In so many ways things are the same. I still work from home. I still don’t leave very often. I still have doctor appointments that I go to. I still hang out with my pets and husband each night.
But things are not the same. I knew this would have an impact on life and I am doing a really good job not succumbing to the panic but I’m really struggling to understand how I feel right now. I feel like I’m emotionally flip-flopping like a politician in the hot seat. I’m fine. I’m ok. We are ok. But I’m also not ok. If I allow myself to think about what this could be, what experts are saying it will be, I’m frozen in my own thoughts. It is absolutely horrifying how badly this could go for so many people. In the first week of a self-imposed quarantine, we had our first confirmed case here in Michigan. My husband was still going to work. He works with thousands of other people and we were both nervous he’d bring something home so we implemented hand sanitizer in the car, hand washing once home and removing the clothes he worked in at the door. I felt like my chosen quarantine was a bit of overkill. I apologized for canceling meetings. I was almost embarrassed at the thought of potentially overreacting. In the first week, I was thinking about what this means for me….what is my prognosis if this hits me? I’ll be ok. And then almost in the same thought but what if I’m not ok? I’m on a medication that can cause respiratory complications already. My immune system is suppressed. I read that even a history of surgery can make you more susceptible to catching something like coronavirus. And when I go down this path I am not ok.
In the second week, more “healthy” people started getting positive test results and then it hit me……people I love could get this. I am the only “not healthy” person in my immediate family and in most of my local friend groups. The minute I realized that no one is safe I felt a rush of guilt for being so focused on myself and then an overwhelming amount of terror thinking about the possibilities for everyone I know. Then add on to that the massive amount of other patients I’m connected with and I almost had a breakdown. But I’m ok. I’m still doing ok. Adam just started a new job on March 1st and he was still in training. They canceled the training and offered all the new trainees new positions to keep them working. I think about what we almost lost in that moment. They very easily could have fired them all. They still could. But he still has his job. For now. I’m still working. My business is still afloat. For now. We are so lucky. We have so much privilege right now. But I’m watching my community shut down. Jobs are disappearing. Unemployment is skyrocketing.
We’re in week three right now and on Monday a massive amount of people lost their jobs due to the executive order from the governor for all nonessential businesses to close. So. Many. People. Many will lose their homes. Many can’t feed their kids. Last week people were trying to figure out how to take care of their kids and keep their jobs and this week the choice was made for them. Every day I keep waiting for my work to slow and it hasn’t yet. I know what I’m about to say is slathered in privilege but the fact that it hasn’t slowed yet is a mindfuck I was not prepared for. I had decided to lean into the slowing of business. I embraced it. I had plans to work on the business, to get myself into a routine. To do some of the things I see others doing…clean closets, make art, take more walks, day drink…whatever. I had mentally accepted the forced slowdown. And then it didn’t happen and my brain is struggling to keep up. After you decide to accept the worst and it doesn’t come, your equilibrium is off. It’s like knowing your boat will capsize, putting on your life vest, saying prayers or whatever and accepting your fate. And then the boat stays afloat and you have to paddle your ass off without taking a minute to process what happened. That’s where I am right now. SO grateful. So incredibly fucking grateful I can’t even express it eloquently that I still have clients. I still have new inquiries. But my brain has not recovered from the almost capsize….especially because this boat will likely still capsize someday soon. I’m ok. We are ok. But fuck sometimes I am not ok.
Week three is when annoyance of people still attending gatherings and doing unnecessary socialization has turned in to full-blown rage. People I love who are still going into the world because they’re bored. Because they have selfish needs. Have none of you looked at the charts? Read the articles? Seen the reports from those who work in hospitals? I’m no longer worried about just me, but as we watch more “healthy” people die I’m worried about everyone I know and love. So many things don’t seem to matter right now. Things that are very important to many people but I can’t seem to find the fucks to give because I’m worried about how we all recover from this. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. I am ok. We are ok. But for how long?