With everything happening around the world today, it feels like a strange time to write a blog post—yet, here I am. As many of you know, I live in Seattle, Washington. One of the United State’s hotbeds during our outbreak of COVID-19—the novel coronavirus currently wreaking havoc across… well, everything.
As it stands, Kari-Lise and I are currently doing our part to social distance ourselves away from others, and we’re lucky that we’re both able to work from home. Not everyone can, and that adds a lot of extra stress into people’s day-to-day. Since last Wednesday, I’ve really only left my house to get groceries.
It’s been surreal watching this roll across daily life. People have lost their jobs. Events have been canceled. Much of the city is on lockdown—schools, restaurants, bars, churches, gyms, theaters, etc. are closed. Businesses have reduced their hours, some have closed completely, a few permanently. Nothing here is normal. Everything feels slightly off and a little uncertain. Time stretches past in long intervals. It’s easy to get distracted reading and re-reading the same gibberish over and over. There’s an odd pall hanging over everything you do and a mild panic bubbling beneath the surface. I have a few friends both here and abroad who suspect they might have contracted COVID and knowing that gets your mind spinning. Thankfully, all are staying home, resting up, and all seem to be on the mend.
At the time of me writing this, Washington State has passed a thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19—hopefully, with the city shut down and the stay-at-home measures in place, we’ll start to see a slowdown sooner rather than later. I’d love for all of this to be over in a few weeks, but honestly, I don’t see that happening. I don’t know how this is sustainable. It boggles my mind that corporate America isn’t demanding comprehensive and expansive testing. We’d be able to properly quarantine and care for the sick and wouldn’t have to shut down entire swaths of a city based on assumptions.
Regardless of the next two weeks, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that this pandemic will have a profound impact on the economy, our society, and ultimately our culture. It’s important to reflect on this. The world as we knew it won’t ever go back to the way it was, it never does, it can’t—it’ll emerge different, changed by what we’re experiencing now, hopefully for the better.
I’m not sure if a post like this is helpful or not to the grand dialog as a whole, but it’s useful to me. I’m usually not as open on here about the day-to-day of life, but perhaps I should be—being vulnerable in times like this is how we can come together and build empathy for our varied experiences. Humans are stronger together, and one way or another, I’m sure we’ll get through this. Until then…
Be kind to everyone. Give grace. Don’t horde. Help where you can. Love each other.
The image above comes from the cover of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s El amor en los tiempos del cólera, or as we know it in English: Love in the Time of Cholera—of which I shamelessly stole as a title for this post.
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