Why did you come here? Why won't you just go away? How can you be creating such destruction and sadness? Will we ever be able to destroy you? When will you leave? These are just a few of the questions I have for you.
As I am starting week 9 of working remotely, I've had plenty of time to think, research and reflect on what you've put us all through. My emotions these past two months have been like the most insane roller coaster I've ever ridden (not many because I hate them), and I am sure I am not the only one on this ride.
Working in healthcare gave me early insight into what you were and made me more aware than most. You are the enemy. Thankfully, my knowledge allowed me to educate my friends and family that were not as in tune with the specifics and recommendations. This knowledge unfortunately led to me being more paranoid, especially as cities started reacting to you. I stressed the importance of everyone staying home and socially distancing, especially as someone that is immunocompromised. I absolutely still support these recommendations and am afraid for what will happen if we reintegrate too soon, thinking that you're not a threat anymore. So please, if you're reading this, wear your mask even if it seems silly or unnecessary where you are.
COVID, you have reignited anxiety within me that I was starting to overcome. I am less worried now that I found out I am hopefully not at increased risk of complications, but I still worry that I'll meet you. I don't want to have a swab shoved up my nose. I don't want to be alone in a hospital room knowing that my family can't visit me. I don't want my clinical friends to have to see another patient suffer. I don't want to leave the people that I love so much.
COVID, I worry every day that you will reach one of my family members or friends, especially the most vulnerable ones. You have caused an internal struggle within me because all I want to do is go home to hug my Mom and Dad, but I would not be able to live with myself if I got them sick. As someone who is so close to my family, this has been the absolute hardest thing for me to come to terms with. I don't understand why you are keeping me from them. As thankful as I am for FaceTime and phone calls during this time, I am praying that restrictions will be lifted and I will soon feel safe enough to travel home.
COVID, you have put our country at extreme odds, making people choose between their health and their ability to feed their families. Although I am beyond grateful that you have given me an important job to do thus far, I am one of the lucky ones. Countless people I know have lost their jobs and are struggling day to day to make ends meet. I am thankful for stimulus and unemployment checks, but they won't last forever. I fear that you have created an economic situation that we may never recover from and that you've created a system that has pinned people against each other even more than before.
COVID, you have prevented me from exploring this new city that I was so excited to learn more about. As we approach summer, the very best time to be in Boston, I am sad that I will not be able to go on a harbor cruise, meet my friends at The Landing, take that trip to Martha's Vineyard and walk the Freedom Trail. You also interrupted my plans. I had booked my first trip to California for my best friend's bachelorette party and I was looking forward to seeing Halsey in concert. Although I know my safety and the safety of others is more important than any social gathering, I'm still sad.
COVID, you've made me cry, yell and question everything. There have been days when I've felt so defeated because you took some of my liberties away. I never realized how much human touch and in-person conversations meant until they were taken from me. You've made me feel useless on the days when all I do is lay in bed and watch Netflix. You've thrown my sleep patterns off and have interrupted my daily routine. You've scared me by creeping into the lives of people I know and leaving me on the other end knowing there is nothing I can do to help.
But you know what, COVID? Today, I am done letting you have so much control over me. You have not, and WILL NOT stop me from enjoying every day I have been given in this life, even if I can't do everything I want to do right now. You have taught me that I don't need to go out to feel connected or fulfilled. You have brought me closer to friends that I lost contact with over the years. You have given me the opportunity to find a new niche of my career that I absolutely love. You have allowed me to impact my community more than I ever thought possible. You have given me time to explore new hobbies and have encouraged me to get back into writing. You've helped me really find myself and my voice again.
COVID, you have made me stronger, smarter and more grateful. During this time, I've been able to really reflect on what is most important to me. I am not going to let the trivial problems of everyday life impact me as much. To be honest, I miss waking up at the crack of dawn, having someone step on me on the packed train to work, convincing doctors to see my point, going on dates with the wrong men, and going out with friends on a Tuesday just because. You've taught me that I can get through any obstacle that comes my way and that every moment is a learning opportunity. You have reinforced how grateful I am to be alive and that each new day I wake up is a blessing.
COVID, although you have wreaked absolute havoc on our nation and this world, I think you were brought here to teach us all a few lessons. To cherish the ones closest to us. To hug them a lot (once social distancing is done). To be grateful for every single breath we take. To be nicer to the environment. To save a little just in case. To smile at that stranger on the bus, because you never know when they need it most. To thank the people that have influenced who we are. To do that thing we've always wanted to do. To travel (when permitted). To be who we truly are. To not let other people bring us down. To speak up. To ask questions. To forgive. To laugh. To hope. To dream. To love.
Hoping you leave soon,