A Love/Hate Letter to Covid-19
You came into my life so unexpectedly. When I first heard about you, you were somewhere else fooling around with some other people far away from me. I disregarded you. I was confident that the idea of you was no concern for me. You could never come close to me, I thought. After all, I live safety, proudly, arrogantly in the great US of A.
Flash forward to today and we're closer than ever. I know so very much about you. I've studied you, read about you, googled you. Everywhere I turn folks are calling your name. You're so much a part of us now, you've even been nicknamed, "The Rona". How cute.
We are well acquainted, indeed. I know where you came from, how you got here, how you like to travel. I know that you are a bit loose and you like to spread yourself around easily from person to person. I know that you are stubborn and strong. You are stealth and quiet all the while you're viciously aggressive and deadly. Really, your mix of qualities are not all that appealing. I never dreamed we'd be this close.
I remember when I first realized you were really here with us. It was surreal. It was March 11, 2020 when one of our beloved, rich, famous basketball players was infected by you. And the very next day, the entire National Basketball Association announced that all games were canceled. What power you have!
You see here in the US of A it's almost unimaginable that sports should cease. Professional sports are our pulse, our bloodline, our everything! And the athletes who play those sports are like idols to us. When you infected one of them, it was if we were all infected. In that one moment, you made our whole nation stop and stand still and notice you.
There are very few events that have caused the great US of A to stop and pay attention. There was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the 911 terrorist attacks in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico in 2019, and now you in 2020.
Wait, let me rethink that. Let's strike Katrina and Puerto Rico from that list. Mmmmm... There wasn't really much pause for those. However Oklahoma and 911, yes indeed! Those events were the closest we've come to this kind of national attention. And now you. You are other worldly. YOU are absolutely polarizing!
You stopped the New York Stock Exchange! Now that's powerful! And you didn't stop there. You closed school buildings for the rest of the academic year. You closed malls, restaurants, salons, movie theaters, golf courses, municipal buildings, and even churches! I've never seen such influence in all my life.
You've made the entire economy come to a grinding halt. This alone is cause for much panic. We've never seen anything like you. Interrupting our economy was a really bold move on your part. After all, there are so many rich people who need to become richer! (Insert privilege tantrum here) We can't pause! But you, Covid-19, you alone have done this!
With this pause is where our very complicated love/hate relationship takes form.
I love you for creating the opportunity for the president to speak live on TV every single day for weeks. Everyone needed to see who we really have as a leader.
I hate you for all of the celebrations you canceled, weddings deferred, graduations and proms missed. You stole so many once in a lifetime memories from deserving people.
I love you for showing us who the truly the essential workers are. I don't care if I never see another touchdown, it's the likes of grocery workers, delivery persons, sanitation workers and bus drivers that we can't live without.
I hate you because face masks have become a permeant part of life right now. You’ve robbed us from seeing smiling faces.
I love you for giving so many people rest. People have literally worked themselves ragged. For so many this is the first time in their entire lives they've been able to stay home and sleep a little.
I hate you for stealing vital income and resources from people in order to provide that rest.
I love you for sending my kid home from school to spend more time with me.
I hate you for sending my kid home from school to spend more time with me, especially with the added pressure of home schooling.
I love you for illuminating just how important the arts are to humanity. People have turned to Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus to binge everything available. Actors, writers, directors and creators have literally been therapy. This confirms what I already believed, artists ARE heroes and healers!
I hate you for separating us from the ones we love.
I love you for teaching us how to properly wash our hands.
I hate you for the way you have exhausted our brave healthcare providers.
I love you for exposing that regardless of the "We are the greatest" messaging we are constantly fed in this country, that our healthcare system isn't that great after all. When you arrived we all could see just how terribly unprepared we were.
I hate you for every sick person that has had to suffer alone and die alone.
I hate you for every family that has lost someone and must live without the closure of a proper funeral and burial.
I hate you for exposing the pain of racial disparity. You have been yet another painful reminder that we are not all equal.
I hate you for making us afraid.
It is often said that love is stronger than hate. Not so with you and I. Above all else the overwhelming feeling I have for you, Covid-19, is hate. I hate you for being here. I hate you for hurting families. I especially hate you for killing so many people all over the world.
You are evil.
Every day I pray that you go away and never return. You are beyond toxic. Please leave.