Alone Together: Ashley DeBoer - TMI Project

The Guilt of a Global Pandemic

Back when I get COVID – 

I haven’t fully processed what I’m going through or how I’m feeling, but a few words come to mind – grim and dark and unkind and daunting. I can’t run from it, nor can I hide – because it’s here and it’s made its home in my lungs. I now carry the weight of everyone’s health on my shoulders; I’m more so scared for the ones I have loved, and touched, and shared something they would never dare to want. It’s a global pandemic, and no one’s to blame, and I swore I was careful, just not careful enough. 

I took a risk, and now I pay the price, but the cost is too steep for what I enjoyed. I can be angry and scream at the world for diseases or God for putting this in the cards, or for my naive mind lost in wanderlust. But truthfully, I’m scared and sad. 

I’m scared for the ones who I have infected – scared that I am the reason they suffer, the reason the resentment grows, but mostly, I am just sad. 

Sad, that I’m sick. 

Sad, that the world seems so big and free, and I’m locked inside, wondering if this pain in my chest and the aching in my ribs will ever go away. Will I feel like me again soon? 

Sad, that I have put so many people I love in danger… for what? For some freedom to y, freedom to go, freedoms that just don’t belong in everyday life anymore. Freedoms that should have just been put on hold, but I couldn’t do it. I felt stripped of who I was, and I seldom liked who I was becoming – boring. 

Sad, that my ego got in the way. Sad, that this virus is taking over my life. 

Maybe, one day, we will look back on this and laugh about the days we were locked inside – groceries delivered and dinners laid at the doorstep. It feels so foreign and I feel disconnected, unable to look people in their eyes, scared that they’ll see through my dwindling being. I feel a heavy nothingness coded in uncertainty, but amid all the aching, I see that there is hope. There is a patience. There is kindness and compassion. 

I want to remember these days for the depth, the soul searching, the rekindling of health. It won’t be like this forever, but as I write and feel overwhelmed with anxiety for what I can no longer control – I pray that God is forgiving, and that I too can forgive myself one day. 


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