I wrote this poem in 2014 after I'd lost both a family member and a good friend I had lost touch with within the span of about a week. Both of them were in their 20's and still had long lives ahead of them, but they were cut short due to cancer and a car related accident.
With everything going on in the world right now with the Covid-19 virus and needing to Shelter in Place, I feel it's appropriate to think about what can happen if people continue to live their lives like normal and not practice Social Distancing right now.
I just read a news article about a family in New Jersey that has lost 4 family members over the course of days and they all have to mourn separately from different houses under quarantine. It's terrible and devastating that all of this is happening and people are unaware they are carriers of the virus until it is too late.
All we have to do right now is just stay home and keep our distance from others to help flatten the curve so that less people die from this illness. I am heartbroken for the people who have lost loved ones. I am empathetic for the people who are terrified of catching it. I am devastated that people are not understanding what's happening and still believe it to be something that will go away in a few days.
I think the reason I'm feeling more somber today is that one of the latest papers by researchers of the virus states that "People with blood group A have a significantly higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups." Me and my over achieving blood are A+ so the non-rational part of me is currently having a panic attack and the rational part of me is saying "You are home and mostly alone so you should be safe." I know that having an A blood type does not guarantee that I will catch it or even have it right now, but I still worry.
I worry about my elderly neighbor next door who won't open the door for anyone so that she stays protected from what's going on. I worry about old customers I used to teach everyday who became like honorary grandparents and offered me a place to stay when things got hard for me at home. I worry about friends and former co-workers who have become my family and who have loved ones working in hospitals. I worry about my father-in-law in Florida who has health issues and has smoked for most of his life but still insists on going to work for some reason. I worry about my own father who has his own health issues but also had a pacemaker installed and lives all alone 5 hours away. I worry about my mother and sister who live over seas in a country that is under "enhanced" community quarantine, but has a history of martial law. I'm worried about all these people and how, without knowing it, I could be a carrier and could cause any of them to get sick just by being with them.
That's the scariest part about this whole thing. Not knowing if you have it and could pass it on to the people you love the most.
If you got this far, I applaud you and appreciate you reading through my word vomit of a rant. I've never been the type of person who faked an "I'm fine" response when asked if I was okay.
Life is tough. Life is hard. Life can be scary, but there is strength in being vulnerable. There is strength in looking at what you are scared of and facing it head on. You can't let fear rule your life. You can ask for help. You can share your feelings and thoughts. It might be the only way to get through it all.
I hope that you all stay safe out there and that you find ways to find comfort and security during these uncertain times. Please stay home if you are able to. Please wash your hands and think about the people that you could possibly loose if this virus doesn't get contained soon. Please take a moment and just be aware of the people around you. Most people spend all day thinking of themselves and what they can do to make themselves happy. I know its super cliche, but "No man is an island." We are all in this together. 💜