I feel all of a sudden so calm when I totally was not earlier in the day. Here I sit in a camping chair outside our apartment balcony with a view of the sun going down, little Kit Kat on her cat scratcher, Mr. Peaches laying next to me on the ground, adjacent to us is the mosquito candle lit up, and my ‘Sounds of Nature’ Spotify playlist playing me sounds of birds chirping with water flowing.
I’m a human like everyone else, and as a human, I feel certain things. I’ve been keeping up with the news every day since COVID-19 hit the world, and it’s been mentally exhausting. I’ve been trying to take all the preventive measures possible. Whether that is to cancel any gatherings even with close friends within the same city, not eating out even during the time in late February when we were allowed to, not hoarding a shit ton of toilet paper and only getting the groceries we need, and most importantly, canceling my 30th birthday trip to Lake Tahoe with the boyfriend.
My New Normal Daily Life in Texas
Day to day life hasn’t really changed in our household except for my boyfriend is also now home all the time, which by the way, Kit Kat absolutely loves and has reserved her rights to lay on top of his work laptop on the daily. The boyfriend’s close friend, who is a roommate, has always worked from home, so we’ve never really had any dynamic issues even before the stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are all similar in age, 29, 30, and 31. We are well aware that the risk is much lower than folks older than us. We are pretty guarded with any travel to our family members as we would most likely infect them, and the thought of us being the cause of their death or the idea of not being able to be there by their side in the hospital is so painful and something we just will not risk.
Our world at home and what we do in life is all attached to the internet for the majority of it, so we don’t see the hard workers in the frontline for COVID-19 of nurses, doctors, and first responders who are working around the clock and not even having the necessary safety equipment to protect themselves, so they are able to serve our fellow citizens and neighbors for an even longer period of time. But what we do see is the frontline community.
These essential workers for the COVID-19 pandemic are folks helping us maintain the absolute basic necessities in life: in the grocery stores, garbagemen who pick up our trash, truck drivers who are delivering supplies to essential businesses that include gas stations and pharmacies, and most importantly the delivery services which are providing food and produce to those who can’t go out to get them themselves. We are part of the group in a society where if we stay home, we will be safe, but not just us, but safe for our friends, family, neighborhood, and essential workers who are saving lives in hospitals.
They always tell you when you are growing up as a kid that “you’ll never understand until you experience it yourself,” whether that is being pregnant and raising a kid, or having to deal with emergencies and finding ways to pay the month’s mortgage let alone putting food on the table for your entire family with double or triple shifts.
So in every moment when interacting with other people, till this very day since young, I’ve always tried to “put myself in others’ shoes,” and I’ve learned how to empathize even if I have not experienced it myself directly. Whether it was feelings of happiness, injustice, confusion, disappointment, anger, or joy – it was the journey of emotions I related to if I couldn’t relate to the situation in detail.
COVID-19 Reality is a Wake-Up Call Nationwide
Today was one of those days where I felt overwhelmed with reality. And I needed that moment to cry it all out. I learned that my boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend, who has been in the hospital for five days now, have received back his test results today, and he tested positive. My boyfriend’s mom has self-quarantined herself and is in constant check with the doctor. They live together in the same house, and it’s frightening to think of any of the possibilities. I feel afraid and scared that we won’t be able to jump on a plane quickly to go and see them, and even if we could, we’d probably make the situation worse, and with this specific virus, you can’t be together with your family if one is sick.
I’m not super close with my boyfriend’s mom’s boyfriend, but he has always been kind and generous with his hospitality when we visited. The fact that someone in my extended circle has it scares the living shit out of me. Why? It’s because I continuously wish that “it’ll never happen to me” and selfishly not wanting to accept the reality that it can. Most likely, shortly, my entire household might be affected as COVID-19 reaches its way to the peak, whether they are asymptomatic, can recover, or incurable.
But in times of uncertainty, that mentality and desperate cry of “I wish this doesn’t happen to me” and when I stumble upon it, I feel ashamed of, because a lot of other people in this country are 100000x even more ignorant of it, and that’s precisely why diverse candidates for the 2020 election’s ideas may have seen radical to some because people have not experienced the real situations others haven’t experienced.
I’m straight-up talking about the nationwide UBI proposal – Andrew Yang’s ‘Freedom Dividend‘ plan of giving $1K a month to every adult in the USA. I’m talking about free healthcare from Bernie Sander’s ‘Medicare for All‘ plan and canceling student debt.
At this point in reading this article, if you are a reader who does not agree with my above views, that’s ok. The purpose of my blog is not to change someone’s political party, it’s for maximizing those who are on a similar wavelength on humanity as a millennial. And because a lot of what my real daily living is impacted on is reflected through the checks and balances of our politics, I will talk about values and outlooks of life on this platform.
Calm but Concerned and Staying Informed
It’s not the overwhelmingness of having to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s easy as an introvert like me. Information is changing daily, so I keep up with the news as much as I can for my household here in Texas and for loved ones in other states.
I wrote this article because I wanted to share with you my experience, where I have not once cried about the impact of COVID-19 until today. But that it is okay to have feelings, it’s okay to let them out, it’s okay to give yourself permission to embrace your feelings throughout this challenging journey.
The below is where I have been finding my sources of information to keep myself and family updated:
- Twitter (‘Trending’ that links me to articles published in news outlets)
- Reddit (‘Popular’ that links me to articles published in news outlets)
- MSNBC (FB live for NY Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings)
- BBC UK (UK international POV)
- 7News Sydney (world news of Australia and New Zealand)
- YouTube (Trevor Noah when I need some light-hearted but real information recaps)
- Local news station/newspaper where my family resides
Words Matter, Let’s Be Strong Together
During this time of self-distancing, it’s more than necessary than ever to be communicating with your loved ones, even the ones who live in the same house as you!
I am so grateful that I have a boyfriend who is the kindest soul ever. He is my significant other who I don’t have to hide my tears away and tell him how I am feeling. He strengthens me with his words that we are a team, an excellent team together, and we will fight through this together no matter what. Anxiety levels decrease, and I can free myself from that stage of emotions.
Everyone is facing this COVID-19 pandemic differently. Please be kind to one another, and help your community. Support those around you, whether that is with words (phone calls, video chats, a happy hour over a group conference call) or actions (donating, volunteering, or honestly just staying at home).
Be kind. Be safe. Be informed.