My mind was reeling. It seemed like the world was spinning into an unknown abyss. People were buying water bottles, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and Lysol wipes in bulk. There were scents of fear floating through the air. Big decisions fell onto the individual as to what to do, what to cancel, and how to keep safe. We were hearing reports of devastation across the globe, yet the COVID- 19 was met with mockery here at home. It was confusing at best.
“More people die of the flu” the cashier at a grocery store informed me. “This is ridiculous” I overheard a fellow shopper rant. Is it ridiculous?
We watched online as China built a hospital in ten days to try and accommodate their infected. We were touched by videos from Italy of neighbors singing together from their balconies while in lock-down. We read first hand accounts from doctors across the sea explaining how they had to make war-time decisions for breathing equipment. They were forced to choose who would live. And who would die.
And then the dizzying spinning stopped. Schools cancelled classes. My senior’s spring musical was canceled. My spouse was instructed to work from home indefinitely. And with each decision, the stress and anxiety I was feeling lifted.
We’re being told to socially distance ourselves from one another. And yet celebrating the lush of the Irish is such a major temptation. We are playing roulette. Because the trick of this virus is that a carrier can show no symptoms.
Is it all too much? Have we gone overboard? I don’t know. I’m not a medical professional. Nor am I privy to the future. I do, however love people over 60. I do love people who have recently had an organ transplant, battled cancer, are immunocompromised, are cardiac patients, and have lung disease. I don’t want them to get this. I don’t want this virus to claim them.
Right now, I have my family to protect. Everything around us is closing for the good of the public. One kid’s school had non-alcohol based hand sanitizer stations set up. So, I feel like he’ll fare better under my care. This is like a challenge brought to me from the universe. “Hey, Auda. Can you keep your family safe? Fed? Wiped? Protected?” Challenge accepted. I hope to win.
Meanwhile, as I regain my footing on this wobbly planet, I hope that we all can reconvene at the end of this coronacation healthy. I hope that we are unscathed. But I already know, that this moment in history will bring about a new “AFTER” set of rules, expectations, etiquette, and philosophy. Some will still sneeze into their hands before they shake yours. Others will not shake hands again.