Novelist | Singer
It has been six weeks. I look at this pitiful collection of 7 essays with disgust for lack of output. So, in order not to chastise myself too severely, I have to take stock of what I have done in the past weeks that COVID-fucking-19 has changed our lives. I’m hoping it’s a substantial list, because I hate being idle.
Looking back at this list, I feel a little better. But almost none of the bullets includes writing. Why?
It’s so difficult to write during this nightmare that stretches from day to day like a slow motion dream full of chasing and falling. Each day is exactly like the one before. And I’m experiencing a new emotion. I feel numb.
I get up, pour a cup of coffee, and watch the news. There are more deaths, more testing, lack of testing, and repeats of information I swear I’ve heard before—or have I? The numbers change just enough every day that I’m not sure anymore if there are one million cases or one million deaths. That’s the clincher; they’re just numbers. Let’s face it: these are people; people with families, mothers, fathers, children, uncles, aunts. A report comes onto the screen about a woman who has lost her mother, grandmother and one aunt who all lived together. It is unimaginable and incredibly sad. Losing a mother is very difficult. Suddenly you are an orphan. For months after, you think, “I should ask Mom,” for a split second before reality comes rushing back. The question will forever go unanswered, because she is gone, and now you’ll never know, and you’ll never see her again. You didn’t think to ask the question during her days of decline. You just fretted and hoped she would live a little longer. The poor woman in the news story lost three of her beloved elders in a short space of time. That is numbing.
That is how I feel—numb. At first this Coronavirus was terrifying, the feeling subsiding as the days wore on to a state of underlying anxiety, and finally I am just numb. Announcement of reopening begins in other locations, and the fear starts to rise again. Everyone I talk to says exactly the same thing: I have good days and bad days. It’s like being sick or old. I have the same response: good days and bad days. Thank goodness, today was a good day. I Team shared with my co-workers, judged a science fair (remotely) and walked about three miles with a friend. We are patient. We are waiting. But the emotional toll is upon us, and I simply feel numb.