3/30/20 Life in Confinement


Hi Everyone,


I hope you’re staying home, staying safe, social distancing, and sheltering in place/in confinement.


This is certainly FAR from easy, for any of us, as the virus circles the globe, frightening data surrounds us, the daily numbers of the ill, and the fatalities, cause all of us endless anxiety. This is surely the scariest time in my life, and probably in yours too. In my case, made infinitely worse by being a continent away from my children. I probably couldn’t do much for them if I were nearby, with all of us separately in confinement, or in quarantine, but it would be nice to know that I’m there, close at hand. But all of us, around the world, have to do our best in the circumstances, and above all follow the rules of safety to avoid the Corona Virus.


It is incredibly difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy, in such abnormal circumstances, with so many unknowns. The best and most hopeful examples we have now are from Asia, where they got it first, confined before we did, and now we see them recovering, and coming out of it, the restrictions lifted—-so we know that will happen for us eventually. It seems to have taken them about 3 months in Wuhan, where the virus started. Some other Asian countries seem to have recovered faster, like Japan. We have lessons to learn from all of them. Whatever will work in this time of crisis. And washing hands, social distancing, and confinement at home appear to be vital to avoid the spread of the disease.


What are people doing to keep busy and keep their spirits up while stuck at home? Taking care of small children confined with you is a full time and challenging occupation. Many people are working from home, remotely. Others are doing house repairs, reorganizing their homes, cooking, baking, reading, watching TV, series and movies. Yesterday, I heard about some people dancing, and listening to music. Lots of people are exercising with and without Skype (I am walking laps around my apartment for 45 minutes every morning). Some are jogging outdoors or walking their dogs (the dogs are exhausted!!). I get lots of funny emails, some are really priceless. I talk to my kids on the phone many times a day. Needlepoint is relaxing and productive, and maybe knitting. People confined in the country are gardening. Social media, calling friends. Playing with our dogs (mine just want to sleep and are happy I’m stuck at home!!). I’ve been editing books and doing re-writes, and am thinking about an outline for a new book, but haven’t started it yet.  It’s not easy to concentrate with the worry and tension we’re all experiencing, but if you can find something to do, it sure helps pass the time and the days. I’m alone so there is no one to “play with”, but I imagine families confined together must be playing games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Dominoes, cards. And I’m sure young people (and even grownups) must be playing video games.


Psychiatrists warn about not watching too much news (some say maximum 30 minutes a day, others say no more than 5 minutes), which causes too much anxiety. And the thing I find the least helpful, and seriously upsetting are the people who spread rumors, who offer worst case scenarios (most of us can come up with those all by ourselves with no help from outsiders), who tell us again and again that our governments are lying to us, that the numbers are worse than we know, that we’ll be locked down for a year, that the world is coming to an end. They don’t know any more than you and I do, but they sure love to scare us!!! I find those people thoughtless, unkind and irresponsible. We all know them. I don’t want to hear from those people anymore or at all. This is hard enough without people we know making it worse with unfounded rumors and their own worst fears projected on us, especially ‘friends’, or relatives.


I’ve tried to call people I know who are alone, and must be frightened, with no one to distract or comfort them, or keep them company.


We KNOW and must hang on to the fact that there will be an end point to this. We’ve seen other countries come through it and come out the other end. If we’re careful, stay home and follow the rules, if we’re serious and lucky, we won’t catch it. If we do, there is a very great chance that we’ll survive it. And hopefully in a reasonable amount of time, this will all be behind us, as a dark experience we came through. As a side bar, it’s giving us a time for introspection, to think about what really matters to us, what we want to change in our lives when this is over, who matters most to us, we’ve had a chance to reconnect with old friends we may have lost sight of, or strengthen our bond to our families and friends. As hard as it is, it’s a time to be grateful for the blessings we have—-despite the fear and anxiety we are living through now.


And eventually, life will return to normal, economies will recover. And hopefully a vaccine and medical treatments will be developed, which will take time. But long before that, we have each other, our shared strength, and being wise and careful and staying confined will hopefully end this faster.


Be safe, Everyone, take extra special good care. A huge thank you to all the medical workers in every country, being heroes to help us.


And for all of you, try to have a peaceful week, hang in, and I send you all my love and prayers,





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8 Comments so far
  1. Elaine March 30, 2020 10:31 am

    Hi Danielle,

    You mention that “it’s a time to be grateful for the blessings we have.” This is so true! The current pandemic puts into persepctive how precious life is, the wonder and beauty of many of God’s creations, and how some material possessions are largely nonessential.

    As I am sheltering in my house, I am grateful for the following blessings: God, my three children, husband, four pets, house, living in Ohio, and your writing (books, blogs, and now Instagram!), which has sustained me throughout the years.

    My love and prayers to you as well,


  2. Lorraine March 30, 2020 1:47 pm

    Dear Danielle,

    Thank you for this lovely blog. I sympathize with you being alone all day, as am I. But it is so important to contact a lot of people during the day, as you do, whether it’s by phone, text, e mail, etc. Thankfully, I have that. I’m particularly worried about my one daughter, pregnant, my first grandchild on the way. It’s so concerning. Perhaps when this is all over, life will become simpler for many people. Maybe people will realize that nothing is better than being with people we love/care about in person, rather than the hurried, modern way of texting and having no time for many things in life. I hope you stay well.


  3. sarah March 30, 2020 2:47 pm

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. Two of my (adult) children are out in the midst of it all now. One is a hospital nurse and is a new mother and one works in the food industry. Praying for all. I appreciate always how down to earth you are. Yes, this too shall pass.

  4. Kay Griffith March 31, 2020 5:04 am

    Dear Danielle,

    It was good to read your blog and to hear how you are feeling. I too am alone, and watching the current situation evolve was frightening and surreal. I am starting to get used to the new normal of our lives. I live in Australia and it has been stressed to us that our best defence against the virus is to stay home unless we need to go out for work, exercise, food shopping or medical appointments. I am trying to structure my day so that it has a purpose and a goal. I take an early morning walk before there are too many people around so that it is feasible to practise social distancing. The big love of my life is ballroom dancing so I practise every day and spend a couple of hours in the garden. I am so grateful for your books Danielle. I have every one of them in my home library and I am rereading them during this period of solitude. As some of them are over thirty-five years old, I don’t remember the stories very well, so they are delicious meals to look forward to and enjoy. I always really like your central characters and they are all so very different.I have recently finished reading the Numbers Game and loved it and I am now looking forward to the release of The Wedding Dress. I bless you for your writing and would like you to know what a wonderful place you provide for me and so many others to escape to in these horrendous times.

    Thank you

  5. Janet Noble March 31, 2020 1:33 pm

    Dear Danielle,

    Thank you very much for your blog. Your words are so encouraging!

    I am writing from Oakland, California; I live in a charming “village” around a shopping street called Piedmont Avenue. It’s very walkable and friendly — reminiscent of a charming European neighborhood. It is also near the city of Piedmont itself, which is rather like a little Switzerland in that it has always been an oasis of calm and order. I love to take walks through the City of Piedmont, now more than ever.

    Another source of health and happiness for me during this pandemic has been the streamed yoga classes from “Nest Yoga.” The owners have worked very hard to quickly organize the many talented teachers to conduct their classes from their private homes, thus preserving a very full schedule of classes. It has worked out magnificently! A bonus has been to meet some of the teachers’ pets as well; I love to see the cats saunter in to the limelight to brush up against their owners!

    I have a suggestion to share with you and your readers, which is to try a two week “new student special” at Nest yoga studio. You can easily find their web site if you search under “nest yoga piedmont avenue oakland ca” — and the new student special is $40 for two weeks of unlimited classes.

    This is the first time for me to put out such a suggestion on social media, but it seems to me that these yoga classes from Nest Yoga might well be as positive for you as they have been for me.

    With a big hug and hoping we all manage to stay healthy and strong during this very challenging time.


  6. Dorte Clausen Nielsen April 1, 2020 5:30 am

    Thank you for taking your time to write This , even that you too are svarede , you find time to caalm People Down , You are an Awesome writer and a beautiful human ❤️🇩🇰🌹✍✍✍🍀🍀🍀 !!

  7. Sheri Rabanal April 2, 2020 9:58 am

    Longtime fan and usually positive about life but this virus has me very worried. Have 3 of your books currently by my bedside and read each night before bed to relax, enjoy life, and feel calm before trying to sleep at night. Thanks for all of your writing, enjoying now more than ever. Danielle Steel books saving my day.

  8. Bonnie April 2, 2020 4:27 pm

    Precious Danielle, I am reaching out to you and your readers. There is a confirmed case of Covid 19 in my Senior Living Community in Arizona. Prayer is much needed !!! I love the Lord and I am trusting in His total control, His power , and His abundant love. Thank you. May God bless us all. With love, Bonnie