COVID-19: Isolated Thoughts

On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a state-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic advancing in the State of Michigan. My husband and two dogs left the day before from our vacation home in northern Michigan on Lake Michigan for home in southeast Michigan. I stayed behind to work remotely in peace and solitude unaware that the Governor’s lockdown was imminent. I vacillated on Monday afternoon after the Governor’s announcement whether I should pack up and leave for home too. I decided to stay for the remainder of the week to see how things would play out. I had 2 rolls of toilet paper, food, wine and spirits.

Isolated Thoughts

Over the course of the last 5 days, I found myself thinking…

I wonder if the younger generations who are defying that stay home, stay safe and social distancing mandates think this is a virtual reality gaming instead of an actual world pandemic.

My 80-year old mother and her husband, who both have serious health conditions seem oblivious to the stay home, stay safe mandate by going to the grocery store, pharmacy, and driving around without masks. She laughs at me and wonders why I am not home with my family. Has she bought into some of the politician’s thought process who say the older generation is willing to die to save the economy? Or does she just not care anymore doped up on all the pain-relieving medications because of her failing heart and fused back issues. All of her medical appointments have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. I pray for her.

My 30-something niece who has been battling drug addiction. She has been in and out of rehab. She has abandoned her 3 small children with family members again. I messaged her asking her how she could betray their trust.  I tell her she is leaving scars upon their hearts only for the scar to randomly break open and fester for a lifetime. Her uncle has one of those abandonment scars and I would not wish that upon anyone. I told her I was praying for God’s mercy. Her response, “I know. God help me. I know.” I told her I was praying for her too. God can only help if you invite Him into your life. – I love her. I fear for her and what her life must like out there in this pandemic world. I wish I understood mental illness and addiction better so I could help her.

My mother’s husband has a cockatiel bird named, Coco. He has had the bird for 15-20 years. I have never liked caging of animals. I have a new appreciation for what it must feel like to be an animal in a cage – birds, zoo animals, aquariums, livestock, animal shelters. This thought makes me very sad.

I wonder if seniors do not want to live in nursing homes or any time of senior community because they fear being caged like an animal – cast off, shut in until finally stuffed in a coffin. I have a new appreciation for their hesitation.

Is this what it is like being a widow living far from your children?  Not to feel the touch of another human being? Lonely. Much like the feelings of the homeless, I wonder.

After 3 days and wearing a mask over my nose and mouth, I went out to the grocery store for food, a thermometer (just in case) and toilet paper. No thermometer. No toilet-paper. I stopped at the pharmacy. No thermometer. I was allotted 2 rolls of toilet paper. I went home. I thoroughly washing my hands and then checked online for thermometers. All thermometers are out of stock.

What happens when we find out about the people whose preventative health care appointments were cancelled because of the overwhelming cases of COVID-19 and are then diagnosed with a terminal illness or disease? What if cancer is lurking inside me and I won’t be able to find out until it is too late?

What does life look like on the other side of a pandemic?

I wish it were summer. Sunshine. Will I even be allowed to go to the shore of Lake Michigan?

What will I eat today? I really should exercise with my Pilate’s bar, but I don’t feel like it. Perhaps a walk? Nope. It’s raining.

All week I have been binge-ing on Jerry Seinfeld’s, “Comedians in Cars going for Coffee” on Netflix. I love this show. I have learned that comedy and comedy writing are truly one of the toughest types of writing. When it is good, there is instant gratification – laughter. Unlike movies, where critics tell us what we must see and not see, what we should like and not like – critics are much like politicians.

Press Briefings, News Media, Social Apps

“Is FaceBook really a book?” – Jerry Seinfeld

A former colleague and FaceBook friend posted this past week that now that we are isolated, she is tired of seeing people turning to social media to spread their political views, especially in such an angry way. She loves the freedom of speech, but she also has the freedom to snooze people for 30 days to hide their political rants. Her last paragraph reads, “I’m not trying to be mean, just want to reduce my stress as having a spouse in health care isn’t stressful enough right now. It just makes me sad that if in the middle of your political rants you are reaching out for help, I won’t be able to read it. #stayathome #befreakingkindalready”

Here is my thought on that…

You do you

You do what you need to do. People post political rants (I sometimes do and then I catch myself and try to refrain to no avail) because they cannot bottle up their anxiety or anger any more than those who only want to see dog photos or stupid toilet paper memes. You, do you whatever you need to do to protect your own sanity.

Follow the tweets

I don’t watch cable TV. I don’t watch the Trump press briefings… I take that back. I mute the TV when Trump is speaking, and I unmute the TV when Dr. Anthony Fauci is speaking. I look for what I believe are reliable news sources online, the CDC, and I watch my local news channel. Here is why…

I despise Trump’s lack of character and forthrightness. All anyone needs to do is follow his tweets on Twitter to know that he does not have the good of every American and the entirety of America in his heart. Some question whether he has a heart. But here is my thought on that…

I taught my sons that the hate is not a word to be used unless one speaks of lima beans. Every person until their dying breath has an opportunity for redemption. I was hoping (and I continue to hope and pray) that Trump would redeem himself in the wake of this global pandemic even after his stalling about it. I was praying that he would believe COVID-19 in its’ destructive totality and not just economically. Yet, here we are where with his tweets about who is nice to him and who isn’t nice to him. Those who are nice will receive his attention first and foremost. It is difficult not to hate a person’s lack of character and lack of empathy for another human being. His daily tweets show me who he believes is worthy.

Thomas Merton wrote, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”

Some would say that those who do not rally together as Americans and get behind this administration in this global pandemic are being hateful and unpatriotic. This is not the time to be political or partisan. “They (who is they?) just hate Trump and it doesn’t matter what he does. They will hate him anyway.”

My patriotic duty is not to ignore but call out hateful, partisan leadership. My patriotic duty is to stay home, stay my distance in safety for myself and others, and to stay informed by science-based facts, period. What am I missing?

My last thought

I do not hate Trump. I hate that he willfully calls COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.” I hate that he believes one American has more worth than another. I hate that he sees America in red and blue. I hate that he sees America as having one faith over another or none. I hate that he sees America as an economy only for the well-being of Wall Street and the elite. I hate that he sees America’s people as either winners or losers.

I refuse to hate another person. I refuse to come down to that level.

Now, what I am going to make for dinner?


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6 thoughts on “COVID-19: Isolated Thoughts

  1. Courtney March 28, 2020 / 6:09 pm



  2. Anita Pepper March 29, 2020 / 1:16 pm

    I always feel better after reading your posts. Your description of life’s experience and the insights you share are uniquely yours, but universal as well. You educate your readers by sharing what you’ve learned. People I’ve known who loved reading Erma Bombeck told me they liked her down-to-earth wisdom and humor, and that she made them feel better about life. I wasn’t a huge fan of hers, but I appreciated what she did for her fans. You are for me, like Erma was for them.


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