What a crazy time we are living in right now. I’ve felt a heavy grief coming over me for the past couple days as we have had to make some hard decisions about how we are going to approach this Coronavirus (COVID 19). Today is the last day the kids will see my parents for an undetermined amount of time as we try to distance ourselves in an effort to protect my parents from contracting anything that we may carry. Working in healthcare, and more specifically, being a microbiology tech that is dealing with these specimens on the front lines, it is inevitable that I bring it home to my family. So we made the hard decision to distance ourselves to help stop the spread to those we love that are extremely susceptible to this virus.
Our town is completely out of nearly every basic necessity. Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, baby wipes, diapers, bread, milk, vast majority of the meat selection, canned goods, frozen goods and more. Nearly completely sold out. Stores are having to close even earlier because there is simply nothing left to be bought. Trucks are coming in with small shipments, only to sell out as soon as the pallet hits the floor. I am thankful that we have enough for now, but it won’t be long before we will need to get more food.
Sylas’ school is one of the many around the nation that closed. He was out all this past week with a two week closure, but I have to pick up a homework packet this afternoon with three additional weeks of homework inside. He may not finish his first grade year. My heart breaks for him when he asks to see his best friend, and I have to tell him that we have to stay home to keep grandma and papa safe and healthy. Boredom is already setting in with all of the kids because we can’t even go outside for the rain.
Javier’s restaurant is slowing down drastically. The waitresses aren’t making any money, and they have turned to curb-side pickup and looking into delivery, or even completely closing until this blows over. We may be down to just my paycheck to support us.
Our hospital is locked down, only the ER entrance is open. Patients are limited to a single visitor and people are being screened at the door for symptoms. If they appear to have the illness, they’re sent to a trailer in the parking lot to be swabbed and sent home. I have to be screened upon entry as well and am buzzed in. I can’t park where I usually do either. The halls are empty and the cafeteria barren. I can’t use my water bottle to fill at the pop machine, instead I have to purchase water. The soup and salad bar is closed, and is instead prepackaged to limit hands touching the utensils as well as the condiments. The American Red Cross is suffering a hit due to the closures of donation drives. We are facing a massive blood shortage on top of the seasonal shortage that always comes in the summer.
And yet, even with all of these abnormalities, my days seem totally the same too. I wake up and go to work every day just like always, and there’s still work to do. I come home to do the dinner bath and bed routine with the kids. I don’t go out much on a regular basis so this seems normal to me. It is a very strange combination of emotions. Sometimes I feel like a zombie apocalypse is about to happen with the sense of urgency that boils up within me, and yet, I feel calm and business-as-usual when doing certain tasks.
I don’t really know what lies ahead, and sometimes it feels a little bit scary, but I’m doing my part to make sure that we all pull through ok.
Wash your hands. Do deep breathing exercises. Take care of yourself. Stay safe out there.