Blog Series: “The New Normal” with COVID19 (days 1-3 of Social Distancing)

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After some contemplating, (which I often do), and deciding that I am living within a historical event, I have decided to blog/journal the experience of living during COVID19. Being a writer, this is good for sorting out thoughts and dealing with anxiety and could perhaps become a project that I publish later. 

COVID19 was a respiratory virus that we heard began in Wuhan, China. Being so far away, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to the U.S. We’ve had other viruses come from that area, but usually it fizzles out. But COVID19 was different. It knew no end. This one would travel all over the world-Although, I don’t think it has made it to Antarctica (?)…

After sweeping through Wuhan, China , it then took its turn to South Korea.. and many other countries and continents. Eventually, it came to the United States. I didn’t hear much about this virus until toward the end of February (but it was still in China then that we know of, or at least the media told us so.)

The virus was found to be on cruise ships, one docked somewhere near California, and then before we knew it, the virus was in that area. Then, it hit a nursing  home in Seattle, Washington, where it really began to create cases and sadly, take lives.

Somehow, in a very short time, it has hit every state in the United States. And it is also in my home state Illinois. Just about a week or two ago, it was in Chicago which was three hours away…. before we knew it, someone in a hospital, just barely thirty minutes away, from where I live, had it…

Once the president of the U.S. declared a national emergency and our governor declared a state of emergency, something went wild in the minds of our people, and they began to hoard toilet paper… It began with getting a lot of soap and hand sanitizer , as the COVID19 is very contagious and can live on surfaces for several hours. It can be passed through respiratory droplets from coughs, sneezes and even people talking.  I can understand the soap and hand sanitizer, but TOILET PAPER?

And it wasn’t just the people of America hoarding it, it was other countries! In fact, in the U.K. toilet paper has become so scarce, that people were trying to find other substitutes, such as wipes and dryer sheets, which began to clog their sewer systems.  COVID19  became, “THE GREAT HUNT FOR THE BIG WHITE ROLL.”

And still on day 3, people are still hoarding toilet paper in several cities and states.  All over the world, food is flying off the shelves, and the number of COVID19 cases continue to rise.

It hasn’t even been a month since the U.S. declared a national emergency or that the governor declared a state of emergency! SO much has changed in our life in so little time. For two weeks, we have been told to practice social distancing by being no more than six feet apart. Large gatherings have been lowered from 1,000, to 500, to 50 and now I think it is down to 10.  So many things have closed or canceled. The schools are closed until the end of March and then they will re-evaluate. Libraries are closed. Many retail stores have closed. Theaters are closed. Restaurants and bars are only allowed to serve take out or allow curbside pick-up. Many churches have canceled worship services. Although, while the buildings are closed, CHURCH is still happening and people are still serving. And they are finding alternate ways of worship through technology.

Although, in the midst of the chaos and ultimate change, I have seen a some rays of lights. While many nursing facilities have shut down, LOVE is still prevailing. I read posts and articles on social media about loved ones visiting through windows and calling on the phone, so they can see their relatives face to face. Stores are beginning to change hours for the elderly to shop alone and safely. Stores are finally beginning to change their hours and ration items. Churches and communities are coming together to help others in need by helping feed those who are hungry. With children out of school and families losing work, people still need to eat. The government is promising relief packages to help businesses and families affected by COVID19.

Life has slowed down everywhere. Cities have become quiet. The traffic has come to a halt. We can only hope all of this makes a difference. We all live in uncertainty.  Everyone lives day by day and we are all searching for that ray of light. There hasn’t been a global pandemic like this since 1918. Many of us are walking through unfamiliar territory in a place we used to call home. It still kind of looks like home, but it is a new reality.

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