Meeting with people in this COVID environment is tricky. I have barely been out of my house other than to work, get some exercise in local parks, and run errands of necessity at a smattering of local shops. I get anxious thinking about doing anything with many people.
I lost relationships with this absence. I lost friendships with the separation.
I also ended up with some extra time that I wouldn’t have had – that ended up furthering a relationship. Global pandemic means that two people on other sides of the world are similarly on lock-down.
As I look at the time COVID has afforded me, and I weigh it against the separation it has also engendered, can I fairly say it hasn’t been kind to me?
My anxiety is extreme, but don’t mistake that for poorly placed fear. The risk to me is real, present, and damn near all-consuming. I have lost 45 pounds vibrating in my own skin. Every email from my kids’ schools about a confirmed cases nearby makes vomit rise up. Every time someone from my household returns from the outside world, I make a mental map of every single thing they have touched before decontaminating properly. The wrongful dismissal of my very founded concerns has made me weak and small…weaker and smaller. I fold up, and I hide under my covers and shake.
I didn’t lose a job to COVID. I didn’t lose my place to live or my ability to feel secure that my family would be fed. I haven’t lost anyone I know to the virus…yet. I have lost my ability to feel safe in the world. Sleeping is difficult. Being still is impossible, but moving is also a challenge.
But, I have my love. COVID has delayed my ability to be in his space with him, but it has absolutely played a large role in our relationship and its glorious closeness. I rely on him in a way I might not have without COVID. I like to think it would be the same no matter the environment, but I know stars aligning makes the otherwise impossible more probable.
So the dichotomy lives. Fuck COVID for my loss of peace and safety…and thank COVID for making possible a different kind of safe peaceful reality.
I have indeed learned a lot about myself and others through the eyes connections needed to manage this new world. Whatever doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.
Please, dear gawd, don’t let COVID kill me.
Use this struggle to make me fierce
to test me and train me and make me endure
Use this challenge to make me see
to show me and teach me to see others’ obstacles clearly
Use this pandemic to make me resistant
to fortify me and adapt me into a super power of radiant joy
Use this separation to make me cling
to connect me and hold me close to the humanity of another
Use this time to make the unfathomable future crystal clear
to pause my fear and soothe my insecurity
and make way for the never ending time that is after
After now and on to the list of tomorrow’s infinite potential