selfish adjective 1. (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own profit or pleasure.
selfless adjective 1. concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.
On this, Day 43 of Covid-19 I leave isolation with new sight, yet a burden only so many can understand or relate to. I step back into the world with hesitation, uneasy of what I will see. I hope to see a change from the last time I stepped out there, 43 days ago.
Years ago I had a long discussion with one of my most treasured friends about life, and death. I’m not afraid of death, I never have been. I have a comfortable understanding of what happens next. Since that day, and everyday forward I am the best version of me I can be. Here’s how you can too. At the end of each day before you fall asleep ask yourself; was I the best me I could have been today? Did I not cause harm to anyone, not hurt anyone or any living thing? If you can answer yes, then you were your best you. You did your part. Don’t be afraid, you won’t have much “stuff” to do when you get there… Have faith. 🙂
Isolation has been a very lonely place. For 43 days I’ve not sat around and watched television, read books, or gardened. I’ve not done any of the things I look forward to as the summer arrived, my most favorite of our seasons here in NH. I’ve had no desire. I’ve simply existed and watched the days go by. I’ve not touched my children, nor seen my family or friends because I could harm them or make them sick. Exposing them could have killed them. My mind has been trapped at a standstill, treading water. I’ve found a group who also are fighting this virus. We share stories of isolation, daily physical and emotional battles, lift each other up when one needs lifting and together we have loss. We’ve lost a lot of us, I can’t even count how many. Every hour it seems. The mothers who write to inform us of their child’s passing, the wife of her husband, the husband of his wife, the daughter who’s parent has passed, the son… It doesn’t end. The long-term effects of my Covid-19 leave a lot of uncertainly and questions ahead. But it’s okay, I’m not afraid and I don’t live in fear. Although it is difficult for me to not be angry when I did everything right. When I was the best me I could be, for you.
I own a hair salon, I’m a hairstylist. My career revolves around ones face. I don’t want to wear a mask for 10 hour long shifts, it isn’t fun. I want to see your face! I need to see your face to give you the right angles within the design of your haircut. To see your smile. But I can’t right now. We are one of the many professions that Covid-19 has changed. And it’s taken away the best part of our job behind the chair. The face to face, personal relationship full of expression we have with our clientele. But we do it, we as an industry are doing our part. We’ve cut the amount of customers, our income in half to keep social distancing, mark out cleaning breaks to sanitize every single thing a clients body has come in contact with. We suck it up for the greater good and do it. For each other, ourselves and you.
Bottom line is this: Anyone who will not do one small, temporary and inconvenient measure is a threat; to me and my loved ones, and to you. Period. You don’t know you have Covid-19 until it may be too late. Especially if you are asymptomatic. So behave as if you have Covid-19. It is not political, it’s not an argument. It’s a matter of being selfless and the best you you can be, for others. It’s a damn mask for crying out loud… Too good for a mask, then back the hell away. You have no right to come within six feet of contact with the public.
There I said it.
I challenge any anti-mask wearer to answer me this: If you knew you had Covid-19 would you wear a mask? Really? Great! Then why are’t you?! Because anyone that’s been paying any attention knows it takes 4-14 days to incubate in your body and get a positive test result, AFTER you’re already contagious… and if you aren’t already in quarantine, you’re exposing others. It’s not a right of passage, it’s just being selfish, plain and simple.
People are terrified of us with Covid-19, look at us and back away like we are a virus… Stepping back out into the world today and many are still afraid to be near me. I respect that. But it’s a horrible feeling, and I get it. It’s easier to be afraid than it is to do the research and educate when one is, or isn’t contagious, or when one remains “positive” while their body is busy building antibodies. But when my antibodies are gone, I am just as much at risk as anyone else, with a stronger probability I may not come out on the other side as I have this time. Until yourself or a loved one goes through this, your opinion of mask wearing holds no weight.
Last week was the most mortifying of many trips to the hospital, and I’m not complaining, I really do get it, but it was awful. I had to drive myself because Dan was at his first days back to work. I parked in the garage and walked over. 90 degrees and pure humidity, two things I cannot be out in. Screening checkpoint, I have to inform them I have Covid-19 and I do so quietly. Her eyes widen and she takes 4 steps back. I’m asked to go back outside and wait across the driveway and sit on a bench, someone will come out to escort me into a negative pressure room, the hallway cleared for my reentry. Feeling all eyes on me, out the door and into the heat and humidity across road and to the bench I go. I can’t breathe. It’s why I’m here again, and to make sure my organs are still functioning okay. The kindest, sympathetic woman came out to get me. I wanted to cry in thanks for her kindness and pretending I was just a regular person. I’m not though, and we all know it, I’m Covid-19.
27 days ago I published The Covid Couple; when we thought the worst was behind me, it wasn’t. I went from really bad, to much much worse in the matter of days. Twenty-five more days with a fever, lungs that just aren’t working great, and Costochrondritis from Covid-19, an inflammation and bacterial infection in my chest walls. Making it even more difficult to breathe. Will I fully recover? We don’t know. Could more complications follow? Absolutely. The second round of steroids are not helping, so this probably isn’t the greatest of signs. I go from being okay one minute, to not okay. It is what it is. I’m still one of the lucky ones. Over 22,000 people in 54 countries have read that post. I’m honored. And I’m happy to say out of 22,000 people I’ve received only one snarky comment. To me, that says a lot, I give a heartfelt thanks to every person out there who too, is doing their part.
Dan is doing well! I’m envious of his more mild case, but I’m so very thankful. He was able to return to work on light duty last week. He gets exhausted so quickly and the heat doesn’t help. But he’s taking it slow and steady. It could be months before he feels back to himself. Me, I may never be my old self.
This virus is not going away anytime soon. But we can help each other, we can show each other we care. We can do one simple small inconvenient thing that none of us are thrilled about. So do it for us who have survived, do it for those who’ve lost their lives and loved ones. Just do it. Don’t be part of the problem and be thankful you have your health, and your loved ones, and do your part to help control this virus. To expect things to resume as they were before this pandemic hit, but refuse to take one small measure is hypocritical. Help to contain it so we can get back to how things are supposed to be. The sooner everyone does there part, the sooner we will get there.
Be the best you, you can be.