I thought social distancing would be easy. The order to shelter in place. THe closing of schools for the rest of the school year. The empty grocery shelves.
I thought it was just another flu.
I actually got the flu this year, for the first time since childhood. It hit me hard. I couldn’t get out of bed for a week. I slept for three days straight. I never want to hear myself cough ever again. And I have asthma. A week of that wheezing, coughing, nose-running misery weakened my lungs. Walking up the stairs became exhausting. It took me a month to stop coughing. I can still feel the pressure in my chest, months later.
I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Ever.
Please stay inside. Please stay safe. Please take care of yourself and others that need it. Your friends, your family, your neighbors.
I’m an introvert. For the first two weeks of quarantine, I thought to myself “Bless, I can stay in bed all day and do nothing!” Selfish. But I needed those two weeks to unwind from just returning from vacation, take a moment to get my work duties and schedule back in order (I unfortunately do not have an introvert-friendly job). I enjoyed it. I took bubble baths. Did some face masks, and basked in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be going to work for the next week.
I worried about my chipped nail polish. I thought about my hair and what if we ran out of toilet paper.
THe only thing to watch on TV was the news reporting on how many people died that day. I noted how many new commercials were created in record time to the shifting of our social climate. I wouldn’t watch the news.
Then, the days and the hours and the minutes started to drag.
I didn’t get out of my pajamas. I didn’t do my makeup nor did I style my hair. I picked at my polish and thought to myself “I better enjoy this because I’m going to go back to work soon.” Deep inside, I didn’t even want to. I never thought I would have a month off work. I never thought it would get this bad.
I never thought at all.
I know I am very blessed to be in the situation I am in. I live with my family. My dad and I have secure jobs. I’m getting paid to stay home. My grandmother lives a 20 minute drive across town and we talk on the phone daily. She doesn’t want to leave her house anyway.
My mom doesn’t understand how I can be happy in bed all day. Honestly, I don’t either. Nana however, approves.
I am so lucky. So so lucky.
We’ve been plagued with recent thunderstorms. Sideways torrents, sharp bright lightening, the harrowing cracks and splits in the sky. The wind howls and howls and I lay in bed in the dead of night wondering if the house will blow down. That fury ends almost as soon as it starts. Things settle and then it starts over again. I close my eyes and can feel the sharp stings of rain on my face. I can feel the wind trying to lift me up; to blow me away. Each strike of lightning frightens me. The blue-white light blinds me. The sound echos in my ears underneath the rumbling thunder.
I’ve realized we…well, maybe I am in this storm. The pandemic is real and is rolling like that same thunder. Strikes like lightning when I hear more people have died. More orders have been enacted. More things are shutting down.
To all health care workers, store associates and every essential worker, you are the heros. You are the legends. I hope we can realize your bravery and herocism before it’s too late. Keep braving the storm, for all our sakes. We need you now more than ever.
I’m hoping the storm ends soon.
I wish everyone safety, kindness and health. Be careful. Be safe.