Because I have the internet, I’m able to stay connected to the world during the pandemic. I’m happy not to be isolated on the prairie as Laura Ingalls Wilder was. It’s also good for me not to have small children or livestock to care for at this time.

However, I do feed the stray feral cats at my back stoop. The few buzzing flies entering my house are annoying enough. The cat, Bella, has tried desperately to find a shady, cool spot on the porch.

The internet has kept me informed of the surging unrest in other parts of the U.S. and world.

Poverty is said to be an issue yet help wanted signs dot the shopping streets. I know many of the advertised jobs don’t pay a living wage. Through the internet I found out that COVID-19 was the cause of death for an acquaintance, a cousin in Sweden and another cousin in Illinois. So the air outside serves as a barrier to free and open exchange. Though it seems I live in a relatively "safe" area, the unknown sits in the sweltering heat waiting for indifferent adults. Some of them may be protesting, traveling or working in group settings.

This current reality reminds me of a young adult novel, “Ashfall,” by Mike Mullin. The protagonist in the novel is 15-year-old Alex. After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, he must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister. Alex and his family struggle to survive in a transformed landscape and a new society in which all the old rules of living have vanished. Published in 2011, this novel is the first in a trilogy. The second novel is “Ashen Wishes,” published in 2012 and the third novel in the trilogy is “Sunrise,” published in 2014. The three novels are available at the Knox County Public Library. I wonder if someone is writing a gripping story about the current “virus fall.”

I look forward to the availability of the books in the library. Reading takes me away to starry, exciting and beautiful places. Books take me away from reality. The internet keeps me connected.

During the pandemic, the library is offering copying, printing, internet access and curbside delivery of books requested in advance. The library is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the library’s Vincennes Fortnightly Clubhouse at 421 N. Sixth St. You can find the library on the internet at The phone number is 812-886-4380. Many people have accessed the internet, during the pandemic, on the premises of the main library, 502 N. Seventh St., through the library’s WiFi service. The access code is kcplibrary.

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