COVID-19: The Beginning
What a whirlwind this week has been. I never thought I would be writing a blog post from a quarantined apartment, but here we are.
A month ago I couldn't even probably tell you what COVID-19 was. I MAY had heard of coronavirus because of memes on the internet but that was about it. Coronavirus was in China, I was in Texas- who cares? Maybe I was naive, maybe I was not well informed (enough) but maybe I am just like most Americans and did not expect things to be like this.
2 weeks ago I started to really tune into what was happening when I heard large events like South by Southwest and Coachella were getting cancelled. I thought- okay this is weird. But those are super HUGE events. I have a trip to Paris planned, I'm going to the rodeo in a week, my friends are coming to Dallas for my birthday in a month and a half- but we aren't going to Coachella or South by Southwest so whatever.
Then things got worse. Fast.
Saturday March 7, I was home alone in my apartment packing and planning my rodeo outfits when I decided to drive to Houston and spend the week with Alec and my friends. I thought it would be easier to drive down on a Saturday and spend the week there. I was planning on driving down Thursday night to be there for my friends arrival for the rodeo Thursday night. But- I thought if I left over the weekend I would avoid traffic, have more time in Houston and possibly snag some cheap weekday tickets to the rodeo. Monday, my friend Kassie who was visiting for the rodeo texted us and asked if we think the rodeo would get cancelled. I was SO confused. Why would the rodeo get cancelled? That is crazy-everyone is overreacting!! It's just the flu
Wednesday March 11- things got real. REAL quick. In the matter of a day, the rodeo was cancelled, there were going to be no spectators at the NCAA tournaments and schools were getting cancelled. WHAT. This was crazy and I'm annoyed. I found out the rodeo was cancelled because apparently someone with coronavirus was at the bbq cookoff. They were there the same day I was-but whatever I'm fine. I'm more annoyed my weekend plans are ruined.
I planned my rodeo outfits, I had a friend flying in, I drove to Houston and the rodeo was CANCELLED. My friend was coming to town and everyone was blowing things out of proportion and I have no clue what we are going to do all weekend.
Thursday March 12- the anxiety begins. I slowly hear of more and more things closing and I begin to panic. I'm home alone and turn on the news. I start learning more and more about COVID-19. I have NEVER felt like this.
I normally am the last person in the room to get anxious. I like to be the calm and collected one-the voice of reason. I dealt with so much growing up and learned being scared never got me anywhere. I learned from a young age to put on your big girl pants and deal with things. I love nothing more than being a safe place for people-someone for people to talk to, to take control of a situation and be a leader in times of need.
I felt like a different person learning about this virus. My stomach was turning, I wasn't hungry and I wasn't in the mood to talk. VERY NOT BRITTANY. I didn't even realize this was anxiety and I didn't think anyone else was feeling this way.
More things are getting cancelled. Big events, schools, spring breaks, vacations-so many things being cancelled. Then Friday March 13 almost every company announces they will be working from home. My friend Kassie was in en route on her plane to Houston and texted us that there were only 7 people on her flight. WHAT! 7 people? That makes no sense-what? how come?
I get in the car with my friend Skylar and she's disheveled. She was told she would be working from home and had no clue for how long..WHAT. My stomach is in knots and we both break down about how scary things have gotten. We are both so overwhelmed and scared-but this weekend we are going to have fun and make the most of it. We pick Kassie up and decide. NO MORE COVID TALK.
We enjoy the weekend and turn our phones off.
Sunday rolls around and I drive back to Dallas. I hear that stores are selling out of things and that we should prepare to become Italy in a total shut down. What. is. going. on!!
I get to Dallas Sunday night and call my parents. I've been gone a week, I have no food and apparently the world is ending. What will happen if I stay here by myself? Will I ever be able to leave? Do I want to be stranded in Dallas alone if we are all about to be shut down? So after much thought and discussion I decide Monday I will drive to Houston and stay with my dad for a bit. I love Dallas but I love it because I get to go out and do things, meet new people, not for my little apartment. With this quarantine that big city I loved was about to be the loneliest place I could imagine. I never imagined this is what life would become...
I didn't understand how bad this had gotten or how much had. come out about the virus. I needed to take this thing seriously before more got taken away from so many people.
Each day seems to get worse and my anxiety is so overwhelming about all of this. I start avoiding the news and learning more about this because I'm so scared.
College students won't be returning for classes, graduations cancelled, sports are cancelled. WHAT IS HAPPENING. I'm so confused. Restaurants are closing, people are advised to not leave home and I'm trying to figure out what all of this means.
My heart hurts for everyone missing out on huge life milestones and events. Weddings being moved, prom cancelled, no graduations. SO many of my favorite memories are things that people may never see or experience.
Everyone I know is working from home, I'm scared to be alone all of a sudden and there's no toilet paper to be found anywhere.
My friends cancelled their trip to Dallas for my birthday. My Paris trip is cancelled, my Europe trip is cancelled. I'm so angry, confused and upset but I know I have to be positive or I'll go absolutely insane. This is a trying time but I know it could be so much worse. I have to be thankful for my health, my job and so much more. I will be okay. WE will be okay.
So now that it's day 5 of me being quarantined and it's gotten a bit better. I'm getting accustomed to not going out, not exploring or posting pictures and being out and about. But it sucks. This is so scary. I have faith everything will be okay but I'm hurting for so many people. People losing their jobs, their businesses, life experiences, or just dealing with all the anxiety and fear that is surrounding us.
I can't wait for this to end but I know it is just beginning.
I'm writing this to let go of that fear and get all of those emotions out to turn this time into a positive one. I want to use this time to focus on myself and this page. I want to read books collecting dust, deep clean my apartment, learn some new stuff and learn some home workouts. I used to complain about always being. go-go-go and now I would do anything to have the opportunity to have that back.
So day 5 has come and gone. I'm not sure how much longer it'll be but here's to making the best of it.