This pandemic is not only killing people in rapid numbers, it’s destroying our “normal” life as we know it (or used to).
Always being told, “But that’s just you, always finding the good in a bad situation”, I’ve been trying my hardest to do that while we are holed up in our home not being able to venture out except for nourishment and doctor appointments. What can be good about being stuck indoors with a spouse, who lost their job when the pandemic hit, 24/7? I can hear suggestions from the men as I write this but you are an unrealistic species in regards to your thoughts on extra curricular entertainment suggestions. Instead we sit on separate sides of the room with our faces buried in our phones busy trying to beat the next level of our game.
Both my husband Rob and I are 57 years old and even though she flew home January 11th, we had my 83 year old mom staying with us through the holiday season. She came early and left late mostly because she had been diligent staying locked up in her apartment all alone and even though she made sure to find one thing a day to keep her busy and her mind from wandering to bad places, she was starting to go stir crazy. One task she chose was to fill in her new address book deleting all the old entries and when we talked that day she said she couldn’t believe how many of her friends were dead and once again she was reminded of how alone she really was.
With the rules of those living alone being able to have two people in their circle, we felt comfortable bringing her into our home knowing that she hadn’t been in contact with others, and except for being caregivers once a week for our three year old grandson, even though we are still a bit nervous, we have been diligent with social distancing as well.
The tough part was telling our three boys that we wouldn’t allow them to visit in an effort to, at the very least, keep their grandma safe. We followed the rules and canceled Christmas and came up with creative ways to keep connected as a family in order to keep the spirit of the holiday alive.
Waking up on Boxing Day I felt a sense of calm and not the normal sadness I usually feel knowing that after all of the hype, just like that Christmas was over. I realized that I actually enjoyed a quieter holiday that was absent of the loud and crazy that our family brings to every gathering. There was no pressure to put together everyone’s favourite snacks on Christmas Eve that always left me not finding the time to enjoy any of it myself. And, I didn’t have to worry if my bathroom was clean or that my house was looking pristine, only for the order to disappear immediately after the first guests arrived.
Christmas dinner was a bit strange with just the three of us at the table but we still helped each other crack their cracker, put on our paper party hats and read the jokes tucked inside. Traditions are traditions no matter how many people you are surrounded by. I’m pretty sure the kids were happy to spend a Christmas where they didn’t have to play along just to humour me with my silly traditions.
And then, we heard that the people we count on to lead us, care for our best interests and keep us safe decided that their pleas/orders for us to stay away from our loved ones during the time of year we had all been holding on for, didn’t include them.
Apologies were made by letting us know they made a “mistake” and that they were sorry for their decisions to travel and/or gather with loved ones (because it was a 17 year old tradition for them). Seriously? A mistake is something we make unintentionally and without them we wouldn’t have the ability to grow and learn. And what about our LIFELONG traditions. The ones that we continue to pass on to our grandkids and great grandkids. The only way that we know how to spend a holiday together, doing the things that keep our memories alive.
When you stand in front of the people who chose you to lead us, directing us to “do as I say”, knowing full well that in a few days you will be doing everything you are asking us not to, that IS NOT a mistake. That is deliberate and intentional.
We wonder why there is so much discord and confusion in the world right now. No one knows what’s true and what’s not and we are all questioning the severity of the situation. I mean, why would the people in charge continue living a “normal” life if the danger truly exists? Do they feel invincible or entitled because they are in power? Or do they agree that it is as serious as they are telling us, but find it even more difficult than we do to lock themselves up in their homes away from those they love?
I’m at the point that when I think of leaving my house I imagine the air filled with a disease that will enter into my home before I have time to close the door behind me. I’m afraid to breathe or touch anything and I’m grateful that Rob is MY frontline worker who tempts fate every time he ventures out to gather our food for the week. Besides, it frustrates me to no end that I can’t lick my finger in an attempt to get the produce bags open when they come off the roll. I don’t know how many times I’ve put my hand to my mouth only to be reminded that I’m confined behind a stupid mask! And we all know the last thing you want to do is put your finger in your mouth after you’ve touched all the things that the virus is resting on. Ugh!
I’ve recently learned that you can be as careful as you’re asked to be and do all the things we’re asked to do to contain Covid and keep it from spreading between us but recently I have had friends who have tested positive even after following protocol. They then passed it on to their loved ones and have had a family member pass away because of it. I can’t imagine that happening to me and it only strengthens my insistence to remain locked up in my home.
After developing pneumonia with H1N1 and coming very close to death, the doctor told me then that if I was to ever contract another lung disease that my chances for survival would be slim to none. What I know for sure is that, if at all possible, I DO NOT want to ever experience the inability to breath normally again. It was the most scariest thing I’ve ever gone through and I would rather jump in front of a train if I knew it was going to happen again.
As tough a decision it was to choose to tell the kids that we can’t take care of our monkey once a week right now, it’s what we have to do. They need to work and he needs to be in his day home throughout the week and for me that’s just too many connections being made that I have no control over. And I’m scared.
I pray that this will be over soon and I continue to look for the good in every day as my coping mechanism. It’s all I have right now and the be honest, it helps. And it helps knowing that we are all in this together and that for once, the entire world is dealing with the exact same thing. I just wish we could all get on the same page and just love one another a little more than usual.
Hang in there, this too shall pass (or not).