As predicted, we are heading into (or are already in) the winter of Covid. Those of us that live in urban areas saw exactly how ugly this disease can get back in the early months of the year. The difference is that in the spring people actually cared. In the spring, people supported healthcare workers. In the spring, people stayed home. In the spring, people were provided economic support. In the spring, a lot of people struggled to believe it was even real unless they lived in a metropolitan area – particularly in the north. I remember hearing from my husband about the climbing hospitalization numbers in the spring while at the same time reading online that it is a hoax. I think we might have finally reached the point where most people don’t think its a hoax.
Locally, we are already back to where we were in the spring. Case numbers are significantly higher which is to be expected with more testing. Hospitalizations are already at the peak numbers we saw in the spring – and its December 3rd. People try to argue that “hospitals are empty”. I don’t know where these people live when I hear of the Dakotas and Idaho airlifting patients to other states because hospitals are at capacity. Patients in many locations are being treated outside of hospitals to make room for more Covid patients. Rooms that were normally single occupancy are now double rooms. My husband and I have been predicting where numbers will be in two weeks and four weeks. If you hear different things from doctors, you might want to ask if they have ever worked in an emergency room, a Covid floor of a hospital, or directly with Covid patients. Nothing is more discouraging than to hear doctors pontificating that they know better only to learn they are podiatrists treating patients in their private offices. (No offense to podiatrists, I just used them as an example.)
I have heard the words “Dark Winter” a lot lately. 2020, I would argue, has been a dark year. I am currently grappling with how I can provide light to the darkness. Like the beautiful sun we had here in Chicago yesterday, how can I be such a light to others?
Social media has been a plague for me this year – possibly even bigger than Covid considering the havoc it wrecked on most lives. I am considering just using my “You, Me, and Covid-19” account on Instagram to keep spreading the word about life with Covid, and also to spread some positivity in everyone’s feed.
The other area I see a great need is related to food scarcity. Food banks are struggling here locally. We have donated food and money this year, but I am currently researching ways to contribute more. A friend of mine is developing a grassroots program for families on the West Side of Chicago to help provide food, gift cards, toys, and household necessities. My daughter and I plan to contribute and volunteer.
Everyone needs to be looking at how we can work as a community. We need to put the past behind us. We need to put the failings of our government (regardless of party) behind us. Eventually, we will have the brightest summer sun. How will we engage with others if we don’t forge community and connection now?