Written on 3/30:
The Tuesday that Harvard announced they were sending students home, when suddenly things seemed very serious, my husband got a cough. We thought it was unlikely that it was COVID, but started quarantining in our house, and him within our house. We are lucky that we have an extra room. As the days went on, he didn’t really start feeling better, but luckily didn’t get any other symptoms and didn’t start feeling worse. There were lots of ups and downs with us feeling like it was COVID and not feeling like it was. This caused an immense amount of anxiety for me. Probably more than I’ve ever had in my life. I lost about 10 lbs in 5 days because I could not make myself swallow food. The anxiety stemmed from being worried about my husband’s health, but more than anything that my daughter (who is ~ 1 year old) would not have someone to take care of her if we both got sick. In the past, I have dealt with fear by assuring myself that if I died, it would be ok, because I would be dead and that would be the end of it. But having my daughter depend on me has changed how much I value my own life and health. It has made me much more scared of death.
My husband is feeling better now, and neither my daughter nor I have had any regular symptoms (except for things that can basically come down to me having anxiety attacks…) but it has been hard to let go of the idea that the threat is in our house instead of outside of it. This has been hard on everyone this has been hard on my relationship with my husband. Sleeping in different rooms, not hugging, etc. takes a toll in a way I have not experienced before.
I feel like myself again. Of course, things are not back to normal. But I feel safe again. The woman who taught my mindful birthing class invited her past students to a zoom call and one thing she suggested was to, ‘notice when things are ok’, ’notice when things are worse than ok’, and ‘notice when things are better than ok’. This has been guiding me since. Things are ok almost always, and reminding myself of that, and noticing how it feels is very helpful. It’s helped me enjoy the extra time I have with my daughter and husband and it’s helped me enjoy all the virtual socializing I have been doing with friends and family who live far away. Feeling like myself again is also, of course, tied to being fairly confident that none of us have COVID and aren’t at a high risk of getting it. I am in awe of and very grateful for medical professionals who have to ‘restart the corona clock’ every time they go into work. (This is how my friend who is an ER doctor phrased it.) The fact that I got to wait two weeks and never restart the clock again has provided me with comfort, and I can’t imagine having to go through that over and over again.
This blog post was contributed anonymously. It is part of a series attempting to share different stories of individuals as they experience the coronavirus pandemic. Please be respectful of the views and beliefs of others if they are different than your own. If you have a story you would like to share (anonymously or not), please send me a message or comment here.