Hey there Diary, how’ya been? It has been one hell of a long time hasn’t it?
I thought I’d start writing to you again in an attempt to get ‘unblocked’ if you will.
Yes ‘unblocked’ is the right word, because what I’m experiencing at the moment is a form of verbal/mental constipation.
In the past month or so I’ve sat down at the keyboard countless times intending to put my thoughts, feelings, and concerns over the current Covid-19 global pandemic into words.
Unfortunately up till now each time I sit down to put those thoughts into words I’m unable to quiet the cacophony in my head long enough to allow coherent sentences to emerge from the chaos.
There’s so much that I want to get out yet no matter how hard I try, it simply won’t come. I’m blocked you see, because the thoughts in my head; they swirl.
Needless to say Diary that for someone who has made his living with words for more than half of his adult life, this feels very frustrating. So I’m kinda counting on you to be my mental prune juice 😉
Officially, today is day ‘who-the-fuck-knows?’ of my self-imposed isolation from everyone on planet earth. Well everyone except my wife of course. And yes I could probably figure out exactly how many days it has been if I took the time and thought about it, but seriously, other than to occupy twenty minutes of my day, what would be the point?
It started when it started, it’ll end when it ends. In the meantime the only thing I can control is how much risk I’m willing to be exposed to through my decisions and my actions.
And so I stay in self-imposed isolation.
I say “self-imposed isolation” but you know Diary that as a heart failure patient, for me it’s more an essential survival decision than an actual ‘choice’.
You saw this winter when I was bedridden for three days because of a common cold right? Crap. I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to even sit at the computer and slap together a decent post for Thursday Doors!
Or two years ago when the regular flu vaccine was less effective for the strain that was going around and I got hit with it? Ten days in bed feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. All the while monitoring my vitals and staying in regular touch with my heart failure clinic in case we needed to pull the trigger on hospitalization. Thankfully it never came to that.
Now throw a highly contagious new virus that no-one has any immunity to into the mix. A vaccine is probably many months away and in the meantime this fucker is killing people at a rate more or less three to five times higher than the regular flu.
Connect the dots from there to my chronic condition. Ask me how I’m doing.
Yes Diary that’s right, I’m not embarrassed to admit it: I’m fucking scared.
In fact the only time in my entire life I’ve felt more vulnerable was eight-and-a-half years ago waking up in the ICU. Tubes in every orifice. Intubated. A machine doing my breathing for me. Unable to speak. Unable to move.
For me with my condition if I get hit with Covid-19 it is quite possibly/ probably/ likely/ maybe/ perhaps-but-hopefully-not, ‘game-over’.
See what I meant about coherent sentences?
The thoughts, they swirl.
How long can the world go on like this?
People have to work and earn a living.
Children need to go to school.
How reasonable is it to keep asking everyone else to put their lives on ‘pause’ just to protect vulnerable people like me?
And on the flip-side, how can some people be so damn selfish!?
People hoarding toilet paper.
Countries hoarding protective gear.
What about a second wave of virus? Or a third, or fourth…or if this becomes seasonal.
How’s the research coming on a vaccine?
You know fifty-six really is too young to die.
The thoughts. They swirl.
I’m telling you Diary it’s not pretty inside my head at the best of times, but lately? Lately that little hamster has been running full-tilt with his tongue hanging out.
One day at a time.
Will we ever be able to travel again?
You selfish prick! People are dying and that’s your biggest worry?
Calm down dude.
Concentrate on what you CAN control.
What you’re feeling right now is only normal.
Practice gratitude. After all, many others have it so much worse.
Think positive – even if you do get it, it might NOT kill you.
Yeah, but I never liked playing Craps.
And with stakes like this I’m not interested in rolling those dice.
So until they have a vaccine everybody please: stay the hell away from me!
They FUCKING swirl!
Don’t worry Diary. I’m finding lots of things to keep me constructively occupied and distracted, and I’m much calmer and more rational than this sounds – I promise 🙂
And my wife, my rock, is taking extremely good care of me too. The look of deliberate determination in her eyes as she goes through her decontamination routine whenever she gets back from getting supplies? That says it all.
It says: “Not on MY watch!”
I am a lucky man.
We’re controlling what we CAN control and I KNOW I’m going to be fine.
As the rainbow signs that kids are putting up in the windows around here say: “Ça va bien aller” – It’s going to be alright.
Thanks for listening Diary. I feel a lot better already 🙂
So what about you? How’s your physical distancing or self-isolation going?