I’ve been living in a state of fear for four months. The year started out wonderfully. I was healthy and strong. I ran a 2:56 marathon in January. I ran another relatively fast marathon in February. I ran a 50-mile trail race in northern Arizona in March. My marriage was as strong as ever. The children were happy and doing well in school an in their respective social lives. We were all healthy and happy.
Then COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11th. I’ve always been a pretty even-keeled and laid back kind of guy. I took the pandemic in my even-keeled way. I accepted it. To me it was somewhat of a challenge brought forth by the universe. I would adapt accordingly. The world would have to somehow adapt accordingly.
I put faith in our society and thought that this pandemic would be a significant road bump that we’d all get over eventually. I thought eventually would be over by now.
I put faith in our society to eradicate COVID-19. I’m always baffled by science, medicine and technology. I put faith in those experts to find a way to save us. Why haven’t they been able to save us yet?
I’m not as even-keeled as I was four months ago. I’m scared. I’m scared for the experts who are trying. I’m scared for other people and their unique situations. I can try to be empathetic, but I don’t know everyone’s situation. I see posts and comments on social media who are angry that schools reopening might be delayed. For us I think that’s a good thing. But we’re… okay. Other people and families aren’t. There are single parents who can’t work from home and/or can’t afford day care. And I could write and write and think and think of a million different situational permutations.
I’m scared that I could lose my job. I’m scared for my 14-year-old daughter who is supposed to start her freshman year in high school in 10 days. Is she going to miss out on important opportunities that will help her in the rest of her life? Like her high school transcript. Or being able to run cross country. Or exposure to teachers and new friends that will help forge her path into adulthood. I’m scared for my 8-year-old daughter who is in such a formative point in her education. Her mom and I aren’t educators and if our daughter doesn’t learn long division, does that mean she won’t have the same opportunities as others? I’m scared for our educators and the tough decisions that they’re having to make right now. I’m scared for people who have COVID-19, or have had it and we don’t know if there are any long-term effects. I’m scared for businesses that are struggling and those who’ve had to shutter. I’m scared for our economy. The world’s economy. I’m scared of my family or me getting sick.
I can be scared. I can sit with that and accept it. I think the key is acceptance. It’s not what I expected, but I have accept that I have no control. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players;”