Pandemic Diary: Where Are We?

July 10, 2020

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To you, this lioness may be yawning — to me, she is roaring and royally pissed off. She is ready to claw, bite, and tear something apart limb by limb.

On June 10, 2020, a month ago today, I posted my last blog post before I took a much-needed break from blogging. On that day, with all the chaos in this country, like millions of others, I felt like I was screaming into the abyss and no sound came out.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in late February, I’d felt raw, exposed, frightened, frustrated, and angry that 45 wasn’t doing a damn thing to contain the virus or prevent more infections and deaths. The Governors were on their own. Soon, states were reopening left and right. My neighbors weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing. People in some states were defying stay-at-home orders and congregating in churches, parks, bars, restaurants, and on beaches. Who are these people? As the number of infections and deaths grew, my anger and frustration grew. I felt we would never get out of this virus mess, but important changes were taking places in other ways.

Some days, my anger reached unhealthy places, where my sleep patterns, appetite, and concentration were affected. My mood was negative, I could feel my blood pressure rise, and my attitude was shitty at best. The anger felt like the day 45 was elected. Worse than his mistreatment of Puerto Rico and its citizens after Hurricane Maria. Much worse than when the US government put immigrant children in cages and then lost thousands of those innocent and unprotected children. That still causes me to lose sleep.

I needed a break. I needed to write. I needed quiet, balance, and peace. I needed my garden. I needed my children. I wanted to escape. I didn’t know how long I’d be away from blogging. I’d set no date. I wasn’t depressed–it was anger fueled by fear, the unknown, and my extreme disgust of this government, our laws, and the greed and callous disregard for human lives. Too much toxicity, I heard over and over from friends and family members. I agreed with them. I’m a retired 62-year-old woman dealing with solo quarantine–it can get difficult when you don’t have many people to bounce things off of and discuss–you can lose perspective.

During my month-long break, I didn’t write in my daily journal. I didn’t read and I stopped watching the news as I’d been doing each night from 6-11 since 2016. I donated to good causes and enjoyed my coffee on the kitchen patio that overlooks my thriving vegetable gardens. I listened to the birds, watched the clouds. I gardened, baked bread, caught up with family and friends on Zoom, cooked good meals, and each evening I watched one or two classic films. And thank God, I was able to work on my novel. I wrote and worked with my critique group each week. Thanks to them, I learned a great deal in a short amount of time that enhanced my story in many beautiful ways.

A week in, I’d felt better. My shoulders lowered, I stopped grinding my teeth at night (it wakes me up), and I started eating better again. Lord knows I slept better.

Tonight, alas, the lawless crap continues. Trump commuted Roger Stone’s sentence. AG Barr, Trump’s bagman, as he is called, is still out of control…there is no rule of law in this country, it’s abuse after abuse after abuse. Where the hell are we headed as a country? November can’t come soon enough.

I wish I could end this blog post on a positive note but that would seem like a lie. From what I’ve read, many states are right smack back to where they were in March with this virus. Close the states. Yes, again! There’s no other way. If my kids were younger, no one could force me to send them back to school. It’s not safe.

We are no better off now than we were in March.  Actually, it’s worse. We are in trouble, deep trouble. God help us all.

Be well, wear your mask, and stay safe. Resist. Take care of yourselves.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in turn of the century Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses. The author currently lives in West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1926 Puerto Rico. Eleanor’s adult children are in the world doing amazing things, which fills her with enormous pride. She is still in quarantine with her buddy, a Chihuahua named Sophie.

 

 

 

 

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Eleanor Parker Sapia

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, best-selling historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the award-winning anthology, Latino Authors and Their Muses. Eleanor is writing her second book, The Laments, set in 1926 Old San Juan and Isla de Cabras, Puerto Rico. Eleanor is a writer, artist, photographer, and blogger, who is never without a pen, a notebook, and her camera. Her wonderful adult children are doing wonderful things in the world, which allows Eleanor the blessing of writing full time. Please visit Eleanor at her website: http://www.eleanorparkersapia.com

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Diary: Where Are We?”

  1. Everybody is behaving differently. This is such a momentous time and we’re living through it. I can understand your anger but where does it get you? I love the image you paint of your thriving vegetable garden and drinking coffee on your patio. Here in Germany, we’ve been lucky thus far and it all feels so removed. My heart goes out to all those affected by the virus and all the poor people who have no choice but to keep on working, despite being sick. There’s something terribly wrong with a society that doesn’t support its weakest and most vulnerable. I try not to feel fearful but it’s hard not to because we cannot see an end in sight. We have to be the rock that lets the crashing waves flor over us. Believe that all will be well and this too will pass. I do not deliberately watch the news. It seems like such blatant mind control.

    1. Hi Barbara, Thanks for your comments. Indeed, all of us are living in momentous times. At this time in our history, most Americans don’t feel removed or fortunate; we’ve all been affected by the virus in myriad ways and at the same time, we’re affected by this government and the decisions our leaders make that impact our lives, those of our neighbors, and the lives of the weak and vulnerable among us.

      While I like your image of us being the rock that waves crash against and wash over, rocks are nonliving things. Just the same, over time, their form is changed by the constant motion of the sea. In the last few months, many important changes have taken place in the US. In my view, those long-overdue changes were needed and anger got us there in the form of protests and marches for change. That’s what anger does, it creates momentum, movement, and forces us to adapt, grow, take action. and create a place where change is possible. The flip side of anger, of course, is toxicity and the stress that can affect our mind, body, and soul. In June 2020, I’d reached the point of needing to step back to recharge, to reexamine my life, my surroundings, and those I share this country with, but that doesn’t mean I was passive. I needed balance, a new kind of balance. That’s what I’m working toward.

      At the beginning of the pandemic, I remember writing that all would be well and that this too would pass. Now I believe that someday in the future, a vaccine will be developed to protect us from the novel coronavirus, but the virus will change, mutate into a new form, a new strain. And we humans are forever changed, whether we realize or accept it, or not. Stay safe.

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