I am originally from Europe, but I currently live in the United States. All of my family is currently in Europe, including my daughter who is currently studying over there. I began to feel stressed when Europe was not yet peaking but there were still thousands of deaths everyday. I worried for my brother, who is currently also in Europe as well, and for myself, because I have pulmonary issues— all of these things were constantly dancing in my head. Another stressor for me is our family’s impending move as we live in on-campus housing and cannot live here forever. I am hoping and praying that the flight we have booked will actually take off. There’s a fear of lurking homelessness that is a major stressor.
As things evolved, I was in utter disbelief with how the U.S. was handling this pandemic and what people were thinking and saying. Some people would not be taking this seriously or think that it wouldn’t get here— meanwhile I was scared for my family and for my family’s well being and the fear that I wouldn’t see some of them again.
Then there was a travel ban to Europe. Fast forward to this week, when my daughter got really sick and was admitted to a hospital where the virus was ever so present. They did a test for the coronavirus on my daughter for several reasons, despite knowing that her conditions were different from those that were typical of the virus. Firstly, because she had a 40℃ fever for several days, they had to decide which wing of the hospital to use— the clean one or the coronavirus one. The second reason why they were worried was because all of her symptoms combined were similar to younger coronavirus patients, where their immune systems would go into hyperdrive. Those were the longest eight hours of my life, waiting for her test.
There’s been an evolution in my day-to-day routine too. In March, I was spending a lot of time reading articles and watching the news. I slowly realized that it was consuming me to the point that I couldn’t think of anything else but the virus. When we started working again, it actually helped because I had something else to focus on. I’m not someone who believes in being uninformed, so the idea of not watching the news did not sit well with me, but I definitely had to tame it back. Keeping busy and having to work is helping me, and focusing on selling and sorting some of my belongings for the move also helped. I would spend entire weekends cleaning through all of the items in our attic. Focusing on that basically kept me busy enough that I was thankfully able to keep my mind off of the pandemic.
Written by: Tony He