I see a lot of posts online about what people are doing during the coronavirus pandemic. I wasn’t sure what to write about today, so I decided to share my own story with you.
In the beginning, I was one of those people obsessed with the world. I was almost constantly online, following the outbreaks, reading the news, worrying about going to the grocery store, and staying home as much as possible. I stopped working to protect my family due to a high-risk illness in my household. I was terrified of everything outside of my own yard. I was terrified of every person I saw. I had the flu in February and thought I wasn’t going to survive it. I knew I didn’t want another round of illness like that.
And then, in May, I got the phone call nobody wants to get. My dad was sick. Not COVID-19.
In May, my whole family took a trip from Wisconsin to Missouri to spend time with my dad before he got too sick. He hadn’t really seen many doctors yet. It was early in the process. We had plenty of time. We had a great weekend visit and went home.
During the next couple of months we waited for results from doctors. I went back to work. The kids continued to not go anywhere. We minimized our trips outside of the house, but not obsessively. I’m an introvert anyway, so avoiding public outings is right up my alley. The real losers in this situation were the children. No playdates, no parks, no eating out, no movie theaters, no school, no friends.
In August I was informed that the cancer was further along than they had thought. The doctors wanted to start an intensive schedule of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
I moved in with my father shortly after that so that I could be here with him and take care of him. I am staying with him still, trying to make things easier on my dad and stepmother. I drive him to treatments a few days a week and I clean the house. I cook and help out as much as I can.
So now my life is spent mostly in Missouri, living with and caring for my dad. Sometimes I go home to Wisconsin for a few days here, a week or two there. I left behind my husband and all but one of my children. This is my life for the foreseeable future. Living between two states and two homes. Traveling during this pandemic, being as careful as possible not to be exposed. Praying this virus doesn’t take someone away from me too soon.
I don’t read the news updates anymore. It’s too bleak. I don’t watch the news, because it’s too political and I can’t take the uncertainty or the negativity.
COVID-19 only scares me now because I believe if my father caught it, it would kill him. And I don’t want my dad to die.