Getting Ready to Travel, Corona Virus and All

On early Thursday morning, March 12, I climb on an airplane to travel to visit my son and siblings in California. There are risks. I’m of that certain age of vulnerability, but with no underlying health issues. I’ve struggled with this decision and decided to move ahead despite all the cautionary (and near-panic) media attention. I’ve even watched CDC and Johns Hopkins Medical Center briefings to Congress to better understand the science of this virus. Will it ease my anxiety?

Called corona because of halo-crowns ringing the cell

Alas, all the hand-sanitizer bottles were sold-out from the Ahorro Farmacia in Oaxaca’s historic center. No disinfectant wipes to be found, either. The snowbird season is over. All the Gueros returning to the USA must have cleaned them out. The little convenience store in Teotitlan del Valle had plenty, so I stocked up and left a few on the shelf for the next person.

6 Things to Pack for Airplane Travel re: Corona Virus

This message came to my inbox from Sarah Resnick, owner of Gist Yarn and Fiber. A well-crafted, thoughtful essay about fear, anxiety and lack of control for what presents itself in our lives. She mirrors my feelings, exactly.

Colorful cell photo of corona virus — isn’t it pretty?

I want to share it with you.


Hi there,

Sarah here, the owner of Gist (Yarn and Fiber). I want to take a pause in our regularly scheduled yarn emails to acknowledge this moment we are living in. Fears about a public health crisis and an unsteady economy can bring on strong feelings of anxiety that can be hard to shake, and I’m sure that some people on this email list have already been touched personally by these issues. We are lucky to have a craft and art that is so soothing – many of us can relate to the calming feeling of running a shuttle back and forth across a warp, steadying our minds. 

This morning as I was snuggling in bed with my baby and trying to calm the pit of anxiety in my stomach, I took a deep breath and thought about all of the ways that I am relating to these issues – as a mother, as a daughter, as a granddaughter, and as a small business owner. All of those fears really centered around one thing – acknowledging a lack of control. I can’t control how this plays out, who it will impact, when it will feel less scary, and how our business and the livelihoods of our small team will weather a challenging economy. But of course, the feeling of control is always false, and we have all had experiences in our lives where everything changed in a moment. 

So I’m choosing to lean into gratitude and trust – gratitude for the health care workers who are risking their own well-being to work to keep the most vulnerable people safe and protected, trust that our communities will come together instead of panic driving us apart. And trust also in this beautiful little business and community that we are building here at Gist – that we will weather this storm right along with the rest of our weaving community, that you will be here for us, and that we will be here for you. 

Here are a few things I’m working with: deep breaths, long walks, quiet time with family, and of course, the steadiness of weaving. If you’re looking for some new yarn or weaving projects to dive into, we have you covered.  But this wasn’t an email trying to sell you something. If, like me, you’re struggling with some anxiety, here’s a gentle reminder to take a breath and remember we are all in this together. 



12 responses to “Getting Ready to Travel, Corona Virus and All

  1. thank you Norma. Buen viaje!!

  2. It IS wise to take extra precautions at this disconcerting time, but it’s also wise not to panic or over-react. After all stress is a contributing factor to vulnerability to disease. One thing that has concerned me in all of this is the possibility that many more children will be “infected” with a sense of fear than by the disease itself. Wash you hands often and have a good safe trip.

  3. Be safe, my friend!

  4. Everything does indeed feel out of control right now. Deep breaths are called for. Visiting your family is important and perhaps the planes won’t be chock full of people, which would be great! Safe travels to you.

  5. Buen viaje Norma! I must do the same on March 12: make my way back to WA State(!!!) from San Miguel de Allende. Back to my “other home” and loved ones. I think this IS a good time to get back to our families and friends before things could possibly get worse! I’m with you in spirit!

  6. Hi Norma,
    I will be staying in Oaxaca City soon and I am hoping to source natural yarn fiber for knitting and crochet. Do you know of any retail outlets in Oaxaca that I can find this?
    Best regards

    • Natural dyeing is an artisanal process. You can find naturally dyed wool at Galeria Fe y Lola, 5 de Mayo #408, inside the courtyard to the left of the fountain. They usually have skeins and you can order some from their workshop.

  7. So nice to read a thoughtful piece like Sarah’s. Truly a breath of fresh air. I’m just waking up to the song of the Cardinal, and I choose love & gratitude over fear.
    Thanks for sharing, Norma. Have a wonderful trip.

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