical salmon stream.

“Oh,” I exclaimed to my partner, “there is a woman looking for volunteers to help in a local environmental project. She says our watershed area maps like a heart!”

Indeed, geographically it is in the roundish, oval shape of a human heart.

“I can’t wait to meet her.”

And meet her we did and neighborhood meetings ensued and slogging through mud with stinky fish to feed to minute coho salmon (who knew) ensued.

And now she is alone at home with her innumerable talents and gracious giving attitude, volunteering to help students, in a safe manner, to walk the stream and learn about salmon, salmonberries and salal. I’ll bet she had all kinds of takers.

Sadly…no. And that is when my grief went from a concept to my chest in a vice, tears welling up actual feeling.

So unfair that a microscopic particle of doom has led us all…here. Why couldn’t a virus that wants to live and recreate so voraciously lead instead to lower blood pressure or reversing cancer…or aging. Or it could give us the ability to fly.

Clearly, I am not in control.

And the statistics…every news segment ”first let’s start with the numbers.” One death became ten, ten became three 9/11’s, plotted out with upward curves everywhere.

My grief in missing useless trips to the dollar store and coffee shop gatherings and such is now real. And if my friend needed help, I couldn’t risk free-fly to visit her.

I remember the last stranger I shook hands with. So long (3 weeks) ago. We scoffed at the possibility that a simple cultural gesture could be life-threatening.

And now I weigh the risk of wetting my fingers to open the stupid dog poo bag.

I am angry, sad and yearning. I am grieving.

And I have no idea how to end these thoughts, to wrap this up into a teachable feel-good moment. We are all in the thick of the slow-moving asteroid sizzling towards us at the microscopic level.

I am touched by my friend’s words. Even if they are troubling words, facts and opinions. It is the kind of touching we can all celebrate, together.

Beck Elan

Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 700+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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rvgrandma (@guest_75483)
3 years ago

Like you it is hard to admit I am in that ‘at risk’ over 65 group. I am also tired of being referred to as elderly. I am a senior – a hallmark I worked for. Yes, the loss of freedom is a grieving process. I, like many, also grieve not being able to see my husband in memory care. It has been 48 days and counting – will be until at least June if not later.

We are Americans – we will get through this.

A Satterfield (@guest_75460)
3 years ago

Beck, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m not directly affected by what’s happening but I do have these feelings of grief. It’s good to know I’m not alone

Vanessa Einerson (@guest_75458)
3 years ago

Expressed eloquently. My feelings exactly. Thank you!

Lori Martin (@guest_75455)
3 years ago

Wow, Beck Elan’s essay is a beautifully written comment on the emotional toll of this pandemic.

tom (@guest_75446)
3 years ago

Time to remember, 320+ million Americans did not die yesterday. It is truly sad to lose someone close, or of note.
We, as a Nation, will survive.

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