I made my husband strip down on the back porch. That’s right, I greeted him after a grocery store run and made him change clothes right there in the carport. While he did that, I disinfected the groceries on the back porch (in rubber gloves, of course). . . As a person with a challenged immune system, I am as stressed out (angry, frustrated, scared) as the next person about this coronavirus situation. I’m doing EVERYTHING possible to socially distance myself to the point of self quarantining since it all started and denying my poor puppy her fun days at her camp—she’s SO bored.
I haven’t left my house in since last Monday. And I sterilize, wash my hands until my skin is raw, and sneeze into my elbow. The last 2 weeks I have had a cold and probably a sinus infection, which is not uncommon for me, but it’s been scary. With every sneeze, ache, or pain I’ve wondered, is it the coronavirus?
As a writer, I don’t respond well to stress; I shut down. I can’t create when stressed, and I tend to not want to write about what’s stressing me out, so instead I binge. Not just on potato chips, but also on tv series; this week it’s The Indian Doctor and The Witcher (for the 2nd time). I take notes on stories or characters to be used later when I do feel like writing. I watch with a tablet and a pen, and frequently pause the program so I can make notes. That’s as good as it gets when I’m stressed. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to feeling good enough to go walk my dog, do some yoga, start destressing and figuring out what the new normal is going to be. I can’t imagine what the retirement account I worked, saved and invested in all my life, looks like right now. But, I can’t do anything about that right now; it is what it is.
Folks, we’re in this coronavirus chaos for a long time. The new normal will be very different from what normal was 10 days ago and everyone needs to grasp that FACT.
I liken it to the first time I was diagnosed with cancer; everything that came after a short 15 minutes in my doctor’s office, looked, felt, and would always be different, because I was different. I was awakened and transformed. Awakened to the possibilities of the life I still had, and whatever time was left, and transformed in the way one is when they’ve seen something they can’t unsee, or experienced something—a death, a broken heart, a tragic car accident, an illness—and now at the edge of that knowledge, they are a different person, awakened and transformed–there’s no going back.
Therefore, as a country, it’s time for the US (and the global community) to wake up, take care of one another, and be prepared for next time; be smarter, awakened to the possibility of new viruses, the need for supplies, cooperation, and humanity.
WE WILL BE DIFFERENT NOW. Nothing will go back to normal. For those of you who are saying things like, “it’s not my problem,” or “it’s not fair” or “it doesn’t affect me”, it’s time for you to grow up. YOU and everything you know is already changed; the only real question is, who will you be in the face of this transformation; your worst, or your best self? Let’s hope for the latter.
If you are a writer you can choose to use your voice to spread the word that this is real, this is DANGEROUS and we are all in it together. If you can, help the elderly get the supplies they need, if you have a sewing machine then make hospital masks, if you can give blood give blood. If you have a platform on twitter, Instagram and Facebook then encourage social distancing.
Otherwise, STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME STAY HOME, STAY HOME