This was March 15, 2020. We had no idea. We still don’t.
Do I sound like another doom scroll about COVID-19? I may, but I am convinced that as little as we knew then, not much has changed. I started wearing a mask on March 15, 2020. Please don’t debate me on the efficacy of masks. I believe in them, and so does my family. I am immunocompromised as a result of the medication I take for Ankylosing Spondylitis (Google it) and rheumatoid arthritis. I am one of “those people” that we are supposed to be protecting.
I had very little information, but I knew mask usage, social distancing, and limiting public outings was working in other countries. Thanks to contacts that live internationally on a variety of continents, I was able to get a pretty good idea of what might be coming our way. I didn’t rush out and buy mountains of toilet paper and Lysol. Panicking is not really how I react to emergencies. Instead, I made sure we had masks and food and that we were in a position to hunker down for awhile. As of this writing, six months has passed and not enough has changed.
March, and even parts of April, are what I think of as “the honeymoon stage”. It was all very new. Facebook posts were about how much we were eating and drinking. People were scheduling Zoom cocktail hours. Everyone was worried about our front line workers. We were anxiously watching case numbers, hospitalizations, and mortality rates. People were rallying around teachers as the dark days of spring distance learning were forced on most of us. Most everyone was afraid of catching the novel coronavirus of 2019.
The chatter started on social media.
“Its just killing old people.”
“Its just the sick dying.”
“Its just the immunocompromised and people with underlying conditions.”
“I am the immunocompromised”, I remember thinking. The comments were hurtful. They came from people I did not expect. Surely people know and remember that I am constantly battling my immune system. This was just the beginning. The beginning of the disbelief, and the beginning of me realizing that I was on my own. I needed to do the research, and I needed to put together a plan to keep myself (and my family) safe.