I don’t even want to write about this, but I feel like in some infinitesimal way, it’s important to civilization to catalog my experiences in 2020 with the global pandemic of Covid-19.
As I sit here writing, I’ve just finished crunching down on stale crackers that I revived in the toaster oven because I forgot to buy more and I’m deathly afraid of going to the store.
Why am I afraid? Just over a week ago I was on my back with what I think were the symptoms of this virus spreading across the world like wild fire. It was the worst 3 weeks of my life, and probably the worst illness I’ve had so far. My mother went through it with me, and every day we were sick, I was hoping she wouldn’t get worse than me, because at her age, it was something to fear mightily.
I had all of the symptoms but my town had not instituted or even had testing when I was sick. We are also in the nexus of knowing that some areas are testing for antibodies to see if you’ve had the virus but they aren’t available in the state of Texas at the moment.
So, I’ve been ordering food once a week via a delivery service and spraying down everything that arrives with either a Lysol spray for thick boxes or rubbing alcohol for thin membrane packaging.
To have this cloud of doubt over your head of whether you’ve had this virus or not is enough to interrupt your sleep patterns and give you nightmares of going through what you went through but worse.
I’m also a giving person, I want to help but I can’t give blood (you must wait a total of 28 days after symptoms cease to give it according to the red cross attendant I spoke to), and since I don’t know if I’ve truly had it, I don’t want to step foot outside of the confines of the property I’m on.
I have a great n99 respirator mask but I’m also a face-toucher, and a nail-biter during stressful times. This has been the hardest part, which is knowing I’d probably be okay to go out and buy non stale crackers, among other basic food stuffs, but that cloud of uncertainty keeps me from going.
In Italy, in the last 24 hours, almost a thousand people died (3/27/2020). It’s a number I’m having trouble visualizing and it’s causing much despair and grief. Many of us feel powerless being stuck in our homes. We know that staying home is the best way to protect all, but it leaves us without agency to fight.
Some have taken up sewing. I’m afraid to make any masks for awhile until I reach that red cross limitation so that I’m not passing on any virus particles to infect anyone else. I’ve given some money away to those struggling to buy food, but it still feels powerless to only be able to help some not many.
People are raging at the delayed response the President has given, each and every day is a threat to our survival when he speaks. Social media is blooming with blame, desperation, finger pointing, depression, grave humor and attempts to lighten the mood of a planet that is sinking farther into darkness.
The United States is, in my opinion and from using data collected from other countries, a week or so away from a total overwhelming disaster. Many urban areas have reached almost complete capacity in their ICUs and the numbers aren’t slowing. Smaller cities are next. One might hope that once larger cities have evened out the spread, they can lend a hand when smaller places go under.
If you’re reading this from a decade away, be thankful you made it through this. The world went through hell to keep you safe.
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