Stay Home

It is 1:30 in the morning. As I sit here on my couch, 10 feet away from the bedroom doors of my sleeping husband and son, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. That hour and a half of sleep is looking like all I'll get tonight. The big fear is settling in. I can't remember the last time stress came out so hard in sobs.

My husband and I have both been labeled "essential personnel" in our respective jobs, and I have to wonder what that really means. We are not medical professionals. We are not highly paid. We should both be able to do our jobs from home, but it is not an option for either of us. We will both likely be working outside our home for the foreseeable future.

Our 14-year old son will continue to be home alone. A lot. He can take care of himself. I hate that he has to. I want, more than anything right now, to just be home with my family. I should probably distance myself from social media because I am so incredibly envious of those who are able to quarentine right now. I miss my kid. I miss being home when he's home. I am missing Duck Tales marathons and too many sweets and hugs that he pretends to hate. I am missing yelling at him to do the dishes and I'm missing his eye rolls back. Instead, I spend my days trying to disinfect myself while doing a job that could very well be done from my house, and I'm mad about it. Everyone else seems to be trying to "find the silver lining" in a quarentine... I just want to actually f***ing participate in the quarentine.

Neither of our places of work are screening people at the door. Anyone is welcome. We are required to work face-to-face with anyone who walks in our doors. Anyone who doesn't seem to be taking "social distancing" seriously. Anyone who has gone out shopping in the midst of panic and breathed in the germs of hundreds of other close-up people.

Every time someone walks into my office, I picture the number of people they have been so close to in the past few days. There is an immediate tightening in my chest. Panic grabs on. Anxiety needles in. I can't look them in the eye. I don't want these feelings. I don't want to be afraid of people. I don't want to NEED to scrub my hands after having a simple conversation with another human for thirty seconds. I don't want to go insane, but I wonder if this is how it happens. It maybe would be slightly better if I hadn't started out with a thing about germs years ago.

There are many of us "essentials" out here doing the same thing. I worry about our medical professionals who will undoubtedly see some of the toughest hours, days, weeks of their careers in the coming months. I think of the grocery employees who work tirelessly to restock and sanitize stores, placing themselves in danger of illness. Our postal workers who continue delivering mail to homes, but also places of business where people are still congregating. Our police and fire fighters respond to public calls all day long. Restaurant employees, even with just carry-out, are still in contact with tons of people daily. So many others that I can't think of because it's now 2:19 in the morning.

Still exhausted. Still a ball of anxiety. Still won't be able to sleep.

What I'm trying to get at here, and it's taken a few rambling, possibly whiny turns, is this: If you are fortunate enough to not be required to report somewhere, please stay home. Those of us who HAVE to be out, who HAVE to interact with you when you come through our door... we are losing sleep because you are not taking this seriously and you could have just infected our whole family with your close-talking and we won't know for another week and death is a damn severe possible consequence if you all don't start staying the f*** home and stop spreading this shit.

2:29. So tired. Still won't sleep.


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