Canada · COVID-19

A World Turned Upside Down

It’s been almost a month since I wrote about my negative COVID test and about the struggles of grief I was going through. A lot has happened since then, and I have started writing about it many times, only to stop and delete it all. Then I try again and after a few paragraphs I hit delete once more.

Is it writers block?

Is it overwhelm?

Or maybe, I’m just done trying to make sense of the chaos around me.

A few weeks back, I was sick with an unknown burning skin issue (which resolved itself without a diagnosis) but not before I went to get help because I began experiencing chest pains. So after isolating for over a week, I went to our local hospital (which at the time was completely overwhelmed with COVID patients) where I believe I caught COVID-19 on top of everything as a result.

Yes I wore a mask.

Yes I stayed 6 ft apart from others in the room.

But, nevertheless, I caught COVID-19.

I began showing symptoms of the dreaded coronavirus just two days after my negative test results came in, so I went in for a second test (although I already knew it’d be positive.) And it was.

My whole family got sick. All of us showed various symptoms, from fatigue, to fevers and body aches, to rashes, to sore eyes, to headaches, vomiting and coughs. It was bizarre in that sense. Most flus that go through our family, carry the same symptoms. With COVID-19, we reacted quite differently. We are now all recovered and done our isolation period.

But that’s not why I’m struggling to write.

My post titled “When COVID-19 Becomes Real” got a lot of views. A lot – meaning almost 5,000 views. My usual posts get about 45-75 views. The rare post gets 100-500. I even had our local news station do an interview with me.

Everyone seemed to want to hear my ER experience as “proof” of the seriousness of COVID and the need for restrictions.

However, my reason for writing that post wasn’t to “convince” anyone of anything. It was a personal account of my experience in an overwhelmed hospital and my sudden snap back to reality that COVID-19 wasn’t just a faraway problem in some other place as it has felt like for so long.

It is here and it is real.

I saw overwhelmed staff. I saw patients getting transferred. I saw a full waiting room of many people who had been waiting for hours without anyone to help them.

So what do I think about all this?

COVID-19 is complicated.

Yet we all talk as if we know the answers. I hear strong opinions from just about everyone and I’m tired of the division. Seriously, can we not just work together to beat this thing??

Are extreme restrictions harmful? Absolutely.

Are some restrictions necessary to keep our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed? Yes, I believe they are.

But here we have the great divide.

Some say: “Let the virus rip through… People will die, just rip off the bandaid and get it over with.”

Others: “Lockdown everything for as long as it takes.”

Is there really no middle ground here?

Listen, NO ONE wants people to die from COVID-19. And NO ONE is happy about losing our freedoms.

Restrictions in Manitoba, Canada have gotten really bad. Life is not great; it’s actually very hard. The rules are stifling. They take much of the joy out of our days. I absolutely hate them.

– No gatherings are allowed, not even one person allowed to visit us. This includes even outdoor meetings at a person’s residence. Christmas is no exception.

– Churches are closed.

– Our school division is back to distance learning. Which means 6+ hours of screens for my kids A DAY.

– Parks, restaurants, libraries, and non essential businesses are closed.

– Masks are mandatory inside every building.

– Even buying non essential items in store is forbidden.

These rules were discussed and made by people who regularly interact with others, because they have “essential” jobs (side note…Can you imagine being told that your livelihood is unnecessary to the world??) and do not really understand the immense pain that these restrictions are causing so many. For those who aren’t working, whether they’ve lost their jobs because they are deemed “unessential” or whether they are seniors, or stay-at-home moms, such as myself, this isolation is unbearable.

We were made to be with people.

What the working leaders and doctors don’t understand is “unnecessary socializing” – seen by them as “selfish” and “short-sighted” is actually EXTREMELY NECESSARY for those who don’t work outside of the home.

In fact, solitary confinement exceeding 15 days is considered by the United Nations to be a form of torture.

Numerous studies have been done on this very subject. According to Wikipedia: “Research indicates that the psychological effects of solitary confinement may encompass “anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis.” A main issue with isolating prisoners who are known to have mental illnesses is that it prevents the inmates from ever possibly recovering. Instead, many “mentally ill prisoners decompensate in isolation, requiring crisis care or psychiatric hospitalization.”

For many, work is a social interaction.

My husband was at home for two weeks while we had Covid. During those long days, he said time had stopped for him. He grew more withdrawn. I could see he was withering. After two weeks of this he seemed almost like a different person.

Last week he was clear to go back to work and he was grinning ear to ear. He could leave and interact with co-workers again. He said that little interactions with others kept him going. Life seemed to move at a faster pace again.

What’s my point? He was only home for two weeks.

I’ve been home for five.

How do you think I feel?

Yet, you may say, “How can you feel this way? Didn’t your last post say that you are now taking this seriously? Didn’t you say that you now understand the restrictions? Didn’t you say there was a good reason for them?”

Yes, I did.

But understanding the heart behind these rules and regulations, doesn’t make me like them or even agree with them all. It doesn’t magically make all the answers and solutions clear. It doesn’t make me feel any less lonely or frustrated.

It doesn’t stop the feelings that this isn’t a world I want to live in anymore.

I don’t want to write this post, because admitting the truth scares me: I just don’t know what’s right anymore.

Why are so many people pretending that they know the way?

We got mildly sick with Covid-19. Most people I know who’ve gotten it have been mildly sick.

Is it worth all this pain to shut everything down?

BUT… I also know a few who have died that were previously healthy and could’ve lived many more years… and it breaks my heart. They could still be alive.

I’ve heard of the stress of nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers – some who I know personally – who are working tirelessly to take care of the sick. Their frustration and tears are real.

So, if I don’t have the answers, why am I writing?

What am I trying to say?

Right now, really extreme decisions are being made with ONLY one thing being considered: How to keep COVID-19 numbers down.

How did we get to this point? Are there not so many things to consider other than just the numbers in a pandemic?

– What about the alarming rate of declining mental health in our most vulnerable people?

-How about the millions of deaths caused not by COVID-19, but directly as a result of restrictionsThe World Food Programme has warned that an extra 265 million people could be at risk of starvation because of the restrictions.

That’s 263.5 MILLON MORE people STARVING right now than those who’ve died of COVID.

Why are we not talking about those staggering numbers? And since when have we cared about these types of numbers? Since they’ve been shoved in our faces headline after headline? If we really cared about the lives of the vulnerable, why didn’t we stop the world before to help the EIGHT AND A HALF MILLION people who’ve starved to death this year alone?

Is it because this new problem hits a little too close to home??

– What about suicide deaths or drug overdoses?

– What about many, many small businesses that will not recover?

– How about the billions of dollars that the Canadian government has spent on the pandemic… but won’t disclose where it has gone?

– Or what about the complete disregard for children that live in abusive home environments where they are forced to now quarantine – possibility alone and abused without being seen or heard?

– Or what about completely irresponsible distance learning program which sets up students as young as grade 7 to be online and unsupervised at home, while the amount of children involved in online trafficking has nearly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. Not to mention the devastating porn addictions in young children who are being left alone for hours on these devices.

These are valid questions, but they are all being drowned out in the world’s chant of insanity: “COVID-19! COVID-19! COVID-19”

Tell me why.

Why don’t these other things matter?

Why are these hundreds of millions or even billions of other voices silenced?

Please, tell me. Why is COVID now the only thing that matters now?? Does anyone know?

All this pain is not adding up.

I’ll wait for my answers. You’ll know where to find me.

Locked up in my fancy, lonely, prison… called home.

14 thoughts on “A World Turned Upside Down

  1. I hear you… these last weeks have been extremely hard on me to… but I’m glad I haven’t been sick on top of everything else… Loneliness is getting to me to…
    I really don’t know how to encourage you… feels like a crazy world has evolved since last March.. hugs and prayers go out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marg. I know, most of us are feeling it. Acknowledging that “all is not well” helps, but it definitely isn’t a place I want to stay in. I’m going to try my best to stay off the news this week. Hope you find ways to cope during this time as well!

      Like

  2. Excellent post. Captures my thoughts as well. Pat answers won’t comfort. But I truly have found comfort since March in reminding myself “light and momentary.” That’s my mantra when I feel I’m being sucked deep into fear and that this is life forever and that I won’t make it. By faith, we know this trial is “light and momentary” in comparison to the amazing glory yet to come for a Christian. And, so I direct my thoughts to that one truth…”light and momentary.” I say it again and again. I cling to that reality. And that helps me through that hard moment. I don’t know if it will help you. But that has calmed me in the super hard moments. Might sound trite. I hope not though. This year has been insanely hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t feel that this is “trite” at all. I’ve been thinking more about heaven these days, where one day we will all be together again, physical distancing from others will be a thing of the past, where we will never again feel alone and this will all feel like a distant memory.

      And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we were all too comfortable here on Earth before all this stuff happened. Earth was never meant to be comfortable. So thank you for sharing these thoughts and how you are getting by these days 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely have found myself immersed in hobbies that I love, opening up more with my husband, and reading a LOT. Ha, ha! There have been so many amazing, silver linings to this year. But loneliness was also a real part of it. We humans weren’t meant to go it alone, for sure!

        Like

  3. “These are valid questions, but they are all being drowned out in the world’s chant of insanity: “COVID-19! COVID-19! COVID-19”
    Tell me why.
    Why don’t these other things matter?
    Why are these hundreds of millions or even billions of other voices silenced?
    Please, tell me. Why is COVID now the only thing that matters now?? Does anyone know?”

    Your words express my exact frustration. Nothing makes sense, and anyone who questions or thinks for themselves is labeled as dangerous or ignorant. So frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. Questions aren’t something to fear. Questions don’t mean denial of circumstances, or ignorance at all, yet it seems like people are forgetting that! Blind acceptance of everything on the other hand…
      Praying daily for wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes…this second lockdown has me feeling like I’m losing my mind. I am in favor of being careful but I feel like now the rules have gone too far. Like you say, so many other important issues are being ignored. And the labelling of essential/non-essential really bothers me too. Certain workers receive wage top ups, special treatment, and in person schooling for their kids. While others lose their jobs, live on less income, waste away in isolation at home and have no help with their children. I understand and appreciate the sacrifice that health care workers make but this is starting to feel like a two-tiered system. It kind of scares me – like, how far could this go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a VERY slippery slope. And the shortsightedness of all of this is really getting to me. Also, how easily we forget that we were told back in spring “just for a few months… you might miss easter, but you’ll have christmas” now “there will be other christmases!”

      Oh… really? Because approx 800-900 Manitobans die every month. Which means for over 10,000 Manitobans this is their last Christmas. And since this has been going on for almost a year already, who is actually in their right mind believing that it will be all over by next Christmas?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We love you dearly Heather and pray for you daily, wishing we could be alleviate some of the darkness. What are some ways we could help? Maybe it’s time for a walk or quad rides in Sandilands among the pines this weekend for your family🤗 ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

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