I didn’t check to see how many people died yesterday

In November I wrote that I was constantly Doomscrolling. I was obsessed with looking at numbers, trends, maps, risk levels. I said I didn’t check the weather outside, because I didn’t go outside anyway.

I know the pandemic isn’t over. I know that just because I have received my first vaccine I still need to mask up, follow social distancing. But I can’t help but feel that a weight has been lifted from my mind. It’s not quite hope I’m feeling, but an absence of constant dread. When I look back at this Pandemic Diary Project, what I think about most are the posts I didn’t write, when I was too overwhelmed to put anything together.

  • Early in the Pandemic, I really struggled with my chronic migraines. I had a migraine that would not go away, and I ended up in the emergency room because no other doctor would see me including my doctor or the urgent care. The ER staff was amazing, but it was frustrating that no one else would see me.
  • Later, one of my friends had an uncle die from Covid-19. At a time when the pandemic seemed to be something that was happening to other people, it was my first connection to someone who died of the disease.
  • When my own uncle got the disease, I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. He is fine now, but it very easily could have gone the other way with his other conditions.
  • When my aunt died of cancer, I was angry that she spent time in pain and alone in the hospital because of limited visiting. I still feel like I don’t have closure because my family couldn’t gather and grieve.

The Semester of Living Dangerously has helped me through all of this. Even when I couldn’t write myself, it helped to know that other people were feeling the same things. The entries of others people captured my feelings even when I couldn’t write them myself.