Corona Chronicles

So many things to consider about this COVID-19 virus. This epidemic that has imposed itself on the world in such a dramatic fashion. As a Jamaican woman trying to stay healthy and positive through this pandemic my thoughts tend to drift very often to either imagining a worst case scenario where the numbers of people who have contracted the virus is so severe that hospitals are totally overwhelmed, to one where Jamaica has managed to do what the rest of the world has not managed to do successfully; we do so well at managing the crisis that there are no deaths and the numbers of Jamaicans who contract the actual disease is so low that Jamaica is seen as an example to the world of how to manage a health crisis. In earlier versions of my made up story, there are no deaths associated with the outbreak of the disease. Of course this was before the announcement of the first death. The announcement of the first, and so far only, Corona Virus death was hard for me to digest. I preferred my second option.

So like most Jamaicans (I would imagine) my daily, hourly, minutely perhaps constant thoughts are focused on the disease. This constant mind loop of imagination and suppositions about this disease has been panic inducing and has caused me to sink into a kind of obsession with wanting to digest any and every COVID-19 information. The stories are unrelenting, What’s App goups are filled with robust discussions on different angles to understand why the spread, hownthe spread, what to do about the spread and so on. There are suggestions as to strategies to stay disease free, how to build immune systems, and ways to make sure you stay away from people who might be already infected. The memes and the jokes are constant and of course everyone has an experience and or an opinion which must be shared. Frankly, its overwhelming. People know way too much for a virus less than a year old and there are too many potential treatments and miracle drugs around. Frankly, I think the world needs to dial it down a little. The media is way too hyped up on reporting the numbers and looking for the next shocking angle, governments are playing too much politics and frankly in the hyped up noise we are not hearing enough from those who have learnt enough to give us ideas as to how to navigate the pandemic. I believe that the turnabout will come when we start focusing on the mundane some more, because to be honest we have started. Washing of hands for example is the most powerful response. The other solutions are equally simple; stay home, especially if you feel ill, keep your home clean and limit the number of guests who visit, in fact if they were being mindful they would know not to visit. Bleach and water, simple enough, keeping yourself clean also means being disease free, keeping your home clean seems such a simple invocation these things are not alien. We should have been doing them anyway. In some cases we were already we just need to tighten up. It’s the social distancing part that is hard.

I want to invite people over. I want to go to places and do things. All of a sudden I have this sudden urge to travel. I yearn for an airport and the promise of a few weeks in a new place. Before COVID-19 I had become wary of traveling and hated planes, now I find myself really disappointed that the trips I had planned would not happen as I had anticipated. My mind is playing tricks on me I realize. I am now considering social distancing. I write about that later.

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