I have not written much lately because as with most people my life has been turned upside down lately. In case some of you are unaware; I work in healthcare. Life has been rough since mid-February for us. At first it was just annoying having people constantly asking about covid. Then the paranoia and crazies kicked in and I have been borderline loosing my $hit since that point.
At work you need to maintain a level of professionalism even if your patients are totally acting and crazy. Let me give a few examples… the damn hand sanitizer is outside every exam room. We walk in we use it, we walk out we use it again. It’s the foam kind and you literally need about a large pea size to do your hands. When the craziness started everyone was all about the hand sanitizer. And taking full hand snowball size amounts of it and sanitizing every inch of exposed skin on their bodies to be safe. While they are sponge bathing their entire bodies in sanitizer we come in, clean everything with alcohol and wait for them to get settled (stop bathing in hand sanitizer). They finally sit down and immediately ask if we cleaned everything. Um, yes. (Week 1) You were right there when we cleaned it but missed it because you were messing around with the hand sanitizer, but I’ll do it again if that makes you feel more comfortable. (Week 2) yes, it’s clean. We clean it before and after every patient regardless if everyone is freaking out over a virus or not. (Week 3) yes it’s clean. If you thing you can do a better job feel free to do it yourself. I’ll be back in a little bit when you feel it is clean to your satisfaction. Do not touch anything on this machine! (Week 4) they canceled all our patients and we only see emergencies for the next month until whenever the dust settles.
It isn’t people just sanitizing their entire bodies. They are sanitizing their purses, paperback books (even the pages) they are stealing (well were stealing) the masks from the lobby and gloves from the exam rooms to the point we had to start locking them up like the needles. People have totally lost their minds.
Then the crazies made it to the stores and started hoarding everything leaving stores totally empty. Then normal people started to panic when they could no longer get what they needed because some people think they need 5,000 rolls of toilet paper to make it through 2 weeks of quarantine.
Then they closed the schools. A few days later they closed everything else. A month later we have long lines. People are still struggling to get what they need for their families. Layoffs have began with no end in sight businesses are closing down.
I know you are thinking I’m still working so why should any of this bother me? Well, store hours are shorter and they stopped grocery delivery because the shelves are so empty. So now I have to actually go shopping instead of just having my groceries delivered. With the shorter hours I can’t go before work. With the lines I can’t go at lunch and when I get off work the shelves are empty. At 6 weeks in things were starting to look bleak.
Then tragedy struck again and those of us essential workers in healthcare started to be attacked, spit on and yelled at with half the public believing that we all had the virus and were spreading it thanks to a wonderful statistic that said 90% of healthcare workers will be infected vs 50% of the general population by the time this is over. Thankfully I just had some guy yell at me in the store. One of my co workers was spit on at a lunch run to the store. A few days later stores started letting healthcare workers in an hour before the store opens to shop while they stock the shelves. I almost cried. For the first time in 2 months I got everything on my shopping list in one stop. Eggs, bread, butter, bagels, milk, produce… it was amazing! Pickings were getting slim at home. We can survive for 4-8 weeks without going to the store but after the first 4 things start getting weird. I was really starting to worry about how I was going to feed my kids.
While I am thankful to still have a job, things have been difficult as they have been for everyone. I’m tired of quarantine as are my kids. We miss going to the parks, zoos and museums. I miss sunrise hikes taking photos of the mist over the water and fields. I miss lunches with friends, BBQs and parties filled with laughter.
I think now we are over the fear of the “what if’s” and are now settling into a depressing place. I have seen more domestic abuse in the last few months than I have seen in the last 24 years combined. Most of my friends are talking about depression and are drinking more but not in a fun way like they did while in college but in a just trying to make it through to the next day way. I fear that the mental and financial fallout from quarantine will be far worse and have far more victims than the virus itself.