It Happened to me: covid-19 edition
I am aware that one of my more maddening traits tends to show up, say something interesting, and then promptly disappear. It's a thing I do. I also know I did it to you all this time. Sorry, I know that that is crazymaking. Most of this is a writer trait - I am a true introvert, which means that while I am far from shy, I'm not known to be interested in small talk or the social extrovert's day-to-day theater. I tend to do this on the Internet because the debate isn't debated; it's call and response. I like to discuss and explore, not decide who is better or who is right. Most of the time, it's clear as hell there is no "right" answer. (Although in discussions of who would win, Superman or Batman, I totally pick Clark Kent's most excellent butt.)
This time, however, my disappearance is directly due to catching the coronavirus.
So if you noticed I did an interesting post or two and disappeared, it's because not only was I down with COVID, so was my partner. I already talked a little bit on my Elements Live post about magick when you're sick (ideally, don't.) I ended up having to caretake while sick - not ideal - and make sure our kids got into an online school. It's a win that the kids missed a thing from us.
Here's what I can tell you about my experience: I can see EXACTLY how a normal healthy adult could end up in the hospital with this thing. The most dangerous part of having coronavirus? Having an American mentality about self-care. This is a disease that makes you so tired your autonomic nervous system tries to nope out. That means that you actually have to remind yourself to breathe. The only way to make it through is to listen to your body and rest - which most people do not want to do. We are conditioned to demonstrate how "tough" we are by pushing through one cold after another, ignoring our body signals, and letting ourselves break down in a state of pride over...well, nothing. Half the time, we do this because we have employers that place profit over their employees' lives, demanding we show up for service and office shifts to hit some deadline or another (and the deadline is for nothing life or death, most of the time.) In other cases, we get this idea that damn near killing ourselves makes us a badass.
As a certified badass...not taking care of yourself when you're sick isn't badass; it's dumbass. We really need to learn the difference. I can't really address corporate amorality or the fact that we don't have good support systems for when we're ill AND need to pay rent. I have no idea what would fix that problem (universal healthcare, sure, but there are some geographic and cultural complications people aren't calculating for.) What I can say is this: don't mess around with this virus. You are not tougher than it.
Diana Rajchel is co-owner of Golden Apple metaphysical and the author of Urban Magick: a Guide for the City Witch. She currently splits residence between San Francisco, California, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, as her dog allows.