So we’re well into the second month of COVID-19 lock downs and restrictions. I’m still working from home on a non-ergonomic chair with a tiny laptop screen and keyboard. But I’ve adapted quite well. I’m drinking more than usual (yes I mean alcohol, no it’s not good for me, yes I know that). I’m eating not very well. But I haven’t grown out of my work pants. I put them on today, and they still fit. I’m not adapting well to wearing a mask. My glasses steam up and I feel claustrophobic. But I do it.
I’ve been tested once a couple weeks ago for COVID-19 when I had some unusual symptoms. They were probably stress symptoms. As always, I dragged my feet going in even though I was assured I had to be tested. We don’t need to be wasting test kits on people who aren’t sick and who usually feel like they have a fever even when they don’t and yada yada yada. So I got tested, and it was negative, like always. I should be grateful to be healthy as a horse even though I feel like a jellyfish stranded on the beach. Instead I feel guilty. Do I want to have been positive? There’s a little strange voice in me that says, well yeah. If you’re not positive, you’ve wasted a test kit for someone else who needed it.
I’m angry. I’m angry at the government for not leading. For lying. I hate being lied to. I know there was so much more that could have been done, so much earlier. I know that because I work in a health care environment that has done so much more so much earlier. That’s why I was able to get a test.
More than anything, I’m angry because so many people have died. I’m angry because a dear friend of mine was alone in the hospital without family and friends for a few weeks, not because she has COVID-19, but because she has terminal cancer. She’s finally home with hospice and her family and her friends, on a schedule to see her to reduce the possibility of infection. She doesn’t need COVID, but she needs her “peeps.” Because of the lack of leadership in our government (yes, the richest country in the world, I say with a curled up lip), all our everyday “normal” diseases are supposed to be on hold. People lose their healthcare with their jobs. Get cancer, have a heart attack, have a stroke, get in line.
I’m okay. I’m healthy as a horse. I will be dutiful. I will take my temperature when I have my “non-fever aches,” just to be sure. I will keep track of my natural shortness of breath. It’s not a matter of me not catching a COVID infection and dying. It’s a matter of me carrying it around, giving it to my husband or anyone else who follows after me through a door. I’m staying at home. I’ve been out of my house five times now since March 16. Foraging at the grocery store, mostly. I’m wearing the claustrophobic homemade rather silly looking mask. I’m being mindful. I will take care not to waste precious resources. But I will not ignore legitimate symptoms. I have to be part of the grassroots solution, since federal leadership has grown non-existent, despite the salaries that I help to pay.