Advance warning: this is my first post since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, so things might get a bit heavy.
Let’s start off with some positive things that have come from this pandemic.
I belong to a Facebook support group for my community that offers help to people in need. It has over 10,000 members.
Every night at 7 pm, people go out on their balconies and cheer in appreciation of the doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers putting in so much effort to keep us safe and healthy.
The world is benefiting from our isolation. There is less fog in Los Angeles, and dolphins have been spotted in the canals of Venice.
There is a note up in the lobby of my building for people to sign up for others to get them groceries if they are isolating and can’t get out to do it themselves. Strangers helping strangers out of a sense of community.
Having said all that, I cry everyday.
This likely won’t come as surprise to those who know me well; over the last decade, I’ve strived to give up my attachment to the patriarchy-bred societal expectation of men not showing their feelings. If I feel like I need to cry, I’m going to fucking cry, and balls to you if you think less of me for it.
Before a few weeks ago, this meant at sad movies mostly, but the current state of our world has ramped things up considerably. I cry because I’m sad, because I’m scared, and because I grieve.
To be clear, I have very little worry for myself and any direct effect Covid19 might have upon me. I’m 51 and healthy, so the likelihood is I’d feel like I had the flu if I got the virus. I’ve had the flu, I can deal with that, and I had pneumonia and made it through.
No, my sadness comes from seeing the number of people who have died in places like Italy, Spain, and China–with the US headed the same direction–because response time has been slow and hospitals overwhelmed. I’m fearful for the people I know who are older and/or immunocompromised, as well as for the countries who either refuse to learn from what’s already happened, and more so for those that simply don’t have the infrastructure at the most basic level (as I write this, the continent of Africa had been mostly untouched until 700 cases were reported overnight in South Africa. I shudder to think what might happen if it goes unchecked through a bunch of third world countries).
I’m sad for how, in so many instances, the value of life has taken a back seat to politics and economics. I’m scared for the brave and tireless front line workers who selflessly work and work and work for others. I grieve the world we are leaving behind, because this is one of those tipping points in our history, like 9/11 or the market crash of 2008, and nothing will be the same again.
I know change isn’t bad, but the getting there can sure be painful.
As humans, I know we are resilient. The changes have been and will continue to be made, and we will adapt. In the meantime, I remain one news headline or Facebook post from tears. If that is you, too, that’s okay. Let it out. The world is a scary place right now.
But please know this: I am here for you. I see you, and I love you.