Most people’s lives have their ups and downs. Mine has been no different, except my peaks and valleys have been higher and lower than most.
I have been the beneficiary of local, state and national honors, unbelievable friendships, and fulfilling dreams. I also have lived through great adversity, terrible losses, and unfathomable grief.
Yet through it all, I have coped and been for the most part a happy person.
That’s why the corona virus crisis did not really faze me. I have been way too busy all my life. I love my home and I am comfortable with being alone, so social isolation was fine with me.
I had my books, my cat, and could continue to keep up with my multiple jobs with all the technical tools now at our disposal. I also had some health problems so it was good to have time to recuperate and rest at home.
Thus Nurse Judy, my flaky alter ego, and Beebe, my cat and I continued our crazy life together through this trying time without too much trouble…that is until this past week, when problems that have aggravated me for years began to pile up until I was completely overwhelmed.
Let me explain.
Cell phone use from my house is never good. If I find a spot where I can make a call, it is usually cut off several times in mid-sentence. Therefore, I have a landline. With all the trees where I live, electricity frequently goes off leaving me with no internet, and no landline. I used to go to the library when these things happened, but of course now the library is closed.
This past week for some reason my email wouldn’t work and snail mail was even slower than the usual snail. My technical skills are minimal and face to face meetings are forbidden.
Because of some glitch with Verizon, landlines would not work. This last means of communication (except for smoke signals) now closed to me kept me from being able to perform any of my jobs, obligations, and even my one recreation- the theater, which we do by YouTube.
My roommates and I were living in total isolation.
Not being able to work pushed me over the edge and I became a raving maniac. I felt like an absolute failure.
My roommates, who had never seen me this way, were distraught. I was always the sensible one who kept our lives running smoothly. They didn’t know what to do with this yowling crazy person.
Nurse Judy locked herself in the bathroom. Beebe hid under the couch.
Using my dysfunctional phone system, I tried to let people know I was no longer able to work, but my howling, sniffling, hiccupping message was constantly cut off and completely garbled and they had no idea what I was talking about.
I spent the rest of the day crying and feeling sorry for myself. I am not a crier. Yes, I shed a few tears at appropriate times but I pride myself in being sensible and in control. Who was this person wearing my clothes and caterwauling in my house? Any time there is a disturbance;
Nurse Judy has always been to blame. I couldn’t pin this on her. She was locked in the bathroom and refused to come out. Beebe was under the couch and also refused to come out. I locked myself in the bedroom and refused to come out.
It was an awful night.
Next day, the landline worked. I was connected to civilization again. I spent the day trying to make up with my roommates who are treating me very carefully, as if they were afraid my Dr. Jekyll will reappear again at any time.
Even though many of my technical problems are still there, I am okay. I have learned that no man is an island. Even with social distancing, we need some kind of human contact.
Don’t let this virus cut you off completely.