I am writing this from my apartment in Switzerland. An apartment I haven’t left in four days due to symptoms similar to Covid-19. Here in Switzerland, there are no tests available for those outside vulnerable groups or those with serious symptoms. We probably won’t be able to leave the house for another ten to fourteen days.

We’re both fine. My wife’s symptoms have passed and I only have the lingering spectre of lung pain and body ache to remind me that I’m not fully over it. We’re both thirty-six so our bout with Covid-19 is pretty typical. I’ll likely be better by tomorrow. We’re still going to maintain quarantine until we are ten to fourteen days past symptoms because that’s what this is about. To stop this virus we need to stop its spread.

Last Friday the Swiss government implemented some restrictions but mainly appealed to people’s common sense in social distancing. Over the weekend, restaurants, bars, and other public places were packed with a large, defiant portion of the country who wouldn’t let this virus keep them down. On Monday the Swiss government shut down everything but grocery stores, pharmacies, food delivery, limited transportation, and hotels. The country is locked down and the borders are closed. All of that should have happened on Friday because here’s the thing…


We are coming into this pandemic in a time when people think the world is flat, that vaccines are dangerous, and that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are the right people to lead anything let alone a nation. We are coming at this with a large part of the populace that are skeptical of science. Science is the only thing that will get us through this pandemic but only if people start to take it seriously. This is a serious event with very serious physical, social, cultural, economic, and emotional risks. From what I saw over the weekend, in this country and my own across the pond, we can’t trust people to use common sense and mitigate those risks.

If we are going to get ahead of this we need to listen to the doctors, scientists, and specialists. We must educate people on why everyone needs to implement social distancing and why those who suspect infection, as we do, need to self-quarantine. The difference between choosing to do so right now and not choosing to, or to delay, is the difference between Italy and China. Italy currently has more deaths than China but with only half the total cases. The difference is response time by both governments and citizens. Both need to work together.

The other thing I’d like to bring up as I sit here in my pajamas, again, and am unlikely to change out of them today, is preparedness. Panic buying is not helpful to anyone. You’ll end up with bulk supplies of stuff you don’t need and be missing things you do. Plus, you’re snaking supplies from others who do need them. But panic buying is not the same a stocking up for quarantine and that is very important distinction. One I think a lot of good people are forgetting in an attempt to do the right thing.

One of the first things that struck me about the prospect of quarantine was that the often recommended two week supply of food and household goods might not be enough depending on your circumstances. I spent over a week slowly building up a one month supply instead and I’m so glad I did. Here’s why.

My wife and I live in a two bedroom apartment. There is no way that we weren’t both getting sick if one of us did. We got lucky and were sick at the same time. If I had gotten sick and my wife had come down with it toward the end of our fourteen day quarantine, that starts the cycle over again with a new fourteen day round. But what if we only had fourteen days of food? We’d need to leave, go to a grocery store when we should be isolated, and potentially spread this thing to more people. A one month supply keeps that from happening. A one month supply ensures that the risk of us spreading this thing is almost null. I don’t want my poor/misguided/misinformed planning to lead to anyone else’s death.

Covid-19 is real, and it’s here, and it’s going to be for a long time. Many governments are being very honest with their citizens, many are not. What all of them are doing is trying to avoid panic. Things are going to get worse before they get better. Take care of yourselves and (remotely) take care of those you know and even those you don’t. We’re all in this together and fighting this together. A collective focus on science and social duty is how we make it through.

Dublin WorldCon 2019 is not only my first WorldCon but my first convention ever. I spent a couple summers as a banquet waiter for conventions but have never been able to partake in the fun. Now, I get to go wild.

My goal for WorldCon is to learn as much, see as much, and meet as many people as possible. Especially those who want to talk SFF writing and publishing.

If you want to meet up, chat, grab a drink, or just say hi, DM-ing me on Twitter or Instagram would be your best bet. I’ll try my best to respond.

This is going to be one intense, incredible weekend and I can’t wait.

I feel different. Not much, but enough to notice. Change in people tends to happen in one of two ways, fast and drastic or slow and gradual. My change was neither. It was a small yet vivid moment of self-awareness and it was all thanks to Museum Vrolik.

My wife and I recently met up with our friends the Alexanders (writer K.M. Alexander and artist Kari-Lise Alexander). We were in Amsterdam for a good dose of adventure and shenanigans. As avid Atlas Obscura users, the Alexanders came prepared with a list of lesser known must-see’s and one of those was Museum Vrolik, the University of Amsterdam’s anatomical and embryological collection. This museum focuses on teratology or the study of deformity.

Science and history, especially old teaching tools and aides have always fascinated me and I jumped at the chance to see, first hand, the specimens used by the doctors and researchers of old.

As we entered the main door and the collection came into view, a feeling settled over me. It was a deep feeling of reverence. This was not going to be a fun experience. Most the specimens at Museum Vrolik save for a small collection of animals, are real human beings or parts from a real human being, preserved for study, learning, and research. As I took in each deformed foetus, dissected hand, or deformed skull, it was clear just how much respect the situation and the people behind the glass deserved. These people were not there for amusement. They existed to help others discover new ways to treat or prevent the afflictions that ultimately killed them. It was evident that for many in the museum, life, if they ever lived at all, was suffering.

I often feel the importance of a place but rarely experience the power. Museum Vrolik made me understand both. My time among the Siamese twins, elephantiasis ravaged bones, and flayed appendages was fascinating, awe-inspiring, and thought-provoking but it could never be deemed as”fun.” Was it enjoyable? Yes, but it’s important to remember that enjoyment isn’t always linked to a sense of pleasure. I felt intellectually satisfied. That’s a feeling I always enjoy.

I say that I was changed that day and in one specific way, I was. I realized why I have an affinity for the macabre. I realized the underlying impetus that drives me toward places like Museum Vrolik. It is the opportunity to learn from things so unlike me and my everyday life. It is the opportunity to experience aspects of reality that I hadn’t or couldn’t before. I will always take a window over a door, even it shows me the dark rather than the daylight.