PANIC, PRIVILEGE AND PRIDE

Firstly, let me just say: I love alliteration. Secondly, I’ve been exposed. Five years ago…perhaps even a year ago, this would have meant that all of mankind discovered my ineptness and that I’ve really just been faking my way through life.

But alas! Not in 2020. No, in 2020, the year to end all years, I’ve been exposed means that I blindly and idiotically trusted where my friends’ grimey hands have been and removed my mask in the presence of my bestie. We hugged. And in one thoughtless moment, I undid the fabulousness of 4 months of quarantine.

She informed me last night of her positive results. And for the last 24 hours she’s been reading up on the ‘Rona like a mad person, inhaling anything relating to COVID symptoms and disease progression and reporting to me on it. I recognised her panic and thought it silly. She’s a super healthy person and so far her symptoms include: sleeping more.

Of course, I had zero worries about myself. My immune system is the Delta Force of defence lines. In 2010 I contracted swine flu and I rode that one out like I was surfing a dolphin.

Boom. What could ‘Rona possibly do to Leukocyte Raider over here?

But the more I thought about the strangeness of this virus and the unpredictability of its influence, the more concerned I became. I’m not much of a panicker, but I caught myself entertaining the question: what if this is the end? What if I’m on the darker side of corona statistics?

And then bombs exploded in Beirut. And a thought ignited in my mind, clear as crystal: how privileged am I that the first time I’ve seriously wondered ‘is this the end?’ is now…in 2020…in the autumn of my stay here on earth. I’ve never truly feared for my life. I’ve never heard the deafening and kick-you-in-the-chest sound of detonating explosives. I’ve never felt the life-threatening pangs of famine. I’ve never been so ill that the space between this life and the next thins out. And though I live in a rather dangerous country, I’ve never experienced the cunning whispers of bullets passing close to my skin.

But so many people in so many countries have, including my own. How lucky I have been. How protected. How blessed.

For a moment yesterday I started feeling resentful of the fact that for the next two weeks I have to depend on others for so many things. Groceries…a few work related duties…visiting the post office. But that too was before the bombs. Now I’m happy to drop-kick my pride to where it belongs. Because we do what we have to…we do what needs to get done to ensure that others don’t get sick. That no-one else has reason to think: is this the end?

For too many people this is a daily question.

On the last Mothersday my mom ever spent with me, I surpised her in bed with breakfast and a gift I knew she’d love. She opened it and let out the proper amount of ooohs and aahs and thank yous. While still admiring her gift, she suddenly said: I wonder if this is my last Mothersday...

Our last days come for us all, I guess, and in light of everything going on in the world my thoughts keep revisiting my mom’s suffering and the suffering of many across the globe. The darkness of it is almost unovercomeable.

But this is what I know for sure: When the last dust particles fall through the hour glass of my life, I don’t want to be sitting around sulking about it. I want to be a little nicer. I want to be a little funnier. A little braver. I don’t want to be so afraid all the time. I want to be silly…even at my age. I want to still believe in true love and not feel ashamed of it. I want to believe people are good. I want to believe that I still have it in me to amaze people and to make people proud.

I want to live so many lives that some of the lost ones get used up.

And I can’t think of a better way to start living bravely than submitting to my desire to have chococino even though I’ve already brushed my teeth. So cheers…here’s a rather minty toast to living…and ending…greatly…

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