I haven’t really written my feelings about the global pandemic of COVID-19, so I felt this monthly essay was a good opportunity to do so.
As someone who has survived the near-death experience of an accident, coma, and severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), I can’t help but frame everything by that past experience. So that’s the perspective I’m writing from and that’s the viewpoint of this essay.
I had a rather apt thought when I was in a lot of pain with a TBI headache (months ago) that I scrawled out in a notebook and found recently. You can practically see the pain etched in my scribble (so I ended up copying down what I had written so I wouldn’t have to look at a reminder of the pain). I wrote: The thing about pain is that it takes over and erases any other descriptive words for how you’re doing or feeling so that you then aren’t a person of action or feeling, instead you are your pain. Before I suffered a severe TBI, coma and other injuries (including significant hearing loss and distortions) I suffered from daily chronic migraines, Fibromyalgia and Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD). Those conditions caused me to be in significant pain on a daily basis. In other words, I have plenty of pages of paper with scribbled writings about pain. I realize now that sometimes basic thoughts seem PROFOUND when you’re in debilitating pain! However, I do feel like I was getting somewhere with the above-quoted statement on pain. I think with the WHOLE WORLD being affected by this virus, you can easily sub out the word “pain” with any number of words associated with our current situation: panic, fear, worry, dread, etc. See the graphic I made below. It’s appropriate that I’m posting this on Earth Day (April 22, 2020) and the graphic I made has an earth with a bandage on it.
A thought that I keep having is that this pandemic is truly unique in how greatly it is affecting all areas of the world. Usually, when something bad happens it happens on a much smaller scale. For example, when I was in my accident, fighting for my life in a coma, only a small number of people were affected. The sun kept rising and setting, birds kept singing and a vast majority of humanity went about their normal existence even though those affected by the accident I was in felt like it wasn’t possible for things to go on as usual. Anyone who has suffered tragedy or trauma knows what I’m talking about. When something drastic happens in your life it’s hard to imagine that everything is running the way it always has. My family can probably speak to this feeling more than I can. However, I know how it felt entering back into a world that I was largely absent from (for 3 weeks in the coma and several months healing in the hospital). I felt like I was moving slowly basically in suspended animation and the world was moving as quickly as my favorite speedy superhero: The Flash! However, now with COVID-19 all of humanity is touched in some way by this virus. And people are retreating to their homes to hide from the virus and help stop the spread. NOTHING is the same. EVERYONE is affected. And yet… the sun rises and sets every day and the birds keep singing. When this virus gets under control it will be strange if things just go back to normal… But I won’t be surprised.
A Hopeful Quote for Now and Always
I found this image on Pixabay and using the Over app created this design using a quote I found from Desmond Tutu (a world renowned South African Anglican cleric, humanitarian and theologian). The quote seemed apt for our current world situation so I wanted to share it this week.
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project Summary
I purchased some liquid-chalk markers that write on glass, mirrors, white boards, etc. I decided to write an encouraging message and picture to the delivery people who deliver packages to our door. I wrote a message and drew a picture (of my dog, Selby, of course) on the lower portion of the glass on our front door! I’m also writing encouraging messages to our neighbors/neighborhood on our front window. I just wanted to do something creative, encouraging and fun. I think my parents appreciate my displays of outward joy/silliness. And honestly when you’re primarily stuck with two other people and a dog, and you’re still displaying signs of outward joy (even after several weeks practically sequestered) that’s definitely something joyous. Especially when you’re an Adult Child living in that sequestered/quarantine existence with her parents!! 😯
A @selbysweetie Conclusion
I will always take comfort in my dog, @selbysweetie. And since I know not everyone has such a sweetie little companion, I feel like it’s my duty to HUMANITY to share glimpses of my sweet pup! For more glimpses of her you can go to her Instagram that I have for her: @selbysweetie
2 thoughts on “Reflections on COVID-19 from someone who overcame personal tragedy”
Laura, you’re so right that the experience of an individual who is injured is so much different than this global pandemic. I wonder if COVID-19 infected people feel less alone than you did? Also, love your window paints!! Stay well.
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I’ve been terrified of this pandemic for more than a decade before it arrived. Watching it bloom slowly around the globe scared the crap out of me. But now, after three months of this, I think I’m used to it. We’re a solitary family, as happy by ourselves as with friends. And I think that’s good, because I don’t see things returning to normal until there’s a vaccine. We’re in the middle of round one and as a country, not only have we done a shoddy job of getting started with it, but now we’re about to restart the whole cycle by opening everything back up. Possibly the protesters are right. Maybe we simply need to get used to death.
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