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Entry date: 1-2-2022 - I worry sometimes - Letters to my Friends

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

Dear Friends,

There is a double whammy effect to the pandemic at the age that I am because of the very strange look it has given me, at very least, and maybe some of you into our mortality. Every time I feel the least bit ill, the first thought that crashes through my mind like a drunken Kool-Aid man is: I have Covid. Does this happen to you, as well?

The first sniffle or tiny little sore throat and my head starts churning out all the fucked-up headlines you can imagine. Yes, my brain often frames things as if they were news stories. I don’t know why and I’m not going into that here. These headlines, though, are things like:

· He Was Only 52

· What Will His Family Do Without Him

· He’s Going to Use Up All His Sick Time

· He Might Have Infected the Kids

· His Wife Will Remarry an Asshole

Now that last one is probably not fair to Rhondi, but it also may say a lot about how I see myself. Again, not getting into that discussion here. The conclusion I have come to is this pandemic thing sucks. Wondering if we have the plague every time something doesn’t feel quite right is a drag. It’s cold and flu season, for chrissakes, and I work with children.

I’ve been sick a few times this year and soldiered through. I didn’t ever have fevers and my symptoms lined up with things other than Covid and on the most serious occasion, I got tested (negative, thankfully). I couldn’t afford to miss any time between August and December as I was finishing up my student teaching and didn’t want to have to do it again.

Student teaching when you are in charge of the classroom is such a weird experience. My mentor was great, though, and that is something I will definitely touch on sooner than later in a different blog. I enjoyed the experience as a whole, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of having to fill out forms and do the class again would be a drag.

What this fear, dread, or whatever you want to call it, is doing to us, though, as a society has got to be a weird thing? It is so odd to me when I am in public, usually at Target or Costco, that so many people are not wearing masks anymore. Some never did, but it seems like the numbers are going down, even when we are faced with what the CDC has said is the most infectious, easily transmissible version of Covid yet.

What are people thinking?

Seriously, what are people thinking at a time like this when everything I’ve read seems to indicate we might be in the biggest trouble with this pandemic that we have been in? I’m not a doctor or expert, so don’t take my word as law, but shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to protect each other right now? We need each other to be healthy and doing our jobs.

One article I read, and I should probably start taking better notes if I’m going to share these insights here stated that the scariest thing about Omicron is how it will impact our already tenuous grasp on managing our supply chain issues. With so many people getting sick, will there be enough healthy people to do all the jobs needed to keep things feeling somewhat normal? This is what the author was talking about and it struck a chord with me as I have thought a lot about this whole “new normal” thing.

As I was writing about what happened in 2021 a few days ago, I thought a lot about what I was enjoying most during the “quiet” time that occurred for me and my family during the first 7 months of the year. We were happy to do small things and enjoy meals together where we would talk and just take it easy. There was no pressure to do or be anything other than who we are.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been really nice spending some more time with friends and getting out a bit here and there, but I’ve found that when I’m out in public, I am never truly relaxed. I went to see King Crimson with my bandmate, Michael, back in August and it was amazing, but the whole time I was there, the question of safety kept lurking in the back of my mind. Was I safe? Was everyone safe? Was I somehow making Michael unsafe?

It has been the same experience for every public thing I have done in the past year. I am not advocating for being a hermit or never seeing or hugging the people I love, but I’m hoping it will someday go away. I’m hoping that being able to truly relax and enjoy the company of people I care about (or even complete strangers) grooving to some music or seeing a movie will again be something I can do in a carefree manner. Discomfort in public settings has never stopped me from doing a whole a lot, but it’s a real thing. It gnaws at you.

On the good side, I realized that many of the things I thought I had to do to be me, such as playing live music, going to shows, being around big groups of people having fun, are still great but I don’t need them in the way that I thought I needed them. In thinking about how I started to shift into creating a mix of the old normal in the “new normal” over the past few months, I realize that I need to focus on doing what’s best for myself and the people I am responsible for each day.

It’s freeing, really. I feel a little bit freer each moment. I just wish I didn’t have to write lesson plans now. So much freedom.

See you tomorrow.


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2 commenti


Jane McClung
Jane McClung
31 gen 2022

Gotta say, I love the death by covid headlines. I laughed out loud a couple times and totally relate. I am enjoying your stories. :)

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Thanks my friend!

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