As I run through the deserted trails around my home, I can’t help but appreciate the earthy smell around me. I take deeper breaths and hold the scent in for just a moment. A part of me feels like it’s the last time I will smell this springtime, rotting earth fragrance. The last time the wind will bite my cheeks and the last time I will be this free.
This COVID 19 pandemic has been scary. And this is only the beginning. I look to places like Italy and can’t help but think we’ll be at that stage soon. Each morning when I wake up I am greeted with an uneasy, panic feeling in my gut. A feeling of not knowing what the day will bring. I try to be positive and let the fear pass but it’s a constant struggle. Stock markets plummet, food becomes scarce and employers force us home. It’s all becoming very real. Nothing is off the table and things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
I turned to my partner this morning and said “I can’t wait to hug my friends again”. Every day things are starting to seem like distance privileges. Suddenly the actions we once took for granted are becoming all we long for. There is a small voice whispering amid the panic and media noise, “nothing will ever be the same again”. This is very true. We are about to witness an alarming moment in human history. A massive shift in the way we view and act in society. A shift in how we see each other, how we care and interact with one another is coming.
I feel part of some modern day social experiment and there are so many layers to it; the actual virus, media, stock piling, self sanitation, the social distancing – it’s all testing us. It’s teaching us to be patient, to be hopeful. It’s teaching us how quickly things can go to absolute shit. A virus is reminding us how lucky and spoiled we have been thus far. It’s taken away a lot of the things which we hold dear to our hearts: health, friends, events, eating out, travel, physical touch, the list goes on. I know that this moment is going to change my life forever. It’s going to change the way I react to everything. It’s going to change who I am as a person. I am already learning new things about my self that I didn’t know.
I have chosen to self isolate. To stay away and show my support to people who could be affected in major ways by this virus. I am doing this so that we make it out the other end, so that I can share this new version of myself with the world. And I can meet you on the street and hear your story too.
If you have the option but are not isolating and helping slow the spread, I urge you to start today.
I try to busy myself. I try to learn new skills and stay connected online. I try to limit my news intake and spend some time meditating. But to be honest, nothing is helping. I feel like I am watching every extended version of Lord of the Rings on a loop. Action is unfolding all around me but I can’t see the end. I am grasping for some normalcy. And at this point, my only constant is coffee. I really, really appreciate coffee.
We have a long way to go – and when we do come out on the other end, I want you to know: I appreciate you and every small part of this life. And I won’t forget it this time.
“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.” – Mumford and Sons