Voluntary confinement in a 28 feet by 28 feet apartment can feel like a prison, but I’m afraid to leave my home. The closure of the Weber State University campus and my work has been beneficial in that I have plenty of time to complete course assignments from home.
My sanity, however, is a little worse for wear. My mental health provider tells me to go about my day as usual: get up at a decent hour, make my bed, take a shower — just don’t go anywhere.
Sure, this sounds easy enough, but how long can one person go without any physical human contact before you go crazy?
My friend and neighbor Elizabeth Deweese, like myself, chose to stay home amid the pandemic due to underlying health conditions. Deweese suffers from Type 1 diabetes and requires an insulin pump.
“I’m really scared,” Deweese said.
Contracting COVID-19 is just one of the many fears plaguing my mind in these uncertain times.
While my commencement ceremony is not nearly as important as people’s health, it’s difficult to accept that I will not have the opportunity to walk across a stage and receive my degree in the presence of all who have supported me.
Life being what it is, and full of surprises, it has taken me 10 years to complete my bachelor’s degree. Now that graduation is 29 days away, it all seems insignificant knowing my diploma will come to me in the mail.
There will be no grand recognition and no celebration with family, friends and fellow Wildcats. This is reality, a reality that becomes more surreal with each passing day.
While statewide lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are considered necessary measures by public health officials, the resulting ghost-town effect makes me feel as though I’m living in a movie. A movie where there is not only an absence of people going about their lives but also an absence of basic necessities.
Because I was minutes behind in the trend of hoarding in response to the pandemic, I found myself without day-to-day essentials. I vow to never take toilet paper for granted again. I can only assume people’s thought processes for stockpiling are that somehow there will be an end to all consumer goods.
Well, at least, that’s what it felt like to me when store after store bore empty shelves. In my search for spaghetti sauce, I found none; nor did I find tomatoes to make some with. Not that it mattered much, considering there was no pasta, nor any flour or eggs to make it from scratch.
Deweese left a bag of goodies in front of my door — inside was spaghetti sauce, pasta and much more. Feelings of gratitude cannot begin to describe how wonderful it is to have someone help me in my time of need.
Of the many takeaways to cherish from the COVID-19 pandemic, I will remember the generosity and kind acts of others, and the selfless, courageous men and women in the medical field who choose to work for those in need of care, despite the risk involved.