PANDEMIC = Psychological. Anxiety. No end in sight. Depressing. Erratic. Masks. Isolation. Change.
My face is puffy from tears falling for humanity. My eyes are stinging, filtering emotional trauma that has been blocked for so long behind a busy life. When I blink enough salt droplets to fill a sea trickle down my mask. I feel a sadness I’ve never felt before. I grieve for the world.
Grief is often a personal journey. The COVID-19 pandemic feels like universal helplessness as we study the virus and how to care for one another. Our current reality shakes my empathic core, but we are resilient and will prevail.
Anxious, uneasy, sleeping issues. Daily walks among nature’s wildflowers (eerily similar to the depiction of coronavirus) soothe anxious feelings and overactive, exhaustive energy.
These are uncertain times. The term “unprecedented” circulates often. My work hours were cut, will I lose my job? The unemployment numbers are staggering.
Sadly, somedays I can’t get out of bed and it doesn’t seem to matter. I have nowhere to go. I struggle to complete my inspirational shelter-in-place to do list. Which time zone did I leave my motivation in?
Time feels strange. April, 2020 was an eternity; May, 2020 passed in minutes.
Other times I feel so peaceful — grateful for the world slowing enough to allow for reflection, pursuit of passions, and a new focus upon things dear to us. We can rewrite a better future.
Mindfulness has been a gem as I sit with these fluctuating pandemic emotions.
No End in Sight
Raw, brutal, and confusing describe living through COVID-19. The entire world is affected and no one has a clue how to curb it, tame it, or heal from it. There is no cure yet, nor idea how it might affect one’s individual body if infected. The origin is still unknown. A sobering article was printed when the death toll in the United States approached 100,000.
I feel deeply for kids that missed out on numerous opportunities, meals, peer support and education over the past few months. Parents, how are you doing? You are rock stars.
Depressed, angry, deprived from living life as I filter the emotional gamuts of grief. Oh, grief. We have met before following death of loved ones, an injury where I couldn’t walk, and lost loves following breakups.
I never imaged a world so isolated. I miss life. A lot.
However, I feel grateful I can wear pj’s and have braless dance parties on a daily basis. Braless is quarantin-a freedom, correct, ladies?! Just the thought lifts my spirits. It’s truly the small things…
Confused chaos with ever-changing protocols. What source should we believe? Information changes daily, often hourly, but no one is to blame. We are all struggling to understand.
Do we wipe down groceries? Does the virus transfer via surfaces? What symptoms prevail in all patients? How do I prevent foggy glasses while wearing a mask? Where can I buy Clorox wipes? Oh dear God, please don’t drink the Clorox! Argh, I’m exhausted from reading too much. Is this all really happening?
I wiped down the grocery cart handle, but put my cell in the hole. Crap! I picked up my phone to answer a call in the liquid soap aisle. No more hand soap, only signage posted on empty shelves explaining the scarcity of product. Eek, please stay beyond 6 feet, buddy. How can you not know about social distancing by now?! Argh, should have ordered online… I recognize this is a first world problem, for I am not selling peppers in a market…
I touched the screen to pay via card, yikes, no sanitizer, it was thrown in a bag somewhere because I’m shopping as if the world is ending. In the past I rarely ever had groceries to last even three days, now embarrassingly I’m set for months to stretch out my trips.
Remember the days when trips required passports, not hand sanitizer? Oh gosh, don’t think about that…
I return the cart, pull my mask down inside the car struggling to breathe in the hot summer heat. Oh my, did I just touch the outer surface of my mask?! Ugh. Which bag has the sanitizer? I’m emotionally spent and sweaty from a simple trek for groceries. I need a good song to listen to on the drive home. Crap, I touched the radio too. Screw it, I can’t save myself, but I sure am trying!
I’ve traveled to 34 countries thus far, often solo, but today grocery shopping makes me anxious. Please don’t tell anyone.
Masks are worn to prevent the spread of infection. I’m surprised this has become political. To each their own, but personally I wear a mask because I respect you.
I find stories of people making masks from donated articles or fabric they had laying around quite a stunning act of kindness. My aunt sent me a homemade one. She cared. That’s what that mask feels like when I wear it. Love sent in the mail.
My sterile mask provided by my employer doesn’t smell so good. Eww, crap I just touched my mask to adjust my glasses out of habit but I’m wearing contacts because my glasses generally fog. Oh forget it, I can’t win. I don’t love this and I miss seeing smiles, but I will wear a mask regardless…
I haven’t had a human hug in over two months. Living alone through a pandemic is isolating. It feels vulnerable and lonely, a type of loneliness I’ve never felt before.
It’s one thing to be a strong, independent traveler exploring life not needing anyone, but isolation within a world-wide pandemic is brutal. Zoom calls consist of couples, kids and pets. A bird made me cry the other day on a walk. Not normal, although it felt beautiful to notice the little critter. Nature is giving hugs and thriving and humans are feeling gratitude; some pretty cool silver linings.
I can’t hug anyone at home, and I can’t hug you, yet… Watch out though! When I can hug again, I may squeeze and never let go…
“We are living history” someone said to me. That single comment changed my perspective about the pandemic we are enduring.
Living through history comes with great responsibility to do the right thing for each other, the earth, the animals, and future generations. Too many have already lost their lives prematurely, others lost their loved ones, and the numbers of those infected continue to increase.
COVID-19 is here, and because we cannot change that, let us work through it and honor those we lost in the best possible way by working towards a brighter future. It is our time to unite as one world to shine through the darkness together, yet apart. We will get through this. Life in some ways will be changed forever, but humans and nature are resilient by design.
I am with you, even if I can’t hug you, yet. Don’t give up. I care. Life, the world’s greatest dance party, will be calling us in due time, and it will be the sweetest party you have ever attended.
“Pandemic Reflections” edited by: Tuckerman Wunderle