COVID-19: I Have Time to Write

We’re currently in an official day 2 of “self isolation” ever since Canada announced yesterday that COVID-19 was a national emergency. As I glance over at my clock, it’s 7:38 PM on a Monday. The kids are sleeping peacefully in their beds, and I can’t help but admit that I’ve really got nothing better to do after the lights go out. On my left monitor – battle.net is up waiting for Overwatch to be loaded, my middle monitor – I’m writing this blog, and my right monitor – canada.ca tells me that there are 424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 74 of which are in Alberta. I’ve got nothing to do so I’m going to write a blog on this so that one day in the near (or distant) future, I can look back and maybe laugh at what is happening… Or on the other hand, shake my head at how poorly we underestimated all of this.

Diana is on the plane back from Mexico for her sisters bachelorette party as I type. She left last Thursday morning – at the time, there was no state of emergency, nothing was closing, and generally, as long as you weren’t travelling to any of the level 3 or 4 countries, everything was deemed fine as long as you were careful. That was 4 days ago. In the span of 4 days, so much has unraveled in a matter of hours that the place she is coming back to is not the same anymore. We (a collective “we”) are in a state of so many different feelings that everyone is so confused at how to handle them that the result is panic. Panic is the best word to describe it unfortunately and only because we’re so inundated with news and updates through social media, that no matter how it’s presented to you – you can’t help but feel a little bit of dread.

Of course, there’s some that are very optimistic – unworried, easy-going, and follow the “this too, shall pass” mentality. Rightfully so. These are the types of people posting ways to help the community, tips and reminders about washing your hands and keeping social distance. Displaying visual representations of how COVID-19 isn’t as bad as it seems compared to all the other diseases in the world using bar graphs and statistics because it keeps the worry warts minds at ease temporarily. Thank you for this.

There are others that are totally and radically pessimistic, “the end is near”, and negative about a negative situation. Might I point out – also, rightfully so. There is something to be said about ensuring that there is an appropriate amount of fear in people to ensure that this doesn’t get worse. Fear is what ensures that people do (or don’t do) things that they should or should not do. I respect it. I welcome it. I like to think that fear is the best ammunition during this time if used properly. Fear commands the attention of everyone regardless of age, sex, or religion. If we can ensure that we control the fear blankets, then we will undoubtedly see this through to the end.

Now the problem is that we (humans) like balance. We don’t like being too optimistic about things because we become naive to really obvious things and we don’t like being too negative because it makes us angry and move with rage and blindness. When I scroll through social media, I admittedly swing from one end of the spectrum to the other and it legitimately makes me feel quite literally uneasy. From feeling positive about the situation and thinking that this is nothing terrible as long as we “hunker down” as they say to feeling extremely vulnerable and scared that it will inevitable get us and that it’s just a matter of time. This is what’s happening right now in every single one of you reading this – I know it is.

Rewind to a week ago. I was the guy that was overly optimistic – thinking this wasn’t as bad as it made it out to be. People just have to be careful, clean and smart and you’ll be fine and maybe a year from now, this will be the truth. As the world goes into survival mode, I now can’t help but go into that mode too. We have 2 kids that literally know nothing about death and disease – how do we protect that? In my lifetime, I have never experienced an entire world quickly and quite literally “shut down”. Schools are closing, public gatherings are to be limited if not cancelled/avoided altogether, our national bank has slashed interest rates by a full percent in less than a week, everybody that can work from home should work from home. They call this the new normal and man, I like change and I embrace the hell out of it, but I have to admit that this is a whole shitload of change all at once. And like most of you – I’m trying to see the positives of it all but I can’t help but think about what the future has in store.

Tomorrow, I’m going to work just to pack up what I need to bring back home to do my job. As nice as it all sounds to work from home – I’m just not sure how I’ll do it. Will I stay motivated? Will I be able to handle it all outside of my “work-comfort-zone”? I have to. There’s a lot going on right now and a lot of it is “you literally have no choice” and that’s the part I think we’re all going to have to get used to but man, this is a whole shitload of change all at once.

We’ve come to the point where people are buying all of the toilet paper and all of the sanitizer. Now people are panic buying the food and everything else and I know you’ve all seen the jokes and the memes – hell, I’ve posted a few myself because I get chuckle out of it but at the end of the day, it all comes down to swinging back and forth on that spectrum. People are so confused about it all that they’re acting out of desperation but if you were to ask those people what they’re desperate about, they don’t really know. The only thing they can tell you is “I don’t want Corona Virus” and we’re all just sheep at the end of the day and we know what sheep do. They follow each other and it might not be because we want to but because we’re now forced to. I’m not hoarding toilet paper at Costco, but guess what? I’m out looking for fucking toilet paper now because if I need it and there isn’t any, guess who’s screwed?

We’re all probably sitting at home now with toilet paper that we didn’t need but were forced to buy, with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in our self-isolation mindlessly cleaning our hands and surfaces hoping that COVID-19 doesn’t magically start growing on our counters while we’re isolated waiting for it to go away. Read that again. Do you know how funny and actually awkward that sounds? I do but I’m still fucking doing it because of that fear blanket. I think that if I stay home and ensure that I’m washing my hands raw and disinfecting everything, COVID-19 won’t show up on my doorstep like it’s going around door-to-door like Jehovah’s witnesses checking to see who doesn’t have toilet paper, sanitizer and wipes and is going to infect the shit out my family.

The worst part about all of this is the racism, the xenophobia, the stereotyping and again, the fear that’s growing in every one of us. Some might just have a seed still and others have a full-blown freaking fear plant in them, but it’s there. We were walking in the grocery store about a week ago and as a guy walked past, he covered his face like we had it. Listen, I get it. This all started in Wuhan, China and they were probably doing something they shouldn’t have been doing – I’m angry about it too – but that doesn’t mean that every fucking Asian has it. We didn’t just manifest it in our bodies because we wanted some Resident Evil apocalypse on the world. I can’t create it in my mind to infect people but if that were even possible in that very moment, I would have yelled like Goku in the middle of the grocery store, turned COVID-Saiyin and given it to that guy right then and there.

Sorry – back to the worst part… The worst part about all of this is even after all of this is gone, the underlying problems (outlined above) will persist. It will literally never be the same out in society again and that really makes me sad, and worried, and frustrated, and happy, and mindful. It makes me feel the first 3 because it will inevitably come to the point where people will distance themselves from one another out of fear that COVID-19 might return. It makes me feel the latter 2 because the only good thing to come of this is that hopefully now the world has created better hygiene habits and are cognizant of the impacts of disease and the fact that vaccines and medicine exist for a reason. Not developed by the government to make money, not to give autism to your kids, not to inject mercury or poison metals into your body without your knowledge… It’s literally to keep us alive. I like to believe that COVID-19 was the world’s way of telling us that we are not immortal and that although we’ve been here for thousands of years, one little thing can bring our existence to its knees quicker than we can react.

I truly do not believe in destiny or karma but I believe ignorance and arrogance are and always will be our weakness as humans. If there’s one thing I’ve really meshed with on the thousands of posts on social media about this, it’s that we really do need to hunker down and lay low. I really just needed to get my thoughts out on this. I know there’s a lot of people talking about it and this is probably the last thing you care to read but I hope a few months from now, maybe a year from now – the same people that read this can come back and we can be thankful we can read this again.

It’s now 8:35 PM – Diana lands in a few hours. I only hope that everything is good with all of the girls coming back home and we just chill out and spend some quality time with each other while we have the opportunity to while the world puts the brakes on things for a little while.

Be safe everyone.

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