I read somewhere the other day that the W.H.O. declared Covid-19 a global pandemic a year ago today. I haven't gone digging too far to confirm this, but it seems accurate enough.
You may have noticed, as I have, that I've been talking more about Covid this last while and I'm certain that has a lot to do with how .... what do I say here... traumatic? Terrifying? Frightening? Scary? Unusual? Weird? Different? Bizarre? Unreal? last March was and how time warped from the moment "shit got real" and hasn't really stopped warping.
Some things seem like they really were yesterday. Like last March. It is so very fresh in my mind, and I'm sure in many other minds. But the calendar year is different. Sometimes I forget that too. We, or I, at least, lost an entire year while that year just kept happening anyway.
I remember a sense of denial and hoping I wasn't in denial and then fishing out my N-95s and masks and bandanas from my Burning Man bins because... well, you know, just in case (denial.)
I remember times of not wanting to leave the house at all. Not at all. And managing to get myself out for a walk and wearing a bandana to pull up if anyone got close or if I got too close to them or I don't even know... to show I was aware? To let people know I was safe because I was taking precautions?
I remember trying not to touch ANYTHING and not touching my face at all and feeling like every surface everywhere was possibly going to make me sick enough to die. And oh the horrible horrible stories I never should have read about the deaths. The things I won't repeat here because if you missed them at the time you don't need to hear them now... but oh how I was unable to stop myself while knowing it was making me so afraid and that that fear was sending stress hormones through my body and those stress hormones were working against my immune system and so I KNEW I shouldn't keep reading them but I did... I kept reading them and maybe it was some attempt to shock that denial out of my system, I don't know. But I remember talking to my counsellors.... you know, once they figured out how to deliver service online... and saying how I was horrified by the stories and knew I shouldn't keep reading them and searching them out but that I also couldn't help it.
And I remember feeling guilty? talking to my counsellors about it because they were going through the same thing and I didn't want to bring them more fear and who was helping them through while they were trying to help me through?
March 17th is stuck in my brain as the day our Prime Minister asked us to go into lockdown but again it's not a date I can confirm with a quick google search. But a year. A year of this. But an inconsistent year. A year of upset. A year of vocal divide. A year of unknown. Distress. Financial unknown for so many. A year of unsettled. And for many, a year of fear.
I think a lot of folks may have had their first introduction to anxiety this last year and that's, well that's a bit unfortunate but I also hope it gave some folks some empathy for those who live with it, you know, in non pandemic times as well...
And at this time a year ago we hadn't really gotten into much of the anti-this or that rhetoric, which, oh man, do I ever wish that phase had lasted.
I remember a year ago feeling like there was a buzz of unhappy stress anxiety energy everywhere. People were starting to wear masks and gloves and I started shopping at off hours and I started stocking up on canned goods (BUT NOT TOILET PAPER, remember that!!!!????) and things to "get me through" if the chain of supply was broken and that might have been the first time I worried a bit about living on an island because we weren't sure that ferries would be allowed to keep running. I've since learned that apparently we get most of our supplies by boat but if I'd known that at the time the fear would have been the same (and yes, I remember seeing shipping boats "stuck" out there waiting for permission to keep going...)
A year of this you guys. A year. A year that doesn't feel like a year but that has been more draining than a year and I have struggled a lot this year. And many of us have. Most of us have. At least a little.
I wish I could wish this all away... have I mentioned that before? Just gone. Yeah?
Let's try that shall we? Pretty sure we'd have a massive collective wish power if we all gave it a go.