I am scared. I am worried. I am anxious. I am fearful. When will this all end?
I arrived home to Villanova, Pennsylvania three weeks ago to immediately face self-isolation for over two weeks. I had been showing symptoms prior to coming home, and so I knew what was coming. But what I didn’t know was the extent to which it would be like. I was so exhausted from not only the virus but also the constant anxiety that the news and the “unknown” of the illness arose within me. I woke up each morning, fearful of a new symptom. The ability to check my temperature, in a way, made things worse for me. It sparked a new wave of panic that I didn’t know how to control myself: 100.1, 102.1, 98.7, 99.8, 101.5. After thirteen days of having a fever, it started to overwhelm me. What symptom would be next? Could my body fight this? Is my anxiety making me feel worse? But worst of all, was my fear of infecting my mother. I had been in contact with a roommate and a friend who had both tested positive, and therefore, I was pretty confident that I was fighting the virus. However, I was unable to gain access to a test. If I couldn’t, who could?
My mother is a survivor of a quadruple bypass open-heart surgery. It is just the two of us that live together now, and the idea of her being immunocompromised to the virus terrifies me. It is a miracle that she is alive today, but the inability to save her from this disease is an awful feeling. We have found out that the hospital that her doctors reside in is now unable to take new patients because of too many COVID19 patients. The idea that if she were to show symptoms, she might not be able to receive the help she needs is incomprehensible. If it is just the two of us, how do I protect her?
My mom and I need each other. We have shown each other over these three weeks what it means to exhibit accompaniment. When I was in self-isolation, she would sit outside my door for hours just talking to me, she would bring me my coffee in the morning, and my meals throughout the day. She was all I had. Now that I am better, we spend our days taking walks and trying to lift each other’s spirits. I have tried to take over any stressors that she has, including grocery and pharmacy errands. Even in these dark times, we have tried to find the light of each day and work to be grateful for what we do have. There is uncertainty with this entire situation, which poses challenges, but we have been trying to tackle our obstacles one day at a time to contain our “big picture” fear and worry.