This Thing is Real

I am already tired, and it’s only the beginning of April

I’m already tired, and I haven’t seen a single positive case on my ward,

I’m already tired, we’re just getting started, 

I’m already tired…

Every where I go, its Covid this, Covid that, 

I can’t escape it, its my life at work

My life at home, my life on social media

-the only social place I go-

Its in the grocery store, aired on their overhead,

I just want silence, one morsel of it

Can’t escape it, must face it, its that cloud glooming over

Its shaping our lives now, and theres still more ahead…

I went to the grocery store this evening after my dayshift, my unit is moving to another hospital to ensure safety for our current patients, and to also make way for severe Covid-19 + patients. I am grateful, that, so far, I am not directly caring for a positive patient; but in due time, I’m sure I will. I feel guilty in a way, that the public is calling me their hero, I’m not a hero. Especially when I’m not working in ER, Medicine, or ICU, some of the most greatly affected areas. We all have our part to play in this; all of us staff at the hospitals along with supportive staff too. Each of us plays a part to keep us all going, and living safely.

I struggle with anxiety, and lately I just want to cry. But I’ve held it together, except for now, I type the word ‘cry’ and the chin starts to quiver, and the eyes start to well up. I’m really good at stowing my emotions and anxieties away, even tricking myself into thinking that I’m okay. And, really, I am okay. I’m scared, though. I’m very anxious.

So I realize now, as I ramble, that I started this off with “I went to the grocery store this evening…” Well, I’ll continue with that; I went to the grocery store this evening after a long day; and I was so happy that London Drugs has a HealthCare Workers hour, I really just wanted quiet time, I didn’t want to dodge people in the aisles, or make sure I’m constantly 6ft away. I was really enjoying it,  but in the pure silence and lack of people, the surge of panic rose up. Roared its head, came out of nowhere. Well, not really, I thought later. I think my brain was like, “wow, this is happening; you have a whole hour here dedicated to you at this store cause you’re helping people and you don’t have all day to go the grocery store, and this thing is real. THIS COVID – 19 THING, TRISH, ITS REAL! And guess what, the world is depending on you and your coworkers to stay alive, yes STAY ALIVE and help keep them all alive too.”

And I’m standing there, staring at chocolate, wanting to just cry. And then overhead on their intercom, came an announcement about “Keeping customers safe…not increasing prices… Covid-19..bla bla bla”. The announcement sounded like the old radio announcements from war times, where things were rationed and everyone is scared. Well, I guess everything IS rationed, and we all ARE scared.

I called my Mom today, we video called each other on WhatsApp; I asked her, “How are you doing with all this Mom?” and she said, “Well if I don’t think about it, I’m fine; cause if I really start to think about it, I start to cry.” And then I could see her eyes well up a bit. Wow, I take after my mother. I may share a lot of stuff on Facebook about Covid-19, and I’m REALLY REALLY up to date on things (or so I think). But I haven’t until today, really, deeply thought about it.

Then I come home from the grocery store, and I hear laughter and I look across the way at the apartment over, and I see a group of people that I know don’t live together (i’m not creepy, I’m just observant). I’m not angry about it, I’m disappointed, and I’m honestly jealous. Cause tomorrow when I see my mother and father, we are going to stand outside, 6 ft apart, not touching each other; and i’ll have to leave when I have to go pee or something cause there’s no chance I’m risking going inside. Because I care that much, I love that much.

I told my Mom the other day, that should any of us get COVID -19 and be hospitalized, we will be alone, and we will die alone. Thats how serious this is. Please, please take this seriously.

Lord willing, we will come through this, stronger and better people.

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