Can we talk about this year? Can we talk about the hope and energy that we came into 2020 with and how quickly that hope and energy turned into fear, sickness, and sadness?
Good, because I need to let some things out.
I’m tired of this year. Like really, really wish 2020 was a bad dream that I could wake up from. I’ve watched the world I know, not just get shaken up but turned ass over apple cart and it has left me exhausted, afraid, and angry. But it would seem as though 2020 has some kind of serious infection and is declining rapidly.
I wanted 2020 to be amazing. I had outlined what I wanted for this year and was set on making those things happen.
Don’t get me wrong. this year has been amazing but in a shit show kind of way.
- We have a leader who couldn’t lead himself out of a paper bag (his mental health, or lack thereof, is alarming right now).
- We have a pandemic that we can’t contain.
- We have a national economic crisis thanks to the said pandemic (and other factors but I hate politics, so I try to stay out of that lane).
- We are watching the second coming of the civil rights movement – 21st-century style. Full of social media, violence, and fake news.
I’m going to try and break each one of these down but I’m going to skip over our mentally challenged leader because he does not deserve the space or the time in my space.
I hate this virus. It’s honestly one of my biggest fears that I didn’t even know I had until it hit. COVID-19 has hit me like a ton of bricks, and it has affected a big part of my goals for 2020.
To an extent, Corona-Hell has me living in fear. It has made me think twice about my social interactions and whether or not I need to be in public.
I try not to leave the house unless I need to go to the store or the doctor. If I think I will spend longer than 30 minutes anywhere crowded (like the store), I won’t go. I drive by the grocery store and scan the parking lot before deciding if I want to go in because I don’t feel safe even buying groceries. We are a tourist community, the only time the grocery store is NOT BUSY is when it’s closed.
I no longer go in the pharmacy to pick up my medications; I go through the drive-thru. I’m thankful for EVERY DRIVE-THRU I can go to because it feels safer.
(Which reminds me, Alaska needs a liquor/grocery/snack drive-thru like Ohio has, but that’s a conversation for another day.)
The physical therapy center at the hospital opened back up earlier this month and my physical therapist thought it was safe enough for me to come in. The virtual physical therapy visits had not been working out for me very well. We agreed June would finalize my cardiac rehab therapy and then we’d come up with a home workout plan so I could keep up on things.
At my third visit, the PT space felt very crowded to me. Everyone was spaced out as well as they could be and wearing masks, but it felt like there were too many people. I remarked it to my therapist, and she looked around and said it looked as though everyone was far enough apart. I still didn’t feel comfortable but I finished that session. I canceled the rest of my appointments the following week.
And I know I’m not the only person Corona-Hell has affected but I find myself worrying more about the people I love; my family (both by blood, marriage, and otherwise). I worry about their safety, their health, I worry if their employers are doing the right thing(s) for them. I would not be surprised if the pandemic doesn’t cause an upswing in Agoraphobia.
Then there are people who say they aren’t going to live their lives in fear but take no precautions to look out for their fellow humans. (All of you SCARE ME.) I don’t want anyone to live in fear, but I also don’t want them to selfishly disregard their community’s safety just because they feel inconvenienced or immortal. (Spoiler alert, we are not immortal).
Economic stability is in the toilet
I understand why businesses need to open back up. There are essential businesses that we can’t do without. The fact that people had their panties all twisted because they couldn’t go to the bar or go get their hair or nails done baffles the shit out of me. These kinds of things are “wants”, not “needs”. We need to learn the difference and show some patience. People were mad they couldn’t go on vacations like they did before Corona-Hell hit. Businesses are scared over the loss of income, and as someone who works for herself, I UNDERSTAND.
But let me ask you this: If your customers or your staff are taken down by this virus, would you still have a business?
States are caving and opening back up so now we watch the numbers in confirmed cases and deaths rise again. I think we can fight back to financial stability if we are smart about it and I wish I had an answer for everyone.
It’s frustrating to watch people get all up in arms about being inconvenienced and feel like their “freedoms” are being taken away (spoiler alert, they aren’t), and the irony from the same people not being able to recognize other people are fighting against having their REAL freedoms being taken away.
Yes, I’m talking about Black Lives Matter
Oh, friend, you have no idea the things I have to say about this movement. I’m angry, sad, and yet thrilled that it’s happening because America needs a wakeup call.
I think this movement needs to happen. I think it’s long overdue. But I’m mad as hell that it is happening because if this country would’ve woken up decades ago, we might be further along then we are right now. We might not have many of the same prejudices that black people have been fighting against for the last 65 plus years.
I have a confession; my great grandmother whom I loved and still love with all my heart was racist. She wasn’t too shy about how she felt. I grew up hearing her experiences and her opinions based on those experiences. She name-called black people; slang words I would never in my life repeat.
I developed more of a fear of black people than a dislike, because of the things I heard growing up; not necessarily my own experiences.
I know, it’s silly, right? I was only a little girl, but that’s how much of racism starts; we learn it from other people. We learn their fears and their prejudices and internalize them that we make them our own.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started questioning all the things I heard growing up. I didn’t have the same experiences as my grandmother or anyone else with a bias against black people but I didn’t have to; the conviction and seriousness in the voices of the grown-ups in my life made me sure I would have my own negative experiences.
I’m sure I passed some of those fears down to my own children, either directly or indirectly and I wish I could undo those things but with age comes wisdom (hopefully).
I know when I need to sit down, shut up, and listen. I can’t take away the pain, the anger, or fear of being the next target of injustice, but I can stand next to them and hold their hand while they speak their truth. I won’t pretend to speak for everyone but I know I’m an ally.
If we had been taught that a person of color deserves just as much of a chance or to be treated the way WE want to be treated (AND ARE TREATED!!) then I think we’d be in a much better place. We can’t undo the past but I can only hope that’s what we start doing now. I think the change we need is going to come from our children and their children. I’m already seeing it from my own children and it makes extremely proud to watch them do better than generations before them.
I’m no doctor but it’s my expert-ish opinion that 2020 is SICK. and we have passed the need for band-aids and hand sanitizer.
I figure we have two choices; we can ignore it and hope it gets better with some rest, OR, we can find the bacteria, cancer, infection, germ(s) and hit it with every antibody, antibacterial, vaccine, holistic, a bowl of chicken soup, new-age medicine we can find (and yes, I think it’s going to take some kind of CRAZY ASS COCKTAIL of remedies) and purge this sickness so that 2021 has a chance to heal from the damage this year has done.
Because if we don’t, we will need to call someone to give last rites.
Thank you for sharing all this. I also was raised with a belief set (passed down from relatives) that I can only say I’m glad is behind me (although I have to do my own work every day, as we all do). Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome, Paula. I’m glad that I have been able to change my mindset and keep doing the work so change will come.
I think that so many necessary things are happening at such a dangerous time. We need to fight for black lives and we need police reform, and we need to fight against the assault to our constitution by a corrupt autocrat in the making, but I am angry that I can’t get involved to the level I’d like because of the fact that despite what the mentally ill moron says, the pandemic continues to grow.
Oh my goodness Karen, YES. Yes to all of this. I want to get more involved but I also know what I feel comfortable doing so my words here, my social proof, and my pocketbook will just have to do the work until we can move beyond the pandemic..