Love in the time of Corona

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Erin Evans

A few weeks ago the world shifted. In reality it had already been shifting for months, as the first case of coronavirus was reported on November 17th, 2019, in China. It would be months before people, myself included, understood the seriousness of it though, worldwide. But on November 17th while that was happening on the otherside of the world, we were celebrating my son’s second birthday. For the next three and a half months life went on as usual. My husband opened another business, I started going to yoga again, my son, Hawkins, potty trained and said goodbye to diapers, we celebrated Christmas and New Year's, Hawkins started going to daycare two days a week, we began making plans for summer trips we would take, all the usual things. 

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Until one day everything seemed to come to a halt when COVID-19 made its way into our lives. By now, we're all aware of how serious this virus is. Most people I know aren't leaving their homes except for essential things like food and medicine. It felt like, almost overnight, the world turned upside down.

While it’s been disappointing to suddenly have everything in our world closed, canceled, or moved online, this kind of disappointment is, ultimately, a privilege. Although I have multiple times a day when I think I’m losing my mind, I feel lucky that my biggest problems right now are trying to find ways to entertain a 2-year-old, finding some time to sit quietly and collect my thoughts, and finding ways to reconfigure our budget. 

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There are people all over the world who would love to have these “problems,” who are facing the coronavirus in a way I hope I never have to.

The reality of this pandemic hits me in waves. I’ll be writing an email, or reading a book, or making my son lunch and the uncertainty of the next few weeks and months hits me, hard. I've always been very aware of every little change in my health, but that seems to have  been magnified in the last few weeks. Now every time I feel a slight tightness in my chest, or any of those familiar signs of a cold, I start to panic a little. It’s hard not to feel like a sitting duck at times, as the threat seems to get closer and closer everyday. 

The thing is, this is nothing new to people with Cystic Fibrosis. We’re experts at social distancing. We’ve practiced proper hand-washing techniques since we were kids. We travel with hand sanitizer and use it frequently. A lot of us have, and wear, masks when we’re in crowded areas. Worrying about how every public surface, door handle, and gas pump you touch may land you in the hospital, or end your life, is second nature. It’s almost like we’ve been practicing our whole lives for this exact thing. The problem is, the general public has not. Making the choice to stay at home is hard, but right now it’s what is saving lives. 

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The thing is, people are essentially being asked to do nothing, to just stay at home, and for a lot of people, there’s nothing more terrifying than breaking from the usual routine, and having nothing to do.

Right now, my son is too young to understand the scope of what we’re living in, but someday when he’s older he’ll read about it in history books. Maybe he'll even tell his kids about how he lived through it, unknowingly. For the most part, I think he loves being at home, staying in his pajamas all day, and having both myself, and my husband near by all the time. We’ve been doing things we typically don’t have time for, like spending more time outside, doing craft projects, baking, reading every book in the house, and having a lots of “snuggle-puddles” as my son calls them. 

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I've also started trying to take some time for myself every day. Being an introvert, I need that time to recharge. Doing yoga, reading a book, or just sitting outside alone. All of it helps keep my mind from spinning out of control. I've found myself more focused on the moment in front of me, rather than the unknown future.

As of today I don’t know anyone, personally, who has died from COVID-19. Or known anyone, personally, who has tested positive for it. As of today I haven’t tested positive for it. Likely, over the next few weeks or months, at least one of these things will change. This is just the reality of what we are all facing, together, separately. Even though we keep hearing about the elderly and chronically ill being the most vulnerable, the truth is we are all vulnerable right now. None of us have ever been through this, so we’re all trying to figure it out. And that looks very different from person to person. Lucille Clifton said, “In the bigger scheme of things the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to be something. And that’s a whole different thing.” Maybe we should embrace this collective vulnerablity and choose to learn something from it, and from each other.

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For a virus that has united us globally, it's isolated us from our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. But maybe we all needed a little space? Maybe we all needed things to slow down a little bit. To put our phones away. To be faced with the "problem" of having nothing to do. Whether we’re separated by oceans, or state lines, four walls, or six feet, let’s not forget what we all keep reminding one another, that we’re truly, all in this together. My family has started to do a group facetime check in almost everyday. Although the calls are chaotic and it’s hard to get a word in, they’re very similar to what “real” gatherings are like in my family. And the truth is, I’m “seeing” and talking with my family more now, than I used to, in a typical week. During a time when the coronavirus is taking so much from us, let’s remember all that we still have.

Life as we know it has changed, for now at least, and we don’t know yet what the other side of this thing will look like. Maybe we should use this time as a wake up call, or a fresh start, to settle into this unfamiliar and often uncomfortable territory. To choose to be better versions of ourselves, kinder, more patient, less rigid and rushed, the kind of humans that can love people they’ve never met, and feel connected to people in other countries and cultures. Maybe this is the world’s way of telling us to slow down, look around, and try to get it right this time.


   Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER-


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Erin Evans is the Program Coordinator for the CFLF and editor of the CFLF Blog. She is 36 years old and has Cystic Fibrosis. She lives in the woods of Vermont with her husband, son, and dog. She can be contacted at:





***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation*** 


***Please speak with your physician before making any changes to your CF management***


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