spring blossoms

thoughts on the corona virus, from a mother

DenaMarch 13, 2020

spring blossoms

“It feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone,” is what the text message from my best friend read this morning. And that summed it up.

I feel a mixture of emotions, but mainly anxiety, which is nothing new to me, though greatly intensified in times like these. Yesterday when I went to pickup the kids from school there was an eery feeling in the air. Time is moving differently, the way it did in the moments after I received the phone call telling me that my grandmother had a stroke and it didn’t look good.

Earlier in the week I went to the store–emptied of bleach, antibacterial gel, and Lysol–I bought what I needed and then ten or so cans of vegetables, extra boxes of crackers, dried cranberries and peanuts. Stock up on non-perishables, they say.

My children have had colds for weeks. A week ago that thought made me feel like a failure as a mother. Now it prompts an entirely new and darker string of thoughts. We eat organic food, fresh fruit or vegetables with every meal, organic vitamins, probiotics, hand-washing, disinfecting. All of these things that I was doing already, but even then it wasn’t enough. And now this.

My great grandmother lost two brothers in the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. We haven’t hit those numbers yet. I pray that we don’t. But this is also just the beginning. But worrying won’t change that. It’s going to run its course. We all have to hope for the best, be cautious, don’t panic, be smart. Read more for additional information about the Coronavirus.

We watch TV before bed most nights. Last night, J. decided to put “Outbreak” on because it was trending on Netflix. I thought it might upset me, but it didn’t. It was uncanny though, the vocabulary that is used in the film, that is now 25-years-old, is exactly what we’ve been hearing all week. Life is suddenly a scene from a science fiction movie. I think of how the things we look at change with time, not excluding Kevin Spacey.

More than anything, for me, the Corona virus is a reminder not to take things for granted. Last night I held my babies a little bit longer, I said their bedtime prayers with a little more fervor. This morning I appreciated the sweetness of the sugar in my tea with deeper gratitude. For me, in the end and always, I am reminded that time and health are precious commodities. Being present and being grateful are paramount, and I am reminded of this now more than ever.

That is my way of flipping this, that is my way of re-framing. Because after a lifetime of suffering from anxiety, I know how to do that now. I know how to pull myself out from under the grip of fear and horror and press on.

I am not an expert in pathology, but I am an expert in surviving. And loving deeply and madly, without fear, well it’s become sort of a superpower for me. And so I’ll do just that. And that will be enough.

Soon the trees will blossom in every sweet and heavenly shade of pink. Soon the bird nests will be filled with tiny, pastel eggs. Soon the bees will flit from flower to flower and honey will fill their perfect combs. Soon the spring rain will wash away the dust of winter and the world will be saturated with watercolor magic once again.

The things that matter will go on, and that too, will be enough. ⋒

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