This is a journal of my thoughts and feelings during the pandemic of COVID-19. Written on April 18th, 2021.
“May you live in interesting times”. Something that was said to me a number of years ago by an elderly man who lived in the retirement home that I worked in at the time. He said it sort of sarcastically and I responded “Thank you.”, not really knowing fully what he meant. And he said, “You might not want to thank me for that.”
As I write this, our numbers (in Ontario) are the highest they have ever been. And, they are still going up. The medical professionals and scientific community are begging for more measures to be put in, anything to stop the spread of this horrible disease.
The hospitals are stretched thin, emergency beds have been created but with not enough staff to treat the people in those beds. The news each day is terrifying and deeply saddening.
My mind wants to find anything else to think about, any kind of distraction, and yet it feels wrong to think about anything else. People are risking their lives right now, fighting for their lives right now, dying right now. So, how can we let ourselves be distracted, or feel any joy?
But, to survive this, to get through each day, we must distract ourselves, we must look away, otherwise we will be consumed with panic and grief.
And all the while, some people still do not believe that this is real, that there is danger. More than one year later they do not believe. They believe that we are being lied to and are convinced that they won’t catch it, or worse, that they are strong enough to survive it and that the rest who don’t, don’t matter. Or that somehow, that they would have died anyway. Honestly, I can’t even understand what it is that they believe because none of it makes any sense to me.
I can’t focus on my writing right now, and yet I would want nothing more than to be completely buried in my work. Instead I wander aimlessly through YouTube and Instagram, barely conscious of what I’m seeing and reading, trying to run away from the reality that we are living.
I am scared for myself, for my loved ones, but mostly I am horrified that so many are being abandoned by our society right now. It is plain to see where the real priorities are, and they are not about caring for people, individuals, families, or human lives. The priorities are in corporate interests, and economic advantage for the wealthy. They are about elitism, classicism, and maintaining power over the powerless.
I am praying that somehow we are not hit with the worst of this, by some miracle the projections are wrong and the innocent are spared. But I know in my heart so many have already been lost unnecessarily, and more will before this is over. I know the trauma that await medical staff who will desperately try to save each and every person. I know the fear that those who have no choice but to go to work will feel each and every moment. I know the utter powerlessness those of us lucky enough to be sheltering at home from this plague will feel.
Day after day, week after week, month after month. We do our part and yet we cannot change the course of this history we are living.
Together apart we must somehow keep going. We must cling to our loved ones, even from afar and keep going. I am with you friends, even at a distance we are not alone. Stay safe.