I wanted to let you know that I have been behind the scenes lately because of COVID-19. 2021 was off to a relatively good start there for a second, then, last week happened. Our province, Newfoundland and Labrador, has been ordered into an immediate Alert Level 5. We are forced into another state of lockdown just like last year when this horrible pandemic first started. Apparently, there was a cluster discovered that this time around involved mostly teenagers and a teenage party or two. I do not know the facts and I will not comment on it, but what I do know is the numbers blew up. They blew up because of that incident and I believe another clustery incident involving adults. After doing so well, we were losing our solid grip on battling this virus quick. And, the kick in the teeth. During the testing and contact tracing procedures, there was variant discovered. The B117 variant first found in the UK. That lead us to a special breaking news segment last Friday night and the leap straight to level 5. Again, I do not know any of those facts either on how that variant got here, only it the fact that it got here. We were advised that the variant is a super-spreader and 70% more contagious. So, we have our backs against the ropes which means the return of a bunch of heavier restrictions, single home bubbles, isolations, and extra caution about everything. The entire province is now faced with another go around with flattening a whole new curve. Our very own second wave with an added threat. Yay! 2021.
It is safe to say I have been worried about it. Quite a bit since the news broke. When you hear reports of high numbers for a place like where I am from, it can really crank the anxiety to eleven. COVID-19 gets you both physically and mentally. It is unavoidable, it consumes everything of every day in this new normal we are supposed to navigate. I mean, we jumped like, three full alert levels. That’s zero to sixty super damn quick if you ask me. Because of that, last week was a blur. I remember after watching some of the daily updates or hearing about them from friends and family, I would start to experience what I have come to deem “COVID-19 phantom symptoms”. You know, like, is the headache I currently have because of? Or “Oh no, I have a sniffle…no wait, that’s my allergies acting up again.” Maybe checking my hands for spots if I hear of a contact that is three or four times removed. It is constant. There is a hint of drama in what I just said there, but I would be lying if I did not acknowledge that there were and are still days where I go through all the above in some capacity. How about you? Do you have these moments where you on the spot retrace the steps of your daily routine when you hear a specific location now has a visitation notice issued by the chief medical officer? I had a moment like that the other day. I read a report online of if anyone had gone to a handful of different places of business in the city that they had to contact an 811 number, or I think they had to immediately get tested, isolate, and monitor potential symptoms. Speculation and paranoia was rampant. One of those places was Starbucks and I had to think for a second when it came to Starbucks because I go there a fair bit. I go there to write sometimes, and the advisory was in the exact same window of time as when I was there a couple weeks ago. I looked at the news bulletin after the initial “say what?”, and it turned out it was another location. Very lucky for me and a bullet dodged. Thing is, I of course do not want to get it, if I did, I could weather the storm and get through it. No, my thing is transferring it to others and God forbid those who are up in age or immunocompromised. That is what spikes my adrenaline. That is what scares me about COVID-19. Especially this new variant.
Now that I have some of the backstory of my absence out of the way let me just say how happy I am that I was able to detach long enough to publish this entry. I needed to. For a few reasons. One, was to let you know where I have been. Another, was to say that even though I have not posted anything for days, I have still been writing a fair bit. As a side note, so far, with 2021, I have managed to journal every day in my paperback journal. It is a few daily somethings about a few daily any things. Quick jots of my day, nothing dramatic, but it has kept me satisfied with comes to being creative. I am also happy to report that I have written a bit with regards to my categories on the blog. There is stuff coming soon with that as well.
Honestly, I feel like the initial shock of the most recent COVID-19 outbreak stalled me. Stopped me dead in my tracks while I got a handle on what was going on and what was going to happen in this new lockdown of ours. Fact is, I could not concentrate enough to publish any of what I have been working on. You know what I am like with releasing my work? I hold back on a good day. I was too up in my head. Pair that with most things shutting down again, I was starting to implode. I will not even mention the gym because I will possibly start to cry. No joke. Before I tangent on the things I can no longer do again, let me just say that I think the initial shock is wearing off. Even this weekend I have found I have begun to come out of my mental fog and starting to feel me again. At the beginning of last week, I was thinking all kinds of crazy stuff. Truth is, I was still buffering on the new year. Easing into 2021 being proud I was able to salvage 2020 with all things considered. Now I have to face this year headon right out of the gate? I do not think I have it in me. Not yet anyway.
The dust is settling around me, and the more days I get under my belt, the more I start to regain my focus. The world has changed with this damn virus amongst us, and I am 1000% done with it. The saving grace is that although we are at alert level 5 and in the middle of another lockdown, it is not completely like the first one. There are only essential places allowed to be open, but thankfully you can still conveniently get what you need at any of those specific places without people punching you in the face for things like toilet paper. As remembered almost this time last year in 2020.
Finally, the third reason I wanted to post this weekend is because of you and writing in general. Over the last few weeks while I have been dormant, I have still received a handful of new followers and welcomed friends to my blog. That was the punch in the arm I needed for this entry. It was comforting knowing people were still enjoying my blog while I was figuring stuff out. It certainly helped my writing anxiety big time and you do not understand how grateful I am for that. Along with receiving all that love, yesterday as well, I received notice that another one of my poems is set to be published. More love thrown my way on account of writing. With all that awesome news, I had to reach out and celebrate. A chance to celebrate writing and the togetherness it brings. Where would we be without writing anyway? Whether it is read or written…it’s for everybody. Am I Write? Thanks for the continued support, folks, and thanks for the newfound interest to my new followers.
OK, I am off. I got some more writing to do. Though, before I go, let me finish with saying this. I knew at the beginning that COVID-19 would be around for a long time. When shit got real, I knew this was going to be different. Then, the world slowly began to pivot. After the initial kick in the throat, we were able to come up with ways to not only live with it, but also fight and ultimately beat it in the form of a vaccine. It is just not happening right away. And I think that is what wears on me about this whole pandemic. The fact that I am yet confident in an endgame to this horrible virus. When can I, along with the rest of the work look back on this and finally be confident that we can carry on and live like we once did? A time I look back on now as a time I took for granted. COVID-19 did teach me that lesson at least. No matter what, I have a whole new perspective on a lot of things since the pandemic broke. When it is over, I will be happy to tell you all about it.