Learning to live with COVID

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

The last couple of weeks have been amazing.

I went on vacation with my family to the beach. And this week I have had ‘outings’ twice with one more planned.

I felt the most ‘normal’ I’ve been since March 13th — the date I officially went into lockdown.

Last month I had a high-level exposure to COVID and the other FIVE Humans I was with for ten days all got sick. Except me. I had a headache and fatigue. And a negative COVID test. Ironically, the headache and fatigue lasted about two weeks — at which time I was living on 1000 mg of Tylenol every twelve hours.

But no fever. No anything else.

And no reason for me not to have become infected.

Once this reality hits you — that perhaps you’ve already had this stuff and not been deathly ill with it — your mindset shifts. The Humans I were with have recovered and the adults in the group did have positive COVID tests. It was with great relief that it dawned on me for a few precious months — while their immune systems are still on high alert — they were safe.

Safe. Safe to interact with anyone — anywhere. Safe to relax back into normal routines — albeit with masking and social distancing — but relax none the less. For a short bit of time — their immunity would protect them.

So these last two weeks have found me braver. I went on vacation because we all needed to. At the beach, there weren’t enough people around to worry about social distancing issues. Everyone stayed away from each other naturally. But then — on the beach we go to — that always has been the case. We even went out to dinner on the last night there. Again, with precautions — but I haven’t been near a restaurant since March. It was incredible to have someone hand you food that’s already prepared! In a social setting — not just the take-out guy.

This week I went to a CPR class to fulfill my skill set requirement that allows me to be CPR certified and employed as a nurse.

Last night I got my hair done. I have fresh purple — FOUR shades — because my stylist missed me as much as I missed him.

Those simple everyday interactions have restored a sense of normalcy to my world that had evaporated in March.

Vacation, dining out, going into a class, and getting my hair done. Common activities in The Before Days. Now they are the highlight of my month! No — make that the highlight of the last FIVE months!

Peopling — who knew? Who knew that it was our common everyday interactions with others that gave our Life true meaning?

Who knew? Who knew that interacting in-person with others would ground your life in magical ways?

Who knew? Who knew that we really — REALLY need other Humans to feel ALIVE?

It’s not your career or your neighborhood or what kind of car your drive. If you want a taste of Reality — Humans bring it to each other. This beautiful, wonderful invisible gift we give to everyone we interact with.

Tonight when I share a porch date with a friend — there will be tales to be told. Experiences to share. Thoughts to ponder.

This makes it even more clear to me that we must do everything we can to save the Humans in our world. Not just our immediate family but everyone. The CPR instructors. The stylists. Friends.

Everyone. Because although some may be late to the party — we are in this together. And how it all ends is totally up to us.

Do we value the Humans in our lives? Do we interact with each other with care and compassion? Do we put fear aside and bravely, carefully reclaim our lives? Do we go back out into the world — slowly, cautiously — and learn to Live again with COVID?

Because it can’t go without notice — COVID will outlive all of us. It is here. It is not going to be eradicated like smallpox. We need to stop infighting and concentrate on building a safe world for ourselves and ALL the Humans who follow us.

Namaste.

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