Dear beloved readers and followers, many of you have asked how we’re doing in these scary pandemic days. So far, it’s good news. We’re staying healthy and keeping in touch the same way we usually do, with frequent group chats and our weekly writing day. We’ve done a couple of video chats, too. The first one via Google Hangouts was a limited success, as DK could have video or audio, but not both. We switched to Zoom for the second one, which was much more successful and enjoyable. It was really good to see each others’ faces. I’ve experienced this with other friends and family, too, as we use video chat and apps more these days. Kind of makes me wonder why it took a global crisis to bring us into the 21st century.

I (Nezu) am living in isolation with my pet ferrets and rats, leaving the house only for essential medical treatment once every three weeks, since I’m medically fragile and at high risk if I catch COVID-19. I live in a rural area, so I can go outside for a roll in my wheelchair and enjoy the fresh air at least. DK and his girlfriend have been bringing me groceries. I do miss being able to go to the store for myself, especially since if I want PopTarts, I have to confess my craving. In theory this should make me eat healthier… I have been cooking more than I usually do, and am learning to do more with my Instant Pot than just make stock from the remains of rotisserie chickens. 

DK is a lead veterinary assistant in an emergency animal hospital, so he can’t work from home— it being somewhat challenging to restrain an angry cat through a video screen. Unlike Kakashi, he’s not enjoying wearing a mask all day—or the major changes in the way the hospital operates, but safety comes first. The less congested commute is nice, though. At home, he and his girlfriend are baking a lot, sewing elaborate creations for the guinea pigs, playing board games, and trying to keep the cat and dog entertained. 

Ki was already a work-from-home person, so there have been fewer disruptions to her work schedule than many. She and Aubrey have worked out how to share “office” space in their small condo, now that Aubrey is teaching from home via video. They’re taking social distancing walks through urban woodlands like Ambush Ravine, the Forest of Grasping Trees, and Mausoleum Monument (Ki likes making up names for the local ravine and cemetery). They’ve also been watching a lot of cooking shows and writing/reading an alarming amount of Cdrama fanfiction. And although they worry for the survival of their local small shops and restaurants, they’ve joined the rest of the world in doing a lot more experimental cooking. 

All of us have been distracting ourselves with fiction and video games, because escapism is the name of the game right now. We hope reading ANBU Legacy (or re-reading it) is helping you all get through the days. You know, it helps writing it, too. When I’m faced with something really unpleasant, I try to think, “How would Genma handle this? How would Ginta?” and pay attention to the details, because some day I may need to write them. Among other things, I’ve gotten through: hospital stays, scary turbulence on airplanes, and dinner with an awful ex and his new fiancée.

We wish you and your family and friends and loved ones all the best, and hope you are keeping as healthy and comfortable as you can. I often find myself staring out my window at the mountain I live near, watching leaf buds beginning to green, hearing birds in the woods nearby, and being astounded by how much the world is still the same, even while it’s radically different. This isn’t the 2020 we all hoped for, but there are still good things in it. Hang on to hope, and be well!

Yours,

Nezu (with Ki, DK, and Aubrey)