The Coronavirus has me, whether I contract it or not



Isolation – a UK pensioner visiting his grandchild.

It is 6:18 am, Sunday morning, March 22nd.  I just woke up. I can hear birds singing outside my window.  It seems, somehow, incongruous to hear them. Like it’s a normal morning.

It’s most decidedly NOT a normal morning.  For the state of Illinois has been on lockdown since 5 pm last evening.  Not quite marshall law – not yet, anyway.

Coronavirus.  It’s getting to where I can’t bear to hear the word.  One tiny organism has completely changed the world in but a few short weeks. Last weekend came the shock of all bars and restaurants in the state having to close down.  This weekend, everyone in the entire state, save the “essential,” are being made to stay home for the next almost- three weeks.

What the hell will next weekend bring?

The U.S. currently counts almost 27,000 cases of COVID-19 (the incurable disease caused by the virus) and 350 dead.  Illinois’ contribution stands at 753 cases and 6 dead.

Entire countries are quarantined, and over 13,600 people have died world-wide as I write this.

This is, of course, to say nothing of the virus’s catastrophic effect on both the U.S. and global economies.

I am not a chickenshit person.  I’ve been through a lot in my life. But this – this thing – has me sore afraid.  I can’t concentrate.  I can’t sleep. Since I have several risk factors, all I can think of is getting the cursed virus and dying.  It has no vaccine and no cure.

Adding to my anxiety, and perhaps yours, is the open-ended-ness of this ordeal.  We simply have no idea when it will abate and we can return to whatever the hell “normal” will be by then.

Possible death, catastrophic job-loss, interruption of life as we knew it – these things aren’t going to go away like magic.  Or anytime soon.  The damage this virus has caused to the world economy alone will take months or even years to recover from.

I simply don’t know how to wrap my mind around this.  I am, basically, scared shitless.

I – we – can only hope and pray that sanity prevails, that all global citizens continue to act peaceably, and that someone, somewhere in this damaged world finds a cure for this scourge, or at least a vaccine.

When I woke up this morning,  I heard the birds and this song popped into my head:

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They’re only saying I love you

I see babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn so much more than I’ll ever know
Then I think to myself what a wonderful world *

And I cried.

I want my life back.

Help your neighbors.  Help your family.  Help yourself.  And may God preserve us, one and all.

(* What a Wonderful World, by Robert Thiele / George Douglas / George David Weiss)

Silhouette of Unrecognizable Man Praying Outside
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  • I see what you mean, Michelle. The coronavirus has both of us whether we get it or not. Stay well and try to take care of yourself.

  • Beautifully put, my friend. It has not taken your talent with words. Hang onto that with both hands. Eventually, people will ask us what this was like, and we wordsmiths have the tools to tell them. Carry on, even if not keeping calm.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thank you, Margaret. I'm praying my brains out for us all. I really hate losing my rag over this thing, but it's just so damned frightening.

  • I feel your pain Michelle.Scary times indeed. But the lyrics were comforting all the same. Love you friend.

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