I do tend to shy away from things that I deem too personal or opportunistic. I write about things that I think need to be discussed. I try to offer insight and welcome commentary back. I share to tell a story, not to get sympathy or gain attention. I share a story to show empathy, to let readers know that there are other people out there that have been in their shoes. Especially now, when everything feels so isolating. Now more than ever, people need a voice that let’s them know that they aren’t alone and that while there are situations that are uniquely them, there are other people who can share a similar tale. That’s why I write.
You see stories of battling this virus on social media. You learn that people you knew but don’t really associate with had it. You see stories on the news or viral tales on social media about a tragedy or triumph surrounding this virus. Each time, it has an impact but yet it doesn’t really impact you. It’s a story that you read, like any other story. I stayed safe because I’m at risk. I had a girls’ night where I drank wine with my friends on Zoom because it’s important to take the necessary precautions. I’m not a particularly cautious person, some would say. I take logical approaches to everything, and even as “I throw caution to the wind” there is a calculation and a reason why I do everything I do no matter how impulsive it seems.
During this girls’ night, they told stories of the things they experienced as medical professionals. How, sure the virus won’t kill everyone, but the bigger problem is the after. There are so many unknowns about the long-term effects. That’s the problem with something so new.
The thing is though, that those are stories. You’re not the one who gets the news that a loved one is in the hospital with it. You just watch the story happen online and send your thoughts and prayers or whatever else feels right and socially acceptable to do. It’s completely different when you’re living as a spectator to it at a more personal level. It’s different when you’re the one mentally preparing for the worst to be ready while hoping for the best. It’s a tricky thing to navigate, watching your own family become statistics to something that could be avoided if people just did simple things like wearing a mask so that we could’ve been done with this months ago. If people were more cautious about sanitizing and cleaning everything. If people didn’t resist science and just say “it’s only a flu, no big”.
The reason that my family members will make it through is because of science. Because there are better medicines and treatments now. Not everyone was/is that fortunate. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t concerns for the damage this virus could do to their bodies after their recovery. It just means that they aren’t in the statistics that had the worst possible outcome.
So while people may laugh about how this virus is a joke, I won’t. While people may laugh because I’m afraid of some imagined political ploy, I’ll know that I did everything that I could to stay safe so that I could be around to watch my sons get married or hold my future grandchildren. I’m not afraid of a virus; I’m doing my part to ensure that my kids have their mother at their wedding and to hold my future grandchildren. So that others can live their lives.