In This New World

Today, I’m going to write in complete contrast from the last blog I posted. I’m going to write from the other side of me, the side of me that takes the pandemic known as Covid-19 a little too seriously. The side of me that of me that is panicking just like everyone else. The side of me that I try to squander in my attempts to keep everyone around me calm. The part of me that is my overbearing mother.

A small cold has wormed it’s way into my household. A common thing that has never before caused any concern for me, or really for most people that experience such things. A sore, runny nose that’s not even that runny, a scratchy throat, a bit of sneezing, and maybe a little cough here and there due to the scratchy throat. Nothing to be concerned about at all and doesn’t even need mediation as it will probably go away on it’s own in a couple of days.

Except that the world has changed and it’s not as simple anymore. Now, every tiny little thing buries itself within me and causes me to be concerned.

My son woke up at 4:30 this morning, the same time he does every morning when we just bring him into our bed to get a couple hours of extra sleep before we can’t keep him down any longer. But, on the baby monitor, it wasn’t just his cries I heard. There was a small cough, and the way he had begun to cry made it sound, to my panic-driven mind, as if he were heaving for breath. Never had I jumped out of bed to go and get him as quickly as I did then.

He was fine, as a part of me knew deep down, but there was still that piece of me that really couldn’t seem to get over it. I lay awake for about another hour with my hand on his stomach, chest, or back at all times to see if I could feel or hear any stress. Terrified that his little body was filling with the mucus that has been bothering him for the past week. He sounded and felt clear, but yet I worried.

I couldn’t stop some of the tears that fell from my eyes at that time. I realized that this is the world we are living in right now. This is the historical event that we are witnessing in real life… through everything that I have been through with the likes of 911 and all the wars and unrest throughout the world, this is the most terrifying. Due to people not taking this seriously and thinking it’s a joke, things have gotten so far out of control. It’s hard to say who is carrying this disease because people spread it even without being sick. It’s hard to say if my husband or I have been exposed at our “essential” jobs, so something as simple as a common cold… there’s the possibility there that it could be more. That it could be worse.

We live in this world now where every time someone coughs, we scurry away like rats and look at them with this panicked expression. Why are they coughing, we immediately wonder. Do they have the coronavirus? Why are they out? We should hate them!

We live in a world where people are taking “essential” retail workers for granted. Where a man jumped an employee at my husband’s job for trying to keep the line together and distanced, and would not let the suspect jump ahead. Where another employee was assaulted by a woman throwing stuff at her out of her cart because she couldn’t let this woman just pick her own toilet paper off the shelves herself. Where another employee requested a ride home because he had bought toilet paper and was terrified he was going to get jumped on his way home. We are literally willing to kill each other over TOILET PAPER.

The world is falling apart. From the worst of humanity rearing it’s ugly head to panicking over every tiny little sign of sickness, it’s hard to adjust to this new world. At this time, it’s almost hard to see anything every going back to normal. Some people say it never will. I personally don’t want to believe that there is a chance that every time my children show a sign of sickness that I will fear for their lives, and not just casually grab the cold medicine. So, even with that part of me that is in a panic, I hold onto the hope that this is not permanent.

There is hope. Hope that a vaccine will be made. Hope that our immune systems will build against this. Hope that we will finally pull together to defeat this rather than destroy each other. I want to believe that there is still some hope for humanity.

I just hope that I am not being set up for disappointment.

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