Covid-19 swept in about five to six months ago and turned our world upside down. Some people lost jobs, some are in danger of losing their small business, some have lost loved ones, and some jobs many looked down on before are now finally receiving some long-overdue respect. When it came like a whirlwind into our lives my husband and I knew we had to take this seriously.
You see just a week before the United States went into lockdown my son had a week-long stay in the hospital because the flu had a negative impact on his lungs. My soon to be 7-year-old son woke up in the middle of the night crying and screaming because he couldn’t breathe. The last thing we want is for him to catch this virus and have him wake up screaming again.
Our son isn’t the only reason we are taking this seriously. My husband is a survivor of stage 3 colon cancer. His immune system never fully recovered from the chemo treatments and he has a history of asthma. Not only is he high risk, but he’s a pastor as well and this means that he remains in contact with people who have been exposed or may have been exposed and don’t know it. He wears his mask for long periods of time every time he works and uses lots of hand sanitizer.
Two people would be enough for anyone to take this seriously right? I mean two high-risk people in one family is something to really make you stop and think, but I have two more high-risk people in my family. My three-year-old daughter is susceptible to febrile seizures when she has a fever and we have an 11-month-old baby boy. His immune system is developing. I never thought me with my epilepsy would be the person in the house that was the least high risk other than my 5-year-old daughter. My 5 year old can’t do the grocery shopping…obviously.
So to say I was relying on my fellow community to buck up and do their part is an understatement. I needed them to do their part. I needed them to wear their masks. I needed them to wash their hands. I needed them to take every precaution they could because I really don’t want to bury one of my children or my husband.
Unfortunately, we live in an area filled with people who believe Covid-19 is some big conspiracy. Now, of course, you do have some like us who are taking this seriously, but it’s hard not to feel outnumbered here. The most stressful thing in my life right now are these Covid-19 deniers who feel no shame or guilt jeopardizing the life of my 7-year-old, 3-year-old, infant son, and husband.
Recently our area went red because of some bad decision making on some people’s part. Bad decision making that has been widespread in this country. So things have gotten a tad better, but not much.
In most places going to a store without a mask could lead to you being thrown out or harassed by other customers. Here? It’s the opposite. I had people without masks come charging at me with their cart and try and to purposely run me over because I wore a mask to protect them and my children. I had people rolling their eyes, snickering, and calling me awful things under their breath.
People continue to throw large gatherings and crowd together in public places. Because my family is taking this pandemic seriously we have become social pariahs of sorts. We are the butt of jokes and they laugh at the thought that we take our health and theirs so seriously.
We have heard some crazy conspiracy theories. Theories ranging from unlikely to so out there that I wonder about their mental health. I watched as this pandemic has been twisted into a political battle when all I want is for you to just give a damn that you could be responsible for the death of someone that is deeply loved and cared for. Every time you ignore social distancing and don’t wear a mask you risk killing people like my infant son, my three-year-old, my seven-year-old, and my husband.
This has been so very hard on my family. My kids miss their friends and they even miss school. They are afraid of school not starting again but at the same time want everyone to stay healthy. So much so that if they do go out somewhere public they insist on wearing a mask. My three old at her doctor’s appointment proudly wore her mask and said loudly: “Everyone needs to wear a mask so this stupid virus will finally go away!”
Went we went to a state park the other day the only reason they didn’t insist on wearing masks was that they could clearly see we were the only ones in that section of the park. The park something so simple and something they missed so much. You see early on even the parks here had to close because people were gathering in large crowds at the park. So for the longest time, my kids were stuck here at home. We made the best of it with sidewalk chalk, a small kiddie pool, water guns, hose fights, and some old fashioned summer fun, but it doesn’t make up for what they have lost.
It doesn’t make up for what I lost. Where I live it’s definitely a northern state but the part of the state I live in has a sprinkling of southern in it. What I mean everyone is very polite, people love their sweet tea, and certain southern considered foods are considered a staple around here. I really liked this area when my husband was appointed here, but sadly recent events have changed my feelings.
I have lost faith in the people in my area. I no longer feel I can really trust many people. I don’t feel safe making a simple grocery run and I now have mixed feelings about living where I do. In fact, grocery runs got so bad we started driving two hours to go grocery shopping in an area we know people are taking things seriously. The difference between the two areas is astounding. Where we go to grocery shop everyone wears a mask and no one sees a problem with it. I haven’t seen one person in that store try and sneak in without a mask unlike where I live. Yes, they sneak in and most often through the exit.
I have trouble understanding how so many people can make a virus that has spread around the world political. I have trouble understanding how so many can be okay with potentially millions dying to give the enconomy a boost. I try and understand their view point. I try and listen but each time I am left asking why is your routine, your dislike of masks more important than a human life? Sure, things really suck right now. I don’t think anyone would argue that. Yes, I miss a normal routine. We all do, but I don’t want normal at the expense of human life.
I feel like I woke up in a crazy world where money and convience is more important to many people than human life. I really struggle with that reality. I used to see the best in people and I loved that, but now I feel disgust. I want to see the best again, but as long as my children’s lives and my husband’s life aren’t as important to people as shopping without a mask the more likely that part of myself that sees the best will die.