Now that businesses are opening up, folks are itching to get out of their houses and back to work. After seven weeks sans income, my husband returned to his job, carrying his mask and his hand sanitizer (which they are selling at 7-11 for $8 at about 3 oz!), making the arduous commute into Austin. Many young folks in Austin aren’t wearing masks at all, or much of anything, according to this picture taken at Lake Travis on Saturday. I guess they figured social distancing is just a suggestion.
My heart breaks to think of the healthcare workers on their feet for multiple shifts at a time, unable to eat or bathe, trying to cope with the trauma they witness as best they can, scared to carry unseen germs into their homes. My heart breaks for the victims who had no loving hand to hold during their final moments, no solace or comfort before they left their bodies forever, bodies destined to be shoved into makeshift coolers in New York. Perhaps it takes maturity, decades of learned compassion, prioritizing and realizing that this life is not about selfishness, and we all need each other to make it. Survival of the fittest is not the goal.
I get it. I want to be where the people are. I want to cavort again. But even though I’ve daily jogged and tried to stay positive, taking hot baths and reading scripture, ignoring endless negative articles thrown my way, I evidently could not tell my own body to chill. My muscles got so tight and restricted in my neck and chest last Sunday, that I could barely breathe for two days, and I wound up in an ambulance, headed to ER (the last place on earth you want to be during COVID). My temp was 98.0, and I had no cough at all, so they didn’t waste a virus test on me. They determined that the chest pain, SOB, and left arm numbness was not a heart attack, and sent me home. As they said, the job of ER is not to diagnose, but to “rule out.” That said, don’t be too hard on yourself if your body, your hormones, your emotions are so out of whack, no matter what you do for self -care. Dr. Phil said we are all in a fight or flight mode designed to last for several minutes, not several months, and we can’t control the way the body chooses to deal with it.
So I’ll stay home yet again, watching the cars roll down the street.
Knowing that soon, I’ll be riding tandem bikes again.
And crossing streets with my peeps.
Watching films at the theater. Okay, I won’t do that because I hate seeing movies in public, listening to babies cry and patrons chew popcorn loudly. Guh-ross. But you can.
And won’t we be celebrating then?