The coronavirus has brought unprecedented changes that have altered human existence. Normal life has ended. We are shuttered at home and shuddering with fear.
Nothing I write can assuage those fears; I have no useful insight to offer. You already know the facts.
Schools, businesses and restaurants have closed. The stock market and economy have tanked. Grocery stores can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, food staples and toilet paper.
Social distancing and pandemic are common words in our vocabulary now.
The situation reminds me of the Depression-era run on the bank in the town of Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life. It feels like we’ve been dropped into scenes from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or the movie A Quiet Place. Life in 2020 is dystopian—actually downright apocalyptic. We can hear the thundering hooves of the Four Horsemen. This feels like the end of civilization.
There’s a good chance my wife, son and I may get the virus. There is a testing site on Salina Street in Syracuse, but what happens if we test positive and need to be quarantined at home? What happens if we need medical care and can’t be admitted to the hospital because they are overwhelmed? Who will take care of our son if both my wife and I are incapacitated?
Having hypopituitarism with adrenal insufficiency, coupled with rheumatoid arthritis, makes me immunocompromised and puts me at higher risk of developing complications if I contract coronavirus.
My health has always been fragile. I’ve had multiple brain surgeries, and my diseases diminish my quality of life and reduce my life expectancy.
Less than two months ago, I had Gamma Knife radiosurgery in an attempt to shrink my pituitary tumor and help restore normal vision. My sight has improved; the double vision I had prior to the surgery seems fixed (not 100 percent, but close). Yet all of sudden normal sight doesn’t seem that important.
And this coronavirus is beyond our control. There’s no managing this like other health conditions. I have to accept the reality that I could catch the virus and it could kill me.
There’s so much I hope to accomplish, but I know I may not get the chance to I finish what I started. Multiple writing and other creative projects could be left incomplete. And the realization sets in that I may not get to spend the rest of my life with my wife and watch our son grow up.
I guess I’m trying to imagine the worst-case scenario so it won’t be unexpected if it befalls me. As a Christian I’m trying to place faith above fear, but it’s not easy, and I am reconciling the fact that Christ’s judgment may come sooner than I hoped.
Until then, I get the gift of one more day on the planet. One more day to spend time with my son.
Forgive this hastily written blog. Because things are changing so rapidly, I wanted to get my thoughts down before they escaped my mind.
I wish everyone health, safety and survival.
And since my words often take the form of verse, here are some poems provoked by coronavirus fears:
Coronavirus Poem #1
Coronavirus claiming lives
across the planet.
Shuttered at home
and shuddering with panic,
Will my family and I
outlive the pandemic?
Or have our lives
been lived up?
Not Ready Yet
I’m not afraid to die.
The passage from
life to death
does not terrify me.
But I have a lot
to do before I go.
And what troubles me
is all the work
I’ll leave undone.
Inspired By Coronavirus Fears
You have no control
over when your time comes.
The end will be the end.
And the choice
is not yours to make.
So why be afraid
of what you cannot change?
In the Age of Coronavirus
You have to be grateful
for every day,
can be taken away.
2 thoughts on “Untitled Reflections”
Francis, I know you are scared and you have been through a lot. But you may not get sick at all. Your family hopefully will be fine. Just wash your hands, be careful, and try to not let the fear take over. It’s a strange boat we are all in.
Thank you for the kind and wise words Janice. Much appreciated. I hope you and your family are safe and healthy!