Confessions of the Virus

One of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic is not the temporary loneliness, or the occasional overeating, the periodic boredom, or the wondering when will this be over, for me it is the absence of closeness. We live in a society that thrives on having personal space, in our homes we desire to have our own room, so we can close the door and keep others out. Some people often find themselves hiding in basements, closets or even the bathroom to escape people. 

We are told to seek quiet time to slow down and learn to enjoy our own company. Some parents often teach their children how to play alone. In the process these children invent imaginary friends or they cling to their favorite doll or stuffed animal for comfort. 

I am a proud Introvert and over the course of my life I have learned how to live with others who understand my need for quiet time and to dwell in a clean organized environment. We all have some area of life that is deeply impacted by this period of social distance. I miss the closeness of  being near people without fear. 

I miss sitting in the kitchen with my mom sipping coffee and catching up on life. I miss the hugs from family members, yes we are hugers. I teach college students and often they would initiate the invitation for a hug. I miss the intimacy of holding hands with a friend. I miss sneaking a gentle pinch from the cheek of a sweet plump baby. I especially miss the voices and camaraderie of my weekly chorus. 

Although some restrictions have been lifted and people are going out to enjoy meeting up, however, there is still that sense of being careful to connect but not fully. I spent this entire pandemic living alone; very few people stop by to do a wellness check. I am grateful for the few times I have ventured out to meet friends for dinner, coffee, or to attend a church service. I haven’t been to a mall, department store or to the movies; or any other place that I fear maybe a crowd of people.

I am thankful for spring and I’ ve made a trip to the mountains and it felt amazing to connect with nature, but I was alone. In July I am planning a cross country drive from New York to California. I am so excited because this is something I have dreamed of doing. While compiling my packing list I  remembered to add some extra items like, Lysol spray and wipes, extra masks,  rubber gloves, and hand sanitizer. I am excited, but how well I know that voice of caution will be with me whispering, have fun, but be safe.

We are beyond Cabin fever

Dear Readers,

Millions of people are voicing the same sentiment about their frustrations of the prolonged effects of this pandemic. The distress of limitations are very real for the people who fear this virus, so they don’t take chances to visit friends, relatives or gather in crowded places. They are not lured to travel to exotics places due to the cheap price of an airline ticket. These are the people who wear their mask at all times and are cautious about allowing people into their homes. The bottom line is that we have gone beyond the point of cabin fever. The mental, emotional, and physical toll caused by this pandemic is becoming frightening.

So maybe our old normal wasn’t so bad after all. An increasing number of people have declared that over time they have made certain adjustments under the assumption that this pandemic wouldn’t last. So, here we are January 4, 2021, almost one year since the day that the world shut down, then resumed some normal activities, and the numbers of hospital cases decreased, weather became warm and people felt a sense of relief and triumph. 

The reality is that we were never out of danger because the threat of the spread of the coronavirus looms at every corner. The individuals who broke social distancing rules, not because they have no respect for the law, instead, due to feeling the strain of being disconnected, and having limitations put on them. Look around and you will see the weariness in the eyes of the drained and confused. People are no longer making fat jokes about the coronavirus weight gain, and building home gyms, zoom happy hour, Friday zoom date night, drive by birthdays, and anniversaries celebrations have lost their thrill. 

How much more can marriages, relationships, friendships, and partnerships endure due to living in close quarters, and not being able to travel to see distant relatives?  Yes, the doctors and science professionals claim that we must remain socially distant, wear masks even in doors, wash our hands, get tested regularly, and stay away from sick people. However, what about the problem of the homeless population slowly returning to the streets and subways in New York City, and millions of people are threatened with eviction and the government’s second stimulus package is too late help. 

The day to day uncertainty is what’s causing so much emotional stress and hopelessness. So, with the dawn of a New Year, the vaccine, more social disconnection, restaurants shutting down, heavy travel restriction, majority of church doors closed, libraries remain shut, play houses still dark, and Winter, we are no better off than we were way back on March 10, 2019, when the world stopped. I hear many people admitting that they miss going into the office, teachers missing their students,  and people wishing they could turn back time and relive all the things they took for granted. I don’t know if people are losing faith in religion, politicians, or humanity, but we are at our breaking point, we are in need of emotional healing and a long, long vacation.

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

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Let Love & Unity flow Forever

 

 

 

Dear Readers, 

 

Please forgive me. I do not  mean to rain on an already soggy parade, but I’ve been thinking about the last 20 or so days that we have been quarantined. I’ve been keeping track of all the acts of kindness that people are performing. I am not questioning the motive behind the good deeds, but why it takes a tragedy or a pandemic to bring people and resources together. Another pattern that I noticed overtime is after the tragedy fades and this pandemic will come to an end no matter how long it takes, people tend to fall back into living life as they had previously. I contemplate writing about this horrible virus that’s sweeping across this world faster than the speed of light. The Coronavirus has put the world at a stand still and has caused us to live  day to day in uncertainty. People are still trying to shake the disbelief that this is happening and fear that the world may never return to what we once knew or will it? Our “ Normal” has been changed and now we get to see what we are really made of and reflect on what’s important now. 

 

I see people crossing the race line and the consensus is that this virus doesn’t fight fair so we are all in danger of being exposed regardless of color, economic status, or address.  We are all trying to stay one step ahead of this time bomb. I see states and cities pulling together to feed the hungry, and even though we can’t give hugs people are finding ways to extend a helping hand to ease the fear that is evident in the eyes of people who are wondering what’s next? I have a friend who started a Go Fund Me page to raise many for an immigrant neighborhood. Andre Lloyd Weber is making available two of his Broadway shows online for free. Actors are reading bedtime stories to children, dancers and singers are posting performances on Social media. I saw a three man band in the middle of the street in Idaho performing. The residence came out and danced on their porches and front lawns and for a moment there was pure joy during a time of death, devastation and uncertainty. In Spain a trainer takes to the rooftop to encourage people to exercise and, in Italy people took to singing to show solidarity. A few days ago in New York City some of the fire houses took to the streets and lined up in front of hospitals to sound their horns in thanks and celebration for the healthcare who are at the front line of this battle to beat this demon that is threatening to claim more lives.

 

This crisis has caused people to do what they have been wanting to do, spend time at home with family, and slow down. But when I see the negative comments on social media about being home with family, I wonder if people really mean what they are saying? Families are now forced to talk, create, recreate, learn how to make peace, make time to teach children new values, to bond, share, and maybe for some couples time to rediscover intimacy. We are living without the mega malls, sitting in traffic, date night, and neglecting family to work extra hours. People are not grinding, rushing and stuffing themselves with fast food due to overbooked schedules. This is the first time since 911, that the entire world has felt collectively the same fear, panic, confusion, anger, outrage, shock, and disbelief. We live in the same world striving for the same goals “ the pursuit of happiness”. This crisis has shown us that all life matters and by pulling together we are capable of conquering the meanest beast. My hope is that after the period of mourning is over because the loss of lives is great, and people will have a long journey to overcome the emotional, mental and financial challenges. Let’s  not go back to normal. My desire is that we keep the LOVE and UNITY flowing forever.