I used to go to sleep thinking: Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll start to feel better. I don’t really do that as much anymore. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that this virus isn’t something I’m about to get over. This might be it. Maybe this is who I am.From Voices from the Pandemic
‘Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll start to feel better.’
Kaitlin Denis, on approaching Year Two of living with covid-19
I began today with the somber reading of a thirty-year-old’s account of what they term a long-hauler with COVID (the link, to the Washington Post’s article is in the quote attribution, above). My heart ached for her, as I read it, but being the self-absorbed person that I am, it was the piece I quoted above that got my attention. Substitute the word “virus” for several other words from my daily experience, and that is me talking. This might be it. Maybe this is who I am.
If so, what am I going to do about it? What can I do about it? Right now those are just two rhetorical statements staring me down, because the answer to both is: I haven’t got a clue.
I try to be careful with words. I’m not bad if I eat a cookie when I had told myself I wouldn’t. Bad is a person purposefully driving a car into a group of school children waiting for the bus.* Eating that cookie was a less healthy food choice, is all. If my checking account is on fumes, I don’t say I’m broke, because of the connotation of the word. I’ll say my funds are low. You get the idea.
So when I say today, I’m broken and mean it, that’s a tad concerning. This might be it. Maybe this is who I am.
Funny to be writing in a public blog that I just don’t want to get into it right now (because by writing any of this I’m getting into it…), and by it I mean my own story. Because I’m socially isolated, nearly my entire social contact comes via the Internet. Yes, I know we all are socially isolated right now, but I’m a bit more isolated than most and have been since before the pandemic. I belong to some platforms where people interact in real time. Friendships are formed, emotions created, and it is this weird mix of real and virtual. I’ve met my best friend this way, and that friendship has lasted years and crossed over into my real, 3D world. My friend is in the plus column for Internet relationships. The minus column is much deeper. It is hard to explain, but 2020 was just hell on my virtual relationships. Bonds were formed, real bonds, except it turns out not so much. Cutting to the point of this paragraph, about three months ago I reconnected with someone I knew ten years ago. We had stayed in touch over the years, but very sporadically. In November that changed, and soon we were having conversations in Skype and other platforms daily. That ended abruptly yesterday.
It doesn’t matter to the story why that happened, just that it did. And my world just got that much smaller, and quite frankly my world is already about the size of a quark. This has been an ongoing thing, the loss of people, the loss of connection, hell, just the loss over not just the past year and god-awful 2020, but over the last decade of my life. Loss is a recurring theme. This might be it. Maybe this is who I am.
Today I’m broken. This might be it. Maybe this is who I am.
Tomorrow. Maybe I’ll start feeling better tomorrow.
*Obviously this is a pre-COVID example…