With Coronavirus spreading like wildfire, it’s put a lot of things into perspective. Many of us have had eye-opening realizations that we are not prepared for a disaster such as this. With food and supply shortages around the country, people are scraping by, making do with what they already have on hand. Others are putting themselves at risk to venture out to acquire supplies for their families. I’ve been kicking myself for not having some sort of emergency preparedness kit or reserve set aside for just this sort of thing.
Its evident people are paranoid, and that’s to be expected. We’ve never faced anything quite like this before. Isolation has created a lot of fear and anxiety. That said, it’s a little ridiculous people are buying up guns and ammo, as if expecting something akin to The Walking Dead or The Purge. I think it solidifies the fact that Americans watch entirely too much TV. I can’t say I really blame them though, uncertainty makes us do crazy things.
Isolation Fear And Anxiety-Everyone’s A Housewife
Social media has been flooded with pictures of people baking and using up items already in their cupboards. This week I made banana bread and cookies with ingredients I didn’t even know I had in the back of my pantry. Peanut flour? Sure, why not? Panic over the pandemic has resulted in empty store shelves, stockpiling, and the hoarding of necessary (and unnecessary) survival items. I’ve definitely taken for granted things like paper towels, Clorox wipes, and flour. Paying 25$ for a case of baby wipes that were 12$ a week ago has been a tough pill to swallow.
I’ve become pretty creative with dinners lately too. I’m convinced meatloaf was invented by some innovative housewife who only had hamburger meat, bread, and ketchup on hand. You would think homemade macaroni and cheese would be a hit with a picky toddler, but apparently, the boxed stuff is favorited for a reason. While stocks everywhere plummet, at least Kraft Foods is doing well.
Isolation Fear And Anxiety-Reality Setting In
On a serious note, knowing the virus is most dangerous for elderly and immunocompromised people makes me extremely worried for my parents and in-laws. They are all over the ages of 65, at higher risks for complications, and have underlying health conditions. My mom is a critical care nurse and every night she goes to work, I lay awake worrying about her and what we would do if she ever fell ill. Hearing news of personal protective equipment shortages and overwhelmed hospitals makes me even more fearful for her and my dad. News of the accounts from China and Italy and from other parts of the world have been terrifyingly eye-opening. The anticipation and fear of the unknown are unnerving. I find myself questioning if this is reality or just more fear-mongering from the news stations.
With the virus affecting younger demographics every day, I’m faced with the reality that I haven’t taken the proper measures to care for my family should something happen to me. Never in a million years would I have imagined our nation facing a deadly pandemic, seemingly overnight. Having life insurance policies and wills in place are things I’ve thought of arranging on numerous occasions but have put off, thinking I would have plenty of time in the future. While we have some things prepared, we could do much better. With the number of deaths climbing daily, and more and more younger people facing serious complications, my anxiety has been off the charts about this.
Isolation Fear And Anxiety-Germs Everywhere
Every package that comes to the door and every person I may have unknowingly had contact with is a trigger. Could we have been exposed by the mailman, UPS, or pizza delivery guy? Should I open the mail or touch the mailbox? It’s nerve-wracking. My brother came over to drop off eggs from his chickens and came in for a bit to see the kids. I’ve been beating myself up over this. Could he have brought something into our house? It’s scary and sad that we have to fear contact with the people we love. Stories of people dying alone in hospitals because their families aren’t allowed to visit, or choosing to die at home rather than in an intensive care unit, is heartbreaking. It’s hard to imagine something like this happening to my own family.
I’m hyper-aware of every single action. Did I touch the door handle? Have I touched my face? Is this scratchy throat allergies or something more? It’s enough to drive a person mad. The unpredictable nature of the disease is even worse. If I contract it, will I be one of the few or one of the many? Do I have underlying health conditions that I’m not aware of? Am I already a carrier and not showing any symptoms? There doesn’t seem to be any reliable rhyme or reason. Every possible exposure brings with it 3-14 days of insecurity and fear. Can we really trust going back into the world when all of this is over? It’s like something out of a sci-fi movie, only it’s reality.
Isolation Fear And Anxiety-Waiting For A Silver Lining
With things hitting closer and closer to home, it’s hard not to get a little depressed. Trying to explain to a two-and-a-half-year-old why we’ve stopped going to preschool or why Grandma and Grandpa haven’t come around lately is hard. We’ve stopped going to the park down the street from our house and he doesn’t fully understand why he can’t go on the swings. We will be celebrating our daughter’s first birthday in isolation at home without our family and friends. It’s definitely not the passage I envisioned writing in her baby book. What will gyms, sporting events, and schools look like in the future? How will this affect the long-term? Unemployment rates are off the charts and remote work is becoming the new normal.
It’s hard not to compare this to similar historical events like the Spanish Flu, Black Plague, or the Great Depression. In a way, it connects us with our past and serves as hope that we can and will endure. Only time will tell what will become of this. It surely can’t all be bad. I’m sure it will strengthen our family’s bond. On the bright side, it’s really kicked our potty training game into gear. Thank heaven for social media too! At least there are still ways to remain connected to one another; that’s something truly unique to our time and situation.
I guess the whole point of this post was simply to vent my feelings and to document this rare moment in history. Somehow, writing it all down brings me a little peace of mind. None of us have ever faced anything like this before and we’re all just trying to process it. This definitely helps. Isolation, fear, and anxiety are heavy burdens to carry, and without an outlet, they have the potential to wreak even more havoc. I urge you to find something to help you deal with your own emotions. One thing is for sure, we are all in this together (well, 6 feet apart anyway), and that brings some comfort, in the very least.
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