I have so much to say. I imagine many of you do, too.
If you know me or have followed this page for a while, you know that I sometimes need to write things out to help clear my head. I can’t say this totally helped me this time, but it’s a start.
It’s probably worth starting with this: I don’t care if this is ‘just a flu’ or ‘just a cold’ or ‘most people recover just fine.’ For me, that misses larger points – perhaps most importantly, trying to keep vulnerable populations safe until we build immunity (or any type of coordinated, scalable, effective medical response) to this thing. Oh, and – severity aside – I don’t want any flu or any cold and I don’t want to be responsible for spreading them around.
I am overwhelmed. I am trying to be rational yet cautious. Prepared, but not scared. It’s hard. There are too many damn headlines to read, let alone absorb.
On my drive to work this morning, it occurred to me what a unique experience this is. That perhaps I am sitting at the crossroads of life as ‘pre-Coronavirus’ and ‘post-Coronavirus.’ A ‘remember when…?’ or ‘where were you when…?’ moment. A “Coronavirus story” that – if I’m lucky enough to have them – my grandkids will ask me about for school assignments.
One thing’s for sure. This is SURREAL. Almost eerie.
Shit got really real, really fast over the past 24 hours. I am not sure how to handle this. I am not sure anyone really is. I do know that I can make choices to help my family and perhaps shield those more vulnerable. I do know there will be (and potentially already are!) people who need help. I don’t yet what it is or how I can pitch in, but this is a big part of the Coronavirus dialogue in my head right now.
I am fascinated by people’s responses to what’s happening. Not in a bad way…just generally fascinated. It seems we’re at a point that we can make anything a bi-partisan issue. For me, this isn’t about politics. It’s about finding news, information, and leadership I can trust – so I can support my gut feels and make the right decisions for what my family’s immediate future looks like. And when I say ‘leadership,’ I don’t just mean those in power. I mean those trusted individuals in your life – friends, family, colleagues, etc. I don’t have the sense that anyone’s writing or sharing an objective, transparent, full story here. I feel like I’m in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and I’m collecting information from sources and input from my favorite fellow characters to cobble together my path forward.
Right now, for me, this is about community, safety, care, preparedness and response. Protecting those most vulnerable. Making smart decisions and smart choices. Rallying around The Golden Rule. As with any crisis or tough experience, things will not go as I planned, or you planned, or as anyone planned. But hopefully, there’s enough of a plan and/or response to minimize impact and get things back to normal or a’ new normal’ as quickly as possible.
Right now, It’s hard to see where we’re heading. Our immediate future is cloaked in dense fog, and we’re traversing a road most of us have never traveled before. It’s certainly one we didn’t choose to take. Are we panicking? Maybe. Are we not doing enough? Maybe. I definitely front-loaded the food budget for the next month and went to the food store for some extra pantry/freezer items. (And wine. Not toilet paper, though … I already had an obsession with keeping enough paper products in the house, thanks to my mom.)
Right now, I guess I can only control what I can control…which means I’m following my gut along with the input I’m cobbling together. And apparently, right now, following my gut means wanting to keep my family close. And wanting family that’s far away to keep each other close. And wanting my friends to do the same thing for themselves and their loved ones. Oh, and here’s a good one – not wanting to go to crowded public venues.
For the foreseeable future, I am working to move forward with wide eyes, an open mind, and a big heart. And clean hands, but we generally like soap in this house, so that’s a given.
Crazy times, friends, crazy times. Keep your heads up. Keep your loved ones close. Prioritize what matters.