Life in the Pandemic

Life in the Pandemic

A Story by Aries1984

Just talk about how things have been going for me so far.

I've been in this writers block for a very long time, so that's why I haven't had anything new and haven't even visited this place in such a long time. But I thought that I'd stop in today because I was looking for a certain poem I wrote 5 years ago. And I found it.
Anyway, I decided to kind of post something about how I've been doing so far. I haven't written any new poetry and most of the writing that I have done over the years has been personal journal entries. So here's me putting something out here about the current situation. Like many people, my State went into lock down back in March and I was put on furlough from work for 7.5 months because of the pandemic.
About 2 years ago I was listening to John M. Barry's The Great Influenza, and he has several parts in the book that are devoted to bring prepared for a future global pandemic. At the end of the book, I remember thinking what living through a time like that would look like if it happened in this day and age. And it's so strange to see that 2 years later, we get hit with a global pandemic. Though this time, the virus isn't an Influenza virus, but a Coronavirus.
I've mainly spent a lot of my time listening to audio-books, coloring, bike riding in which I took the liberty of visiting cemeteries here in Seattle (and other historic spots) to do photography and research on people buried in the cemeteries that I visited. I've spent the time also doing yard work and doing other house projects. Like a lot of folks.
But when this whole thing happened, it was just so strange to see history literally repeat itself in front of my eyes. Back in 1918, they had the same issues of enforcing social distancing and mask wearing. I was surprised to see that this time, my State dropped the ball in keeping COVID out of not only the State but also the country, whereas back in 1918, they knew the Spanish Flu was heading west, and took all that time to get ready for it with the resources and accommodations and technology they had back then.
Nearly 5,000 people here in Washington State died of the Spanish Flu back in 1918. A simple Google search pulls up the population for my State being at 1.341 million that year. Today the population of my State is 7,656,200 and with current COVID deaths in my State we are at 3,065 and steadily climbing. This info isn't meant to say that people shouldn't take the current situation serious, as a matter of fact, I HOPE EVERYONE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY! But it just made me think how back in 1918, we knew the flu was coming and we took all this time while it was still coming to our State, to prepare. This is the only reason why Washington State's Spanish Flu numbers were far lower compared to other States, most especially East Coast States.
But in 2020, we didn't even bother to take the simple measure of putting travel restrictions. Our State became "Ground Zero", and luckily, right now, I'm thankful that our numbers here are low (compared to other States even though our cases are rising here right now as well), and that does (I believe) have a lot to do with people here taking this situation more seriously. But I just feel like, you know, "How'd we drop the ball like this in the beginning?"
It is strange to know that everything that I have experienced this year, people who survived the Spanish Flu, experienced in 1918. The loss of their job, the debates about the mandates State leaders were pushing back then, to what it must've felt like going back to work for some who (like myself) couldn't be out of work for such a long time. The stress of relearning how to do tasks at work, with added stricter disinfecting practices than what you remember you started doing before the lock-down was hammered down. The fear that comes over you every time you ask a mask-less customer coming into your store, to put their mask on or to have their mask cover their nose, not just the mouth.
The fear and anxiety that comes over you when you ask customers at the register to flip over their items to where the barcodes are so you could safely scan them without touching, and all of this fear because you don't know how someone is going to react to you asking them to do these simple things that are different in 2020, that in normal times, you didn't even have to think of doing. We hear and read about the stories of workers being assaulted and some who lost their lives because they asked customers to wear a mask.
All of that added anxiety on top of company organizational shift at your workplace. Everything that I once knew about where things were located at my workplace, was no more when I came back in September. My physical health really took a toll as well as my mental health. So that's in part why I'm just putting this out because I need an avenue to get stuff off my chest. All I can say is that I hope that in 2021, we'll really come around and get out of this situation, and I just hope that people start taking this virus seriously.

© 2020 Aries1984

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Added on December 6, 2020
Last Updated on December 6, 2020
Tags: Pandemic, COVID, 2020