“It is easy to dwell upon the dark, as it imbibes our fear and expounds with crystal clarity every false notion the mind can conjure.” – Me, just now.
I have talked before about how I have anxiety now, after starting HRT. The benefits of HRT far outweigh my inability to process my emotions, so I won’t go into the mechanics of that. I want to talk instead of the current situation, in which we all find ourselves to some degree. The Covid-19 pandemic is something that I at first blew off as a thing that would never touch us to any degree. Of course that was an ignorant and privileged way to look at it. I am not without flaws and I’m still learning that the world does not, in fact, revolve around me. The virus did touch ground in the US and has spread rapidly. Most of us have since taken the threat of this illness more seriously, including myself.
I wasn’t prepared for what difficulties we would start to face in light of this rapid change of lifestyle or how tenuous our day to day activities truly are. It’s an eye-opening and frightening thing to behold. My HRT meds are gotten from our local clinic that uses a sliding scale, otherwise I would never be able to afford them. This means driving into Asheville and getting them every month because my insurance will not cover more than a month at a time of maintenance meds. Of course with everything that is happening, I’m worried that the meds will become harder to get if not impossible, which can happen even in the best of times. But also will I be able to afford them even if they are available if I lose my job because of the shutdowns? Many are in the same boat as me, trans people trying to get meds, but there are also elderly, the infirm who seek their meds as well and are worried, rightfully about going out to get them. If you are able, please offer to help those around you to get what they need.
Then, there is the panic buying that far too many people are doing. Stocking up on, hoarding of basic supplies, most famously so far is toilet paper. But now meats, canned foods, cheeses, bread are all being completely stripped away from the aisles at the moment the stores open. This buying isn’t needed of course but it’s the ignorant and self-centered people taking care of themselves only. Leaving the aisles bare for the elderly and those of us who are trying to keep calm and shop responsibly. I bought toilet paper at our local Food Lion about two weeks ago and there were a few left on the shelves. I bought our normal two packs of 4 rolls, I almost picked up a couple packs of another brand but I saw an older woman looking bewildered at the empty spaces on the shelves. I left them behind for others to buy. I cannot hoard things even if others can, just so I can be comfortable. It seems to me a mortal sin, though I am not Christian, it seems like the universe would frown upon me for doing this. So, we as a family are going to be stalwart in our stance of choosing to help rather than to hoard, to be a bit uncomfortable so that others can get things they are out of completely. My conscience will allow me to sleep at night, anyway.
We are also hopeful to take in my nephew who is a teenager as his mother is going through some things and made the responsible decision to leave him in the care of family members. We are happy to do so as we have a recently freed up room from our son moving into his own apartment. The problem is that we don’t have any furniture or even a mattress for him because our son took everything with him, which we were happy to do. But now we will be searching for basic furniture for him so he can have a bed and perhaps a dresser. It’s not going to be easy when money is tight, especially due to the price gouging during this time. But as long as we have a home, so will he.
I have been having some bouts of panic lately, the worry over money issues due to the “work from home” status of my wife that could turn into a laid off situation. And of course as a TA at a high school, she is only paid until the summer. If this goes on then she is just out of work until after the summer. I’m still employed and still going to work, but if I get sick and can’t go then I’m not sure I have much recourse with any longevity, or I could be laid off as well. I’m the one who does the bills and has to make everything work somehow and still have money for food and necessities. I’m trying my best to maintain a positive outlook but anxiety doesn’t care about my outlook, it sneaks in and hits me when I least expect it. And lately it’s been popping up for short bursts, just to show me that I’m not free of it.
Still it’s not all bad, lots of family time and Michelle gets to work from home. It’s hard to find a positive, but I aim to be as positive as possible. I have seen acts of kindness that shine as beacons of hope and remind me in the goodness humanity can sometimes exhibit. I have read on social media, people reaching out to others to support them, offering what they have to share. Others are showing how to stay at home productively and calmly. Social media has become a lifeline to many and is showing it’s strength of bringing isolated people together safely.
Be safe, be well, stay home, weather the storm. The sun will come out tomorrow.