the coronavirus diaries: week seven

One day last week, I woke up mad.

At first I was just mildly irritated because my husband had flopped around in bed rather than slipping out of the room quietly so I could sleep, but that irritation soon morphed into an anger that bordered on full-blown rage.

I was angry at everything.

Angry that I had no one to hang out with.
Angry at people for not reaching out.
Angry that I had no one (besides my family) to feed.
Angry that no one needed me.
Angry that my younger kids couldn’t pop over to my parents to get tutored or spend the night.
Angry that my older kids couldn’t get the regular, in-person college classes they were paying for.
Angry that I couldn’t make plans.
Angry at people for making light of the crisis.
Angry at Trump for being a dick.
Angry at the GOP for not stopping him.
Angry at our church for not giving more regular updates.
Angry at people for taking all the flour and baking powder (not that I needed any, but still).
Angry at myself for being powerless, uncreative, and useless.
Angry, angry, angry.

I knew my rage was fueled by fear and sadness, worry and loneliness, but that knowledge didn’t help any. Short on sleep (thanks, hon), I had no reserves.

All day, I was off-and-on weepy.

*** 

That same day I wrote an email to our pastor to ask if she knew of ways I might be involved. “Just …. trying to find ways to stay connected and useful to combat the sadness, rage, and loneliness (not to be dramatic or anything),” I wrote.

One thing led to another and now I’m doing some of the behind-the-scenes organizational work for our local homeless shelter. It’s hardly anything, really.

But it’s also not nothing.

*** 

Another thing that helped: a long phone chat with a friend who doesn’t bat at eye at my swearing, sobbing, and poor-me pity-parties.

May we all be so fortunate to have such a friend.

*** 

That night, I slept well (this time my husband was very careful not to wake me — he’s a fast learner, that one) and the next day my burning rage had lessened to a dull throb.

Mostly, I just felt sad.

And lonely.

So I posted on my church’s facebook page that I was available to go on six-feet-apart walk-and-talks on our spacious, winding, country roads.

And then I felt terrible: What if people thought I was being careless? What if no one wanted to go on a walk with me?

Oh well, I told myself. If I got rebuffed, or ignored, so what. At least I’d spoken up. I’d tried. 

And guess what! So far three different people have taken me up on my offer! An hour or so in the fresh air, chatting about everything and nothing with another human being, isn’t much, really.

Then again, it’s not nothing.

photo credit: my younger daughter

*** 

And now, a few gems…
*It took a global pandemic, but now I’m calling my mom (Bon Appetit).

*If I made masks, this would be me (minus the Southern accent and smiles):

*Food safety and the coronvirus: a comprehensive guide (Serious Eats). My takeaway: There are not any special risks connected to food. Since the virus needs to get into your lungs, even if someone is covid-positive and sneezes directly on your salad (their example, not mine), it is unlikely to make you sick. The main risk is proximity to other people, not the food.

*The Love of God:

xoxo!

P.S. Right after I published this post, my father sent me a link to this video. It made my day:



This same time, years previous: the quotidian (4.23.18), creamed honey, out of character, loose ends, the quotidian (4.23.12).

24 Comments

  • melodie davis

    I laughed til I cried on the sewing one. What a scream, best laugh of the week. And Sons of the Day were at the other end of the spectrum: holy, heartfelt, and beautiful harmonies. The kids sneaking in and out of the production, whether unplanned or planted, were perfect. Thanks for your bloomin' honesty here.

  • Karren

    Well said! I woke up angry yesterday too. Pouted for a while, and sulked in silence mostly. Toward afternoon I finally pulled it together and weeded some in the garden. Dirt always makes me feel better. I realized that I was truly angry at the situation, not my poor husband, and pulled it up and got it together. Finally understood that was the reason behind all this agitation to open things up and get people back to work. Some people just gotta rage, whether it makes sense or not. Congrats on finding smarter ways to deal with it all. "This too shall pass" Be safe. You matter to those of us who follow you.

  • Chepkirui

    Oh I can so relate to the angry / sad / not enough sleep kind of day. And, a walk in the woods with a friend (far away) is what saved me yesterday too! Thank you so much for the Sons of the Day link. I needed that. Does anyone in this community have suggestions for other people singing a cappella hymns? I live in a world of agnostics, although I grew up on hymns. They are the most comforting music for me — but no-one I know listens to them! Here's one of my current favorites: (Lizz Wright, singing Amazing Grace.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO6QMRV-Rn4

  • beckster

    I watched the newest Frontline episode about how the pandemic started in the US last night. If you haven't watched it, do so when you feel your coping skills are strong. It was very informative, but it made me SO MAD. But your video cured me. Thank you to you and your dad for the smile. Much appreciated!

  • kay saylor

    I so relate. My sadness is mostly for my teen daughter who is stuck with her mother, missing out on making memories with her friends. My fear is for the tuition I pay for private school that is now online. My anger and rage is for the so called leaders who are doing anything but leading and are compounding human suffering in order to line their own pockets.

    Beyond all of that though is the joy my daughter and I find in the little things each day. The fresh air and nature we take in at every chance (and are grateful we have the privilege to do so). The thankfulness I feel for my family remaining safe and healthy. How lucky I am to be able to continue to work from home. Even in this time the good outweighs the bad.

    You are a great example on how to use your strengths to help others and by so doing, helping yourself and those around you. Always happy to read your stories. Health to you and yours.

  • Gigi

    I have been struggling with making masks – that sewing video slayed me and made me realize that my struggles aren't that bad!

  • Linda

    Did you get your stimulus checks? Trump might be a dick at times, but there are plenty on the other side of the aisle blocking anything & everything he is trying to do. Trust that our Lord is in control & put your anger aside. You will sleep better.

  • Lana

    We just do not bash any president here. Our son is an officer in the Air Force and asked us not to ever say bad things about his commander in chief and so we do not. No matter what you think of him the question is, 'Would you want to be in his shoes right now? Could you do better?'

  • Lissa

    I will always criticize this President. I honor your son's service, but this President is not worthy to shine his shoes. Bailed on his time of service due to made up bone spurs. Trump is responsible for the death of thousands by his delays, denials, blame shifting, lies and utter preoccupation with himself. He spends his days channel flipping to hear what people are saying about him. A pathological liar who can't tolerate letting scientists speak because they show him up. My daughter is an OB-Gyn at Northwestern. Half their residents are testing positive for Covid-19. She is working constantly. She feels doomed to die from this virus that Trump has 100% mismanaged. I am afraid every time she calls me for fear that she is sick. My brilliant 33 year old daughter is at high risk of getting Covid, dying of a stroke because she does her duty every day to care for the sick–even those morons that think this is a ploy from the Democrats to make Trump look bad. All of the positive Covid cases she has to take to the OR are having massive bleeding irregularities. Spouses not allowed to be in labor and delivery. God is shaking his head in disgust that Trump has managed to politicized a deadly virus. My husband is an MD as are both my BIL. I am a nurse working in the inner city with the homeless. Virtually ANYONE could do better because they would know the fundamental principle of leadership: find good people and let them teach you. Jenifer: one of the only good things last week was that you called him a dick 🙂

  • JenG

    Here's a suggestion, 4 of us are making meals to take to the staff at our two nursing homes and local medical clinic. The people helping cook don't live in my household but I have been around all of them since this thing began. All the administrations were so thankful when we called to see if they were interested. I also get to walk outside with a dear friend who works in the local medical clinic – sunshine keeps me sane. We have only had one case in our county & he recovered and is fine.

  • Queenie

    Wow, I just read this post…I was startled at its similarity to the one I wrote 2 days after this one is dated (down to the mask-sewing video that I used as a coping mechanism that day, but didn't include.) I promise I wasn't plagiarizing! I'm sorry to hear that you're mad, too, but also it's always nice to know I'm not the only one…

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