There is no way to ignore the impact that covid-19 is having on the world although some still seem to be "ostriches" (homework: research the reference) of their communities. The infection is happening "over there" and will not impact my family or friends. I have used Facebook to lighten the mood and share funny memes because no matter how scary the world can be we need a place to laugh and to breathe.
Isolation is tough on many and certainly my extroverted self yearns for that contact. But helplessness is another.
I write this post as a close family member struggles in ICU with covid-19. We do not know his prognosis, but he is a fighter. This post is not for thoughts or prayers (although those are certainly welcome) but rather to recognize the impact the terrible virus is having on people around you. I write this so people know that it is directly impacting those they know; not some distant disease in another part of the world or even the USA.
This helplessness comes from not being able to comfort him or his family beyond a telephone call. It is not being able to be with a mother whose son is currently extremely ill and she is alone. It comes from not being able to help the spouse who is also showing symptoms.
Helplessness is not hopelessness though and hope is not gone.
With this post I hope that you will maintain social distancing and respect quarantining. As far as we know this relative caught it at a Walgreen's by someone who was carrier. Repeat at a pharmacy. He was not trying to sneak into a hospital or avoid parameters. He was not at a bar or the beach. I still see posts that state well we should be able to get back to normal soon because "normal" allows us to reduce stress and is a way to cope with the unexpected. Everything is unexpected now and that could be the new normal. This means young and old alike need to respect the disease and while you may have a slight cough your carelessness could be debilitating or deadly for another.
This post is not about a list of do's and don't's as there are plenty of those around (read them). It is about making this situation real for some who see it as faceless victims or numbers in some distant war. It is for those who do not acknowledge the severity by saying let’s celebrate the ones who have survived. That fact is important too, but should not be separated from the damage and long impacts this terrible virus will have on our own humanity.
Richard A. Stevens, Jr., Ph.D.