My phone beeps every time there is a breaking news story. Whereas once that noise signaled another Brexit saga to roll my eyes at… now that ding makes my stomach drop. Every. Single. Time. Butterflies swarm my tummy, I subconsciously hold my breath, and I brace myself to read the latest. ‘Cause these days the majority of breaking news stories seem to be about the new Coronavirus. And as a ‘high risk’ person, announcements about the spread of the disease are scary. Very scary.A month ago, the whole virus was only on the periphery of my radar. I’d read the daily news about Wuhan, but China seemed a long way away. Far from my world. When some family members cancelled their long-awaited and longed-for cruise holiday, I was shocked. When some fellow Pulmonary Hypertension patients asked if anyone was worried, I was surprised. It all seemed a slight over-reaction when the virus was on the other side of the planet. But then within the space of a week, I did a complete mental U-turn. From indifference to worry. Worldwide numbers grew, my family’s cancelled cruise ship evacuated some passengers for testing, China released statistics showing people with pre-existing conditions were more at risk, and the UK announced its first… and second… and third… and fourth Covid-19 cases. But the real catalyst was when a nearby GPs surgery shut for deep cleaning after a suspected Corona patient. It caused a stir in me, opened my eyes, tapped my nerves.
That’s when I started reading and researching and thinking. That’s when I realised that my odds aren’t great. That’s when it hit home that this is a respiratory virus, and I already have a respiratory illness. That’s when I had to face that I’m one of those at-risk, in-danger, might-die people. Panic, panic, panic. My lungs are currently working at a mere 35%; I need oxygen when I’m well. My immune system is slightly compromised; normal illnesses whack me out. The likelihood of surviving this disease seems pretty poor. And it’s terrifying. Sometimes I feel like I’m awaiting an approaching monster but without any weapons. Sometimes I feel like it is growing bigger and bigger whilst I watch. Sometimes I feel helpless and vulnerable and small, and reliant on society to keep the monster at bay. Sometimes it’s frightening. Very frightening. 😦 I am trying to combat the worry and stay positive. To analyse the statistics and not focus on the headlines. I’m reminding myself that we have just 116 cases in a population of 67 million. And reassuring myself that my age and largely housebound existence and tiny village location, all play in my favour. I’m trying to be brave. But every time a politician or doctor or newspaper article states yet again that ‘only those with pre-existing conditions will die’, it sends my mind into a whirl. That’s me, that’s me, that’s me! And my nerves into a frazzle. That’s me, that’s me, that’s me! It’s very scary.So this past fortnight has felt like I’m on a mental roller-coaster. I’ve been up and down and up and down and up and down. Some days I’ve barely thought about the virus all all. I’ve planted my vegetable seeds, planned my dinner, binge watched ‘Love is Blind’. Some days when my phone pings with the latest Corona newsflash, I’m able to put it into perspective, take the update in my stride, move on. But then other times in this past couple of weeks, it has all just petrified me. Almost to the point of sheer explosion. I’ve thought and speculated and worried about it all day. I’ve catastrophized my future, assumed my death. I’ve felt nauseous and weak and exhausted. And the latest BBC bulletin has seen me burst into tears or go back to bed. I’m not normally a worrier. I’m a “we’ll think about it when we cross that bridge” kinda girl. I’ve faced worst news before, I’ve had worst odds before, I’ve been closer to death before. So I’m actually surprised by how much it has been affecting me. So I’m prepping for the worst, and hoping for the best! 🙂 I’ve got a month’s worth of food in my garage in case we need to stay away from shops. And my ‘Corona Virus box’ ( 😛 ) is brimming with antibacterial gels, wipes, gloves… and some hardcore masks, courtesy of my prepper brother! We’ve upped the hand washing, decked the car out with sanitizer and tissues… and yesterday I even made a tradesman use my antibacterial gel, before I’d let him in! 😛 And although we’re still carrying on as normal for now, we have cancelled our upcoming tickets to an NEC exhibition and a popular track cycling event, as both would involve huge crowds inside. Knowing I’ve done my best and prepared and taken it seriously, helps me feel more at peace. Furthermore, to keep my sanity; I’ve been reducing my time online, have timers set for my news apps, and am chatting and dissecting it all with laid-back Phil. Thank goodness I have a calm and chilled side-kick! I’ve also started meditating again. And am deliberately looking forward with positivity and hope. Fixating on the good and exciting to come, focusing on the fun times ahead… like going to my friend’s hen party this weekend. 😀 The sun is always shining, even though clouds may obscure it’s view.
I know many people will think I’m over-reacting, panicking over nothing, worrying about something that hasn’t happened. I know for some, Covid-19 is still in the periphery of their world. But I don’t have the luxury to ignore it, cause I don’t have the health to survive it. I am just hoping and praying that society protects me and all the other vulnerable and old and ill people, by taking it seriously too. Herd protection. If everyone heeds the governments advice, then maybe all us ‘at risk’ people will stand a chance too. Maybe the monster won’t grow too big. 🙂