Lessons from COVID

Its been quite a few weeks since I’ve last written, and honestly, its because I’ve been at a loss for words. I know we have all seen and heard so much about COVID-19 that it’s basically coming out of our pores, but I would be remiss if I did not write about this pandemic. If you would have told me on January 1st that by April 1st I would fear going grocery shopping, carry hand sanitizer in the same way I’d carry a weapon, and be trapped inside my house for months – I’d have called you absolutely insane. Our lives as we knew them have been firmly tossed upside down. For some, this is a sprinkle on an otherwise sunny day. For others, this is as terrifying and life changing as a hurricane. What is for certain for all of us, however, is that the duration of this pandemic is almost completely unknown. And the unknown is frightening.

If I’m being completely honest, my reaction to this would be totally different if it weren’t for Cole. I’m very fortunate to have the type of job that can allow me to telework during this scary time, and minimize the possibility that I contract COVID at the hospital and spread it to my vulnerable baby. Mitch is now laid off, so Cole will get to spend some extra time with his dada and has been primarily watched by his grandma and sometimes Mimi. I won’t lie, getting to see my little man so much has been wonderful. I think we will really struggle when the time comes to go back to work, and back to daycare.

Cole enjoying his new swing this week

I had a moment of intense clarity this past Monday. I logged off work at 4:30, fed Cole, and got ready to go grocery shopping. I had to stop at both Aldi’s and Martin’s, so I brought a pair of rubber gloves, a mask, a baggie, and hand sanitizer. I went into the store with only my credit card, keys, and grocery list – masked and gloved.

I anxiously rushed through the stores, suspicious of every person in there. I carefully removed my gloves and mask and before getting into my car and placed them carefully inside out in the plastic baggy to throw away. I over-sanitized my hands, got in the car, then drove home. When I got home I Lysoled my credit card, keys, and most of the groceries. Immediately changed my clothes and washed my hands really good before even getting close to Cole.

My paranoia was at an all time high – all from one grocery trip. Then it hit me. If I’m this anxious and scared over a grocery trip, this situation must be absolutely wreaking havoc on the lives of those on our healthcare front lines. They deserve our support, our respect, and our compliance. As best as we can, we need to stay home and continue to be as safe as possible.

I’ve seen so many posts, quotes, memes, and such about this whole situation. While I’ve appreciated a lot of the funny ones (i.e. Tiger King everything), I read a few more serious posts that give me hope that this life-altering experience will bring about positive change in the end.

I pray that this experience isn’t just a temporary slow down of life, I hope that the hustle and bustle that has become so normal isn’t normal anymore. I hope that Sundays return to being a “day of rest”, where stores and places of business close so everyone can be with their families. I hope that this experience allows families to do more active things together, and spend less time in front of a tv or cell phone. I pray that we all make it out on the other side of this with a new and great appreciation for freedom. Freedom to socialize with friends, get a drink at your favorite bar, watch your favorite sports team, and fearlessly leave your home without planning the best antibacterial route.

Stay safe friends. Wash your hands, stay home and slow down if you are lucky enough to be able to, and hug your family (that you’re allowed to hug) even tighter.

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