The Webcam

I’ve now been isolated for almost four months, thanks to the covid-19 pandemic. My long-time partner, Su, died at the end of March, and, of necessity, I have been grieving alone. I can’t spend time with my friends or children. I can’t do presentations and readings. I can’t attend meetings of the weekly Men’s Forum and the American Legion. I’m on my own.

At the invitation of friends, I did do one virtual offering of my fall of Saigon presentation, but I had no webcam, so all that viewers could see was the slides that I use. The results felt good to me. I decided that way for me to get through this time of quarantine was to do more remote presentations. So I ordered a webcam online.

Once it arrives, I can remotely do my three standard presentations—the fall of Saigon, the 1967 battle of Dak To in Vietnam’s western highlands, and living with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI)—and I can do readings from my new books—Secretocracy, published in March and Coming to Terms, due out in July. I’ve already received an invitation to do readings and to play my magnificent Steinway. I look forward to both. I’ll contact major booksellers in the Washington-Baltimore area and propose that I do virtual promotional presentations for my new books.

But the date of arrival of the webcam is still uncertain. Apparently its delivery has been delayed by the pandemic lockdown. I’m still waiting.

The irony is palpable. Here I am sequestered from my readers, and now I’m prevented from reaching out to them virtually by the same lockdown that stops me from being with them in person.

I’m a loner by nature, but this is too much.

2 thoughts on “The Webcam”

  1. Thanks, Rose. I can’t call anyone—the order is to I can email them and ask but I doubt I’ll learn anything. I may risk a trip out to Best Buy to buy a cheap webcam while I’m waiting so that I can resume book promotion virtually. Meanwhile, as far as I can tell, book sales during the pandemic have dropped to close to zero. But Secretocracy is listed for sale on all the online bookstores I’ve checked.


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