Laura C's story

 

When orders to shelter in place came in the wake of the Covid-19 virus, I wasn't surprised. As a victim of H1N1 in 2010, I had unique insight into how deadly the virus could be.


However, I didn't anticipate the rapid spread, huge numbers of people who would die or the eventual lockdowns.


At first, I had a difficult time trying to figure out how this virus was different from others we have lived through.


Then, I learned it was the rapidity of the spread, it attacked the lungs and heart, and many people would die because we didn't know anything about the virus, there was no vaccine to combat it, and people could transmit it even if they didn't have any symptoms.


H1N1 was just a horrible flu in retrospect. This was very different.


I am stranded in Florida, afraid to fly home as I caught H1N1 on a plane after a ski trip. Working from home was the easy part because I work from home year round, but coping with being unable to attend meetings, go to the gym, swim in the pool, visit with friends, swim in the springs, travel to Chicago, go to a restaurant or movie, etc was very hard. It was eerie driving by theaters, department stores and malls that were completely empty; not a car in sight in the parking lots.


To cope, I increased my cycling time in the morning or after work, figured out how to do my exercise routines at home (fortunately I had some weights), and started taking long walks (and I hate walking) in the evening to burn off stream. I also wanted to do something to help people during this crisis and so volunteered to take meals to shut-ins. Delivering meals to people who can't get to the store on their own is a rewarding experience especially when I see the smile on the client's faces. My favorite delivery was to a woman who was celebrating her 99th birthday. The meal that day was fish and she doesn't like fish. So I went to McDonald's drive thru, closed except for drive thru and got her a couple of burgers, fries, an apple pie in lieu of a cake and a chocolate shake.


Then I sang happy birthday in my off tune voice. She loved it and it brought joy to my heart to see how happy she was.


Watching television news is depressing, yet necessary these days, if we want to keep up with what is happening, but it is depressing. That is the main reason I try to limit the amount of time I spend watching it.
The president keeps talking about how the virus will be over in a matter of days, then weeks. How I wish that were so, but the experts say no, it will take time and depends upon how well people follow the guidelines outlined by the experts.


We are all in this together and I have come to realize that all we can do to speed the end to this pandemic is to practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, stay away from groups and hope that our efforts will flatten the curve.

 

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