We're only a week in... and I'm ready for this nightmare to be over.
I've seen scripts at work with words and phrases like "unprecedented" "historic" "once-in-a-century" and "unparalleled". We've seen multi-million-dollar events that have been planned for months cancelled, schools closed, bars boarding windows & restaurants shutting their doors. Some cities even going so far as sheltering-in-place -- and really, it's not a matter of if they issue an order to shelter-in-place for the rest of us, but when.
I realize the importance of being proactive - the now normalized "self-quarantine" and "social distancing"... and I understand the significance of "flattening the curve" and preventing the spread. The crisis surrounding COVID-19 is something most of us have truly never seen before. It continues to bring out the very best... and very worst of people. It's overwhelming, scary and, put bluntly, frustrating. But what I find most intimidating - we don't know when it'll end.
I'm curious to know how others feels.
My honest take:
Often times, I feel like working in the news industry numbs the realness of certain situations. We've been talking NON-STOP about the coronavirus for the past three weeks - every show, every A block, every web story, every email. We do it because people need the information. It's our job to inform, to make sure people are aware of what's going on. But there comes a point during every tragedy/crisis/life-shattering event we cover, where I feel desensitized from the "human" aspect of it. We're so consumed in the information, that sometimes, the numbers lose significance... and the statistics lose impact. Every day, we're talking about somebody else's 'worst day of their life', another unfair disaster or simply just bad people doing bad things. It's the business. And although every story is not doom & gloom, it's our responsibility to report what's important to the viewer. It's not always going to be puppies and rainbows.
I'll admit - I wasn't the first to react to news of the virus. Call it denial, but it took me awhile to truly understand the urgency of this situation. It took my little sister coming to visit for me to actually go to the grocery store and get at least a couple days worth of food. And even then, I was hesitant to buy a ton of supplies knowing all of it wouldn't fit in my small kitchen pantry.
Initially, I was dismissive... but it feels different now.
Looking around, coronavirus is impacting every aspect of life. Everyday I wake up, there is a notification on my phone regarding a 'COVID-19 update.' On my way into work, what is usually a good 35 minute commute is now a 10 minute drive with little to no traffic (and in this city, that's almost unthinkable). There are few, if any, people out on what is usually a busy street in my neighborhood. I pull into work, and the parking lot is not even 3/4 full. What is suppose to be a 1-hour long newscast at noon is instead a live press conference from the governor. Every time I leave for the day, I now take a Clorox wipe to the keyboard, mouse and weather clicker. Only to drive home (without any traffic) and google a place that might be open for take-out. It feels movie-like, but in a dark, apocalypse kind of way.
Obviously, it's terrifying to think people are getting sick from this virus - some even, fatally ill. The idea of contracting the virus and/or potentially giving it to someone whose immune system is compromised or at an age that puts them at a higher risk - is truly gut-wrenching. But I think what really overwhelms me, is how long is it going to be like this? How long will we be cooped up without anything or anyone to look forward to? Still feeling new to the city, will I lose the progress I made making friends? Or a relationship? Will the stores eventually deplete their stock... leaving shelves empty? Will someone I know or love fall victim to this? How many will still have a job at the end of this?
This is not just an "us" problem... but an "all" problem. Everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has felt some sort of shift in their life from this. (And for those like me who thrive on routine and normalcy, we're an anxious mess.) I know we will get through this... and I still firmly believe God is in control. But with the constant talk of this 'global emergency' running through my earpiece at work everyday and the empty apartment I go home to after every shift, it's hard not to lose spirit in the loneliness, realness of the life-altering COVID-19.