There’s a lot of anxiety when going through a pandemic – I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. Even those who don’t usually experience anxiety can find themselves more anxious during this time.
On the rare occasions I go out in public, I see more people ignoring previous recommendations than those following them. I see other states and watch crowds gather and remain careless to the virus, though thousands have died. Earlier this week, the news showed a video of Mother’s Day crowds at restaurants. It looked like it was taken from another year completely – no masks in sight, no social distancing, not even a trace of anxiety in the video.
I hope this is over as soon as possible. Summer is my favorite season, but it’s not as enjoyable without spending time with friends at a camp, swimming, driving around blasting to music or sitting by a fire. I knew my summers were going to be different starting this year, as I moved out of my hometown and aged out of 4-H camps, but this pandemic and its restrictions certainly were not expected as a part of this change.
I am returning to Buckhannon next week to start covering meetings and events as West Virginia works to reopen and return to normal. After almost two months, teleworking kept my family and I safe (and has allowed me to save money). As life resumes, it will be more difficult to be aware of my interactions and surroundings, especially to those who do not feel the need to follow the same guidelines. I don’t think it will be as bad as the protestors shown on television, or even those in the restaurant video I mentioned. I believe the community does understand the seriousness of the situation and the CDC guidelines, but like I mentioned in my column last week, the more we open back up, the more likely it is to see a vast increase in positive cases.
My 68-year-old aunt is currently in a nursing home for rehab. We know that nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable places during this pandemic. She has been there since April 8. Thanks to Governor Justice’s order to test every home in the state, she was tested. Thankfully, she tested negative, as well as the other residents and staff in the facility. However, there are the lingering fears that she will become infected while she’s there, or if she comes home to an empty house with no one to take care of her, will it be too soon? In-home care isn’t available right now and it isn’t safe for the family to run in and out all the time, exposing her to numerous households.
I recently found out that a friend of mine through 4-H tested positive. We do not live near each other but finding this out was a shock to me. Until then, I hadn’t known anyone who was confirmed positive and the news just made it that more personal. I haven’t received an update since she was diagnosed, but I hope she gets better soon.
My friend is having her wedding this weekend and I am nervous to attend. I will be there because I am one of her bridesmaids. We have been friends since elementary school, so I could not imagine ditching her on her important day. Even though RSVPs have decreased to almost half, it is still a big crowd, more than I am comfortable to be around. We will just have to wait and see who shows up.
Along with that, friends are starting to gather in small groups, and I am hesitant to attend. Even though the battle looks like a victory, the war is not over. In his daily press briefings, Justice continues to give good numbers, better than the other states in the country, but we have to remain cautious.