Are You Okay?

Normally bustling hallway of hospital

The question on everyone’s lips. Well, not everyone, some are still licking toilet seats because they think it’s funny or just moaning about the inconvenience of bar closings, having to cancel vacations, having to self-quarantine if ill/possibly exposed to Covid-19. But pandemic or not, stupid’s gonna stupid and selfish is gonna selfish. The good news is there are also incredibly generous people working to feed the hungry/about to be hungry, some (too few) companies who are continuing to pay employees they’ve been forced to lay off or furlough while their doors are shuttered.

But back to the question. I am not ok. I know this, knew it, thought if I acknowledged the fact it would help keep my anxiety under control. Until Husband’s appointment yesterday with his young, upbeat doctor who just a couple of months ago said I was feisty, whose face was somber and I found myself having to work not to cry in response. The above photo of the hallway in the hospital? Yeah, that hallway is usually a hub of activity with an outpatient lab, cash machine, tea/snack kiosk just behind, and elevators leading to many of the individual doctor’s offices and departments. more than once we’ve had to wait for one of the elevators to arrive and open a second or third time because they were just too crowded. Not yesterday.

For everyone who is practicing social distancing, there are many of us who can’t stay home for two or three weeks, or six months, or a year, or however long this breath holding season is going to be. There are people performing essential services who have to go to work–and don’t kid yourself, it isn’t only doctors, nurses, police, firefighters and EMTs who are performing essential services–it’s also your pharmacist, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, truck drivers, bus and train operators, etc. And people who have to get to the doctor for appointments that can’t be put off if we’re going to try to avoid needing an array of doctors, nurses, and hospital beds for non-Covid-19 related reasons.

There would never be a good year for a pandemic, but this timing feels particularly devastating. This is a life altering event. Fuck, this is a world altering event. On a personal level, Husband and Art Child, who would both always be vulnerable, are both at points where they have no reserves for their bodies to call on. Mother in Law, who’s at a stage where every year seems to take an exponential toll. Nerd Child is in his senior year of college, campus now closed, though he was able to successfully petition to stay because of extenuating circumstances. Great! Except eek! he’s still my heart, and I really, really hate having him far from me during this. Man Child, who is currently strong, healthy, and miraculously still employed for the moment, but don’t think for a second I’m not thinking about him having contracted viral meningitis less than two years ago.

I was still reeling, just beginning to process the medical mayhem of the last several months for our family when this virus hit the US. On a national level, when we have someone sitting in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the definition of civil service, or science, or compassion. At a time when it couldn’t be more clear the US needs nationalized health care, the citizens are showing with every Democratic primary they don’t want it. Not enough, not yet. On an international level, with not only our country deciding they miss the good old days of nationalism and sanctified subjugation, and global climate change threatening everyone and everything.

I haven’t been able to focus to escape into reading. Or writing. Or querying. Can’t stress bake because my building has a gas leak, we will have no gas (means no stove/oven) for who knows how many months. I’m still doing my yoga every morning, checking in with friends through text, email, and social media, here at home we’re counting toilet paper squares but we have enough food. I’m hand washing and disinfecting and elbow sneezing, no-face-touching (iffy on that one, it’s freaking hard!), and you better believe there is no toilet licking. At this point no one in my immediate circle has or seems to have Covid-19, but way too much of this is out of my control.

So here we are, in the year of 1918 and 1929 decided to have a baby and call it 2020.

I am hanging in and hanging on, doing what needs to be done, but I’m not ok, how about you?

8 comments

  1. As a 60+ year old person fighting a respiratory illness, I think I fit that vulnerable demographic. So does my 88 year old mom. And our elderly neighbor next door. Are we okay? Maybe, physically, right this moment, if only because we don’t (yet) have that virus. And each of us has support from family and friends. None of us are starving. All of us (still) have access to most of the things we need.

    Emotionally, though–at least for me–I’m not so sure. Not because of what’s happening in the world right now, but because of a recent loss. This global catastrophe has taken a back seat to immediate grief–the death of a dear friend. I can hear her now slamming Trump for his latest heinous response to the pandemic–that he knew it was a pandemic from the start–which begs the question: Where’s Miss Gulch when you need her? (Miss Gulch: That dog’s a menace to the community. I’m taking him to the sheriff to make sure he’s destroyed!)

    My anger and grief will ease with time, as will Trump’s disastrous reign, as will this latest pandemic. But the lingering costs will be dear. We won’t get back what we’ve lost, nor will things ever again be the same, not really. Of course, one day all of this will be moot. One day, no-one will remember any of this sad and sorry shit.

    Honestly, right now I’m okay with that.

    Like

    1. Many (cyber) hugs to you right now. Yes, you’re in a vulnerable group, with much/many to lose, and the all too immediate grief from the loss of your friend on top of it all. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Never a better time for any of us. 😦
      My fear is that this is too big, and in fact, will be remembered by generations to come, the way we “remember” the Great Depression and the Pandemic Flu of 1918.

      Like

  2. Your fear is justified. This IS big. But perhaps it will remembered as a cautionary tale: be careful who you vote for. And maybe it serves as a reminder, too: to hold our loved ones close, to be kind to each other, to practice charity, to support our first responders, to give thanks for what we have, to be patient, to wash our hands. . .

    🙂

    As for your kind words to me, personally. . .<3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be careful who you vote for, indeed. While there are people being awful and selfish, I’m also seeing lovely acts of kindness and generosity. Here’s hoping the world is a better place when all is said and done. ❤

      Like

  3. No, I’m not okay. Sleep–what is that? Fragments at a time. My adrenaline seems to be working overtime (good ol’ anxiety.) Thinking about this on a macro level–it’s too much to process, worrying for all of us and how we’ll get through.

    On a personal level, my son’s on lockdown in the Bay Area–fortunately, he’s sheltering in place with his girlfriend’s family, and they have supplies to last a while.

    Worried about my sisters who work in the service industry who are now unemployed. Worried about my sister, the veterinarian, who probably won’t close her business since people in the community rely on her.

    Worried about all of us in the longer term.

    We’ll get through this in some fashion. Remembering each other’s humanity will help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely relate to the fragmented sleep, and the inability to look at the whole of it dead on. It’s just too much. 😦

      I’m glad to see your son is safe, so important when they aren’t with us.

      Oh yes, the many fears for all we hold dear, for a myriad of reasons.

      I got an email from our vet that they may need to close, because the mayor considers them nonessential and may insist on it.

      Sending peace and extending a cyberhand. ❤

      Like

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