If I said I wasn’t scared, I’d be lying. If I said I wasn’t frustrated, I’d be lying.
There’s so much of the unknown about this whole pandemic. It’s creating pandemonium in the world and in our hearts. We are all victims of COVID19. Some physically. Others financially. Still more emotionally.
Our immediate family has been impacted, but so far, it’s been pretty easy on us. Mike and I are both teachers. We’ve got our boys home with us. We’ve got computers and online access and assignments for our students, and books and computers for our boys. We have plenty of food and ample shelter. We can hunker down in our home and ride out this virus relatively (hopefully) unscathed.
But not so with everybody. Not so with my girls. One, a surgeon, lives alone in Dallas, Texas. I worry about her nonstop. She’s putting herself directly in the path of COVID19 every time she enters the hospital. Soon, she’ll be back in the trauma bay, deep in the ER where all patients will initially come.
If she gets sick, there’s no one at home to take care of her. She went to the grocery store last night and there was almost nothing left on the shelves. No milk, no bread… no staples. She found frozen croissants, some cheese products, and precooked bacon. The contents of her grocery sack were slim and random.
My other daughter works in a dental office. Her state has mandated a school shutdown (like most states in our country at this point). That means, she’s going to be home with her two boys and potentially no income.
I worry about my sister. She’s in the hospitality business. She books conventions for corporations at luxury resorts. She has zero income at this point. The market for her profession is far emptier than the slim and random contents of my daughter’s grocery sack.
I worry about my father. He’s 78 and stubborn as his beloved mule Kate. He lives alone and refuses to stockpile a thing. He continues to venture out into the community. His church was the very epicenter of the corona virus in our community. He’s refuses to read articles from his smart phone because he believes it will be infected with a virtual virus, but he readily went back to his church to distribute food to those in need at the food kitchen. He is living in denial. I admire his good will, but I’m insanely frustrated with his lack of sense.
I’m concerned for my friend’s father, who was scheduled to have an urgent surgery this week. It’s now been rescheduled. According to my surg-onc daughter, doctors are currently rescheduling all surgeries except emergent ones. Cancelations include urgent, critical surgeries for cancer patients. It’s an ethical dilemma that’s tearing at her soul.
I worry about my students. So many rely on the sanctuary of our hallways to escape hardships at home. They find refuge and love inside our classrooms that sadly they don’t find inside their houses. These students are now struggling alone. We’ve implemented certain safety nets to try to keep an eye on these students, but some are unknown to us. I fear for them always. I definitely fear for them now.
I am sad for my senior students, who are losing a large chunk of their spring semester — with the possibility of losing even more. They are isolated from friends and missing major milestones. They’re approaching a significant and often uncertain crossroads in their lives — now with the added burden of uncertainties none of us has ever experienced. Their sorrow is not to be ridiculed or minimized. I am so sad for them.
I have friends who’ve had to postpone weddings and proms and birthday parties and (possibly) graduations. Celebrations and life events are being put on hold. We are all hurting. We are all victims of COVID19.
The pandemic is impacting us in so many ways. People need to listen to the experts. Listen to our government. Listen to your friends and family.
Quit feeding the virus. Quit spiking the curve. Have we learned nothing from China and Italy and Korea? Flattening the curve is something we need to take seriously. Staying home is something we need to take seriously.
And yes, a lot of things will flatten right along with that curve — physical health for some; financial health for many; emotional health for us all — if we don’t flatten it, life in all its myriad forms as we know it, just might flatline. We can and will help each other pick up the pieces.
But first, STAY HOME. So we can all get back to normal — a new normal, perhaps — but back to normal.