The past several weeks have been pretty fraught in the Seattle Metro area. It's really an odd feeling to be in the epicenter of an outbreak, taking precautions against a deadly disease, while the rest of the country watches your state like it's a crystal ball telling their future. Thinking about geology hasn't been a happening thing much at all.

Let me just start by saying: I'm fine. My partner is fine. Our cat is fine. We have food, supplies, and medications enough to make it through lockdowns and quarantines. We have jobs that are unlikely to be impacted by closures and economic crises. We have pre-existing conditions, but we're young enough to survive any dire effects coronavirus would have on us if we catch it. We're natural introverts who practice social distancing by default. Most of our vulnerable loved ones live in places that are either taking excellent precautions, or haven't yet been hard hit. We're just about as lucky as you can get in these circumstances.

That's not to say it's easy. And it's really hard to do more than keep up on the latest coronavirus news, assist the hospital staff my company does tech support for, lookup recipies for bread and other essentials just in case it gets bad enough we can't get groceries, and distract myself with silly YouTube videos. Absurdly, though, my state going on official lockdown has settled my mind into a more optimistic groove. The shoe has dropped. I can now fully focus on the important task of staying the heck home. And while the rest of this month will be kind of virus-centric, I've got plans for getting back to the earth sciences. We can't physically visit much right now, but I've got plenty of material for some spectacular virtual tours!

We're going to have the best time we can. And when this virus is overcome, we're going to have the rocks to return to. We're going to appreciate our travels more than we ever have, I'm pretty sure.

This stuff is terrifying. For too many, it has been catastrophic. We've been reminded of how quickly life can change, and that's never easy. But we're more fortunate than our ancestors who went through pandemics. We have communications that keep us in close virtual touch even when we can't be together physically. We have medical science that is rapidly coming up with potential treatments and vaccines. We have social safety nets that didn't exist in the past. It's not going to be easy, but most of us will get through this, and we're going to do it together.

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, who have precarious living situations, who were already facing almost impossible challenges before this virus arrived. Please take care of yourselves, and each other. Hang in there, as best you can.

The only way out is through. We'll get there.