Scared Straight

April 28, 2020

My roller coaster of emotions has now taken me to scared.  I’m scared.  Yesterday I was on a call discussing the re-opening of our business and I started to get very scared.  After all these weeks of confinement, the thought of being around other people is scary.  The thought of being within 6 feet of another human that isn’t in my family is scary.

I am an extrovert. I miss being around people, I miss hugging my loved ones, I miss interacting with my work family, etc. Yet the thought of going back to all of that scares me. At first I felt uncomfortable wearing a mask while shopping, am I ever going to feel comfortable NOT wearing a mask again?

Why am I scared? Am I scared of getting the coronavirus? Not really. At this point, I know several people around my age who have gotten the coronavirus. It definitely doesn’t sound fun. And the thought of being sick certainly isn’t ideal. Am I afraid of dying from it? I don’t think that’s what’s haunting me; although I’d definitely prefer to be around for my kids’ next birthdays.

There is something in my heart that is propelling me to run to the other side of the street when faced with another human being. There is something that is keeping our house on extreme lock down that is larger than any specific rational feeling.

In a 24 hour news cycle, one station is trying to get more viewers than the next. What’s going to help draw those ratings – hysteria, worry, unnecessarily dramatic titles, etc. Just yesterday there was an article about a medical professional committing suicide from the awful things she has been exposed to during this process. As much as I try and hide from this kind of gut wrenching, negative feeling inducing articles, they creep into my feed and are impossible to hide from. Is that why I’m scared?

There continues to be stories about friends of friends dying from this illness. There continues to be numbers of deaths that are unimaginable. Is that really what is scaring me? Is that why I don’t want to hug my mom? I understand the concept of the curve and I’m committed to doing my part to help flatten it. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, whether correct or not, I feel that if everyone did their part to avoid contact with people – we’d be able to go back to normal life faster. My commitment to that concept is what propels me through the tough days of wanting to share physical space with my loved ones.

But after all this time in this new bizarre universe, what is it going to look like when we try to submerge into normal life again? How are we going to retrain ourselves that interacting with other human beings is ok? Is the only way we’ll ever feel secure again after a vaccine is discovered? If there is no vaccine, will we ever find a sense of security? And I think this is where my fear lies.

After all this soul searching – I am scared that we will never feel safe again (did we ever in the first place?). I will never be able to protect my family. Right now controlling all the little controllables I can, keeping us bunkered down in my house and not allowing any external interactions makes me feel like I can keep my family safe. Probably the only time I will ever feel this way. So rather than feeling out of control due to covid, I’ve never been more in control in my house and my family. And I’m scared of losing that.

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