Today is March 21, 2020. This is my travel blog and I’m not traveling. I won’t be writing about some unique touristy Main Street that I just walked down or a fabulous restaurant in a quaint unknown town that we stumbled upon while driving to the next family filled RV park. No, not today. I imagine not anytime in the near future either.
There is a lump in my throat as I sit here and type. The lump has been large and in charge for about a week. If you were sitting across from me right now, you would see my chest thumping as my heart pounds. Pretty sure this is the longest running anxiety attack I’ve ever experienced.
When I type the words corona virus or COVID-19, it won’t shock anyone because everyone in the entire world is well aware of the pandemic that has swept across the earth.
I share my words publicly and I appreciate those who get enjoyment out of my blogs, but I write about this event and my feelings on this particular day, for me – not for you. I write to ease the lump in my throat, get some chaos out of my head, and document this moment so I can revisit it in the future.
I vividly remember the 9-11 attacks in 2001 as if it happened yesterday. I lived in Upstate New York at the time and it hit hard for me. I remember staring at the television for about two weeks straight until my Mother busted in my door to sincerely ask if I had plans to return to work. In my mind, the whole world was ending and I couldn’t bare to tackle daily mundane tasks, especially work. How could anyone put full sentences together at a time like that?
Had I done some healthy writing during that time, it likely would have eased a bit of my self-induced suffering. If I had written down my thoughts and feelings, I would be able to look back now and either realize that everyone was going through the same emotions or that I was just mentally not capable of dealing with such devastation.
This crisis in America is far worse than 9-11 but I guess since I lived through that, it is making this situation a bit easier to mentally handle. There is at least a point of reference for my brain to look back on and know that eventually everything will be ok. We were at war then, just as we are now.
I am a different person today. Better able to mentally process my life – likely due to the larger events that shaped me. Most recently, I would have to add that my bout with breast cancer plays a huge part in shaping my world. I live every day with the fear that the cancer will return and I may die. That doesn’t scare me. Shit, after my 7th round of chemo I begged to die. I don’t live with the fear of my own death. When I think of the people I care about, my kids, my family, friends, neighbors and even the strangers in Michigan with whom I reside today – that is where I become terrified.
A week ago, there was ‘chatter’ about people having this virus and people dying from it in distant lands. Today, the US has over 21,000 confirmed cases and 250 people dead. That number changes by the minute. There is a family in New Jersey who lost 4 out of the 7 family members who tested positive, just this week. My heart breaks for them. I have friends who are sick and may test positive – if only there were enough tests to go around. There are politicians who have made it clear that as the hospitals become overwhelmed and unable to handle the load of people due to lack of beds and equipment – hard choices will be made as to who gets to live or die. Last week, America was disgustingly materialistic. This week we are a 3rd world country who can’t care for their own people. Damn, you can’t even go to the store and buy toilet paper.
Companies are talking about bail outs already and we haven’t even hit the peak of this crisis in America. Who gives a fuck about your company money problems when people are literally dying in hospital hallways right now.
I have zero control. There is absolutely nothing I can do to help a single person right now. Nothing. That alone, freaks me out. I am told to social distance from people but also to limit the use of social media because it can become depressing. Ummmm ok? But I miss my people…
I am told to limit the amount of time I spend watching the news to decrease my panic. Ummmm ok? The entire world is in crisis and people are dying every second…. If it weren’t for my day job, I’d watch it around the clock. I feel better when I am informed.
The sky is blue. The grass is still brown and the trees still bare. It’s 40 degrees outside and strangely silent. There is a blue jay in that bare tree I mentioned and in the past twenty four hours, I’ve been visited by ducks in the pond, crows flying over head, deer in the field, a turkey in the marsh and a few blue herons that hang across the street and stare. I am thankful for this.
Stay safe friends.