Day 79: Getting By Is The Best We Can Do

This isn’t going to be a happy post. The fact is, I’m scared right now, and I need to talk about it. If you’re already triggered and feeling down, may I please suggest not reading this?

Calvin on staying in the present
I find rereading old Calvin and Hobbes comics to be a delightful mood lifter. Maybe go do that instead?

I feel as though I’m seeing two different themes emerging among those who are approaching the Coronavirus situation with honesty and humility. One is fact finding and disseminating of information. One is encouragement. We will get through this. We have to take care of ourselves and each other. Look how we’re all supporting one another. There is good to be found during times of crisis.

There is reason to feel heartened, to not give in to despair.

This post is not either. I am scared, and sad, and angry, and ready to stand here and talk about it. Because I don’t think holding those feelings in does anyone any good. We can be honest with ourselves and our emotional states here. It’s the best place for it, in fact.

When I started these “days of achievements” posts I had no idea how quickly my life, and the world, were going to change. My goal was to congratulate myself on small accomplishments in an effort to ward off depression and feelings of uselessness. Earlier in the year, I was excited and self-congratulatory of I emptied my dishwasher.

Those efforts to congratulate myself are more important, and harder, now than I ever could have anticipated three months ago. I was laid off in mid-February. Quickly thereafter, we all find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic.

I live alone with two cats, I’m socially isolated, and I’m unemployed.

It would appear I’ve become an easy target for depression, but I’m not allowing it in.

I’m not depressed. I’m outraged. I’m scared. I’m furious. But I’m not sad.

Things continue to get more bizarre and scary. Trump does nothing to reassure the public, focusing instead on praising himself and making false statements that are easily disproven. What’s horrifying, above and beyond how horrifying things he says and does usually are, is he keeps contradicting the knowledge and information he receives from experts and respected organizations.

The death toll is starting to rise and there is no clear indication of how many people are actually sick, because despite recommendations from WHO, test kits are not widely available. Trump says this is untrue; that we don’t want tons of people getting tested, and anyway, the are tons of tests available for anyone who wants them. He lies.

And there are still no national lockdown orders.

Yesterday, during a press conference, he yelled at and berated a journalist (starts at the 40 second mark) for asking what words of reassurance the president could provide to the many Americans who are so scared right now. Trump couldn’t handle the question and flipped out.

By the time this is all over, the world will be a changed place. It’s possible we will all be in quarantine for well over a year. It’s almost a definite that tens of thousands of Americans will die, and many hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our healthcare workers will be among hardest hit. They do not have the protective gear they need to handle a virus this contagious.

If we had a better, more competent, less ego-driven leader, this situation would still be terrifying. And yet, perhaps acknowledging and addressing the pandemic would have started months earlier, rather than being brushed under the rug and hidden until just a few weeks ago.

Perhaps the severity of the impact could have been lessened.

For now, though, we are all hunkered down. All of us with any sense, anyway. There are a scary number of people who still deny these dramatic measures are necessary. California, Illinois, and New York have now issued formal lockdown orders, and rightly so. All people must stay at home at all times except for essential jobs and errands. Oddly, exercise is allowed, too. Frankly, I don’t think it should be.

I’m sure other states will soon follow, and it’s long past due. This virus has already made its way through our population and has been doing so for months. Because we don’t have testing, we don’t know how many people have it and are asymptomatic. I’m not convinced we have a clear picture of how long the incubation period is, either. I’ve heard two weeks. I’m not sure I believe it’s only that long.

I went grocery shopping yesterday morning. The bare shelves and the distance everyone attempted to keep from one another made it an incredibly eerie and disconcerting experience. I was upset and unable to do much after getting home. It was only noon but I lacked the ability to focus on anything. Not even TV or a movie. I was unsettled all day and was grateful when it was time for bed.

There is no way of knowing how long this is going to last or what civilization will look like when it’s over. It’s terrifying.

I don’t have an achievement I can list for yesterday. I mean, I went grocery shopping, but that’s really it. I think for the time being, that will have to be enough.

I wish I could sound more encouraging today, could say something hopeful and that may help lift your spirits. Today, I cannot.

One comment

  1. I think achievements always have to be considered in context. Right now, going to the grocery store and seeing the effects of panic buying is really stressful, and therefore doing it a substantial accomplishment.

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