My family’s unfolding of the Coronavirus

March 27, 2020

A couple months ago my husband started a family chat that made it seem like the ‘sky was falling’. Nearly daily he gave updates on the mysterious virus overtaking Wuhan, China.  We minimized his concern by noting the high fatality of the flu virus and disbelief it would affect us here in Elk Grove, CA. So, I went about my life, literally planning for several trips to L.A., an expo in Hawaii and a trip to Spain – all within a few months apart. While I was busy working, running errands and driving to activities, my former Marine/Team Rubicon first responder/husband ordered extra sanitation supplies for the elderly care homes and gave us more directives on how to protect ourselves against germs.

When the very first case popped up in our community a few weeks ago, it made us nervous, after all, this person was at a large assisted living for the elderly. That Saturday, as I was cleaning our family van while waiting for my son’s Lacrosse game to begin a fellow mom said, “Did you hear? They are closing down the school district for a week because of the Coronavirus. Apparently, a student with an extended family member was diagnosed.”

I was shocked.

I watched as my city went into panic mode. People stocked up on toilet paper, Clorox wipes and water. As someone who usually goes into Costco weekly, I haven’t been there in over a month. When I finally ventured out to look for some items at my local grocery store, besides the toiletry supplies, I couldn’t find some of the most basic items, like onion, potatoes, flour or pasta.

The first week at home with the kids was like spring break. They enjoyed waking up late and I enjoyed the extra time with them. They ran work errands with me, while minimizing our physical interactions with other people. When we were told to return back to school on Wednesday, my husband refused. He knew this problem wouldn’t clear in a few days….and it didn’t.

The school ended up closing abruptly and indefinitely that Friday.

As I went into week two my anxiousness was high. I love spontaneity and travel, but I thrive on routine, goals and expectations. I was no longer abiding by a strict schedule and I was trying to not scroll aimlessly on social media or read endless articles on the rising pandemic. I had a hard time waking up and a hard time falling asleep. I had everything to do and nothing to do all at the same time. I had to stay above water for my children and the care homes all while isolating myself because a good friend’s relative was diagnosed with Covid-19 and I saw her in recent days.

I didn’t want to infect my mother, neighbors or facility residents should I be asymptomatic. As I sat at home watching people still gathering in large groups for parties, group exercise classes and events it enraged me.

Last week I began helping my mother regularly and while at her home I decided to go for a 3-mile run around my old neighborhood. That day, I could feel my knees awkwardly in pain. But I didn’t stop, I kept going thinking I just needed to warm up. A few days later my old left injured knee became painfully inflamed. After more investigating, I found the bottom of my favorite running shoes had become my goldendoodle’s recent chew toy.

Now I can’t put pressure on my legs.

My whole body feels soreness when I wake in the morning. I feel a level of tightness everywhere that I can’t explain. My stomach feels nausea from an upcoming menstrual cycle and my heart – my heart felt like it was breaking every day, esp. with my mother’s declining health.

I haven’t been posting as regularly on my social media. I haven’t been wanting to do much of anything – nothing at all.

I answer emails. I go for walks with Ranger. I visit the care homes. I help my mom. I watch TV. I cook dinner. I write in my diary. I scroll social media.

I don’t exercise. I don’t meditate. I don’t even pray as much as I want to or should.

I’m in a complete funk.

While walking tonight, my husband said, “can you imagine what’s happening to the earth right now with the world at a complete stop with most people staying indoors and businesses shut down?” I answered, “the world is probably healing”.

Which is what I’m doing right now in the midst of my unsettled stillness….

In not working out, not running crazily around, not traveling nonstop – my body, mind and soul is healing.

There is a purpose behind every pain – and we are here.

We are here.

The U.S. now has the most cases of the Coronavirus in the world. Our CA Mayor has called for ‘shelter in place’ with all nonessential businesses shutting down. The national guard has been deployed.

My husband says this is only the beginning. This time, I believe him. And we are all listening.  

This will pass. Time will flow. We will go on – but we were all once here.

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