I am concerned.
I am sad.
I am angry.
And I have a lot of questions.
It’s an unprecedented time for our world. No one I know has ever been through a pandemic of this magnitude. 2020 will be an interesting year for people to discuss in the future. The year the world literally shut down. The year of the pandemic.
The best-case scenario projections we are getting from the White House are saying 100,000 – 240,000 Americans are going to die from COVID-19.
One hundred thousand to two hundred and forty thousand Americans.
BEST. CASE. SCENARIO.
My brain doesn’t even have the capacity to understand that many people dying over the course of six months. Logistically, where will they go? What will happen with their bodies? Will we have to have mass graves? There is no way that undertakers can keep up with that kind of demand. So many people will become a number and a statistic, rather than a person.
And how many people will die alone? How many loved ones will be left without closure forever because they didn’t get to say goodbye? How many people will live with unbearable sadness every day because their grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, brother, sister, child, spouse, or friend had to die alone and scared?
It’s really just too much for me to think about it. My heart breaks trying to picture that for one person, but to know it will likely happen to thousands of people is uncomprehendable.
So I try to scale it down and make it applicable to my life to try make it manageable for my heart. But that does not help.
Because my mom is one of those most at risk to contract the virus and die. My funny, kind, brave mom who’s been battling stage four colon cancer could contract COVID-19 and likely would not survive because of her chemo-weakened immune system. And if America goes the way of Italy, she won’t even be offered a hospital bed. Her ventilator would go to someone younger and healthier, someone who has the best chance of continuing to live a quality life after this is over. Essentially my mom would be sacrificed for the “greater good”.
So I try not to think about my mom. She’s on strict home lockdown. Not leaving the house unless she has a doctor’s appointment. And I know the cancer center is going above and beyond to keep their patients safe. Let’s pretend my mom is safe.
What about my fiancé who is a paramedic and works on the ambulance almost every day and will inevitably, eventually come in contact with a COVID-19 patient? He’s 24-years-old and in theory unlikely to have life threatening complications, but no one knows for sure how each individual’s body will react. Should I worry about him instead? Our small town as of today hasn’t seen any confirmed COVID-19 patients, but it’s just a matter of time. No where is immune to it. And just because it’s taking longer to get here, because we live in the rural Midwest, doesn’t mean it’s not going to make it. And hospitals are under prepared. He can’t be safe while having to wear the same PPE all day for days at a time.
These are my biggest concerns. But I feel so much sadness in (by comparison) insignificant things as well.
My oldest niece is a senior in high school and has had all those special rights of passage taken away from her. No senior trip, no prom, likely to culminate in no graduation ceremony. It’s so unfair. All these things she’s looked forward to for four years, just ripped away.
Annnnnnnnd guess who’s getting married this year? That’s right. Me. Of course. I waited thirty years to get married only to have a PANDEMIC come in and screw with everything.
The wedding is set for later this year. Late enough that I’m hoping the worst of this will be passed and we can have some semblance of normal life back (optimistically). But who knows? Will we be allowed to have gatherings of over 100 people by the end of summer? Even if the wedding happens without any interference, a lot of the pre-wedding shenanigans will likely have to be altered. Bachelor/bachelorette parties will probably have to be changed, and bridal showers might have to be scaled down or be cancelled altogether. Because no one really knows how long this will be going on. Some experts think we’ll be able to go back to normalcy in June, other projections are saying August.
And the honeymoon? Let’s just look at that real quick. How many countries do you think are going to be allowing leisurely international travel in the next six months? My guess is not many. Especially not to Americans if we don’t get our testing issues fixed. For those other countries, allowing American’s in is probably going to be viewed as a liability. There goes Greece. And (obviously) Italy. And probably Spain.
Can you see where planning is getting really difficult at this point? Literally everything is subject to change right now. Because there are so many unknowns.
Not to mention my annual May North Carolina Beach House vacation is all but cancelled at this point. So that’s a bummer. (#firstworldproblems)
Thought there are OBVIOUSLY bigger things to be concerned about, but it is okay to mourn these “insignificant” losses. It’s okay to be sad about a cancelled prom, or a postponed bachelorette party. It’s okay to be upset that that vacation you’ve been looking forward to isn’t going to happen, or that concert you’ve been counting down to is now rescheduled to a TBA date. It’s okay to feel sad about those things.
What’s not okay, is getting hateful about it, or going on with your life as usual because you don’t think you’re at risk and you think all the restrictions are a joke. That’s not okay. Even if you don’t have a care in the world about contracting COVID-19, by staying home, you are keeping people like my mom safe, and keeping people on the front lines, like my fiancé, safe. And if you can’t take this seriously because it doesn’t affect you, then our friendship has likely run its course. That has been one of the most discouraging things about this pandemic, is the lack of compassion I see at play in the world. Trust me, I, too am annoyed about the regulations and restrictions and want to go back to life as normal ASAP. I want to go on vacation, and have a bachelorette party. Trust me, I get it. But I also get that this is a worldwide pandemic and we all have to do our part to help save lives.
How many of those 100,000 to 240,000 lives could we have saved if we had taken this seriously from the beginning? How many could still be saved if we make the necessary sacrifices moving forward?
Do your part: stay home. Watch Netflix. Play with your dog. Write a book.
Learn to paint. Knit a scarf. Take a nap.
Just stay home.