New Way of Life

I woke up this morning knowing that I have my weekly response paper of 500+ words and my final of 2+ pages to write for my summer class to write for my summer class by June 30th, but this is boiling inside of me as well. I live in Houston, Texas; a city that’s wildly, spiking in COVID-19 patients, to the point that our Texas Children’s Hospital has opened up its ICU to allow adult patients.

I have a complicated view of this decision. I applaud Texas Children’s for opening up their doors for COVID-19 patient’s because if all other beds are full, where are they going to go? On the other hand, I know Texas Children’s very well. My 23-year-old spent nearly 3 months there being premature, born at 28 weeks and weighing only 2lbs. I know there are cancer patients there. Heart patients there. Patients who’ve had organ transplants or are waiting for transplants. Texas Children’s Hospital care for the most vulnerable patients of Houston, and Texas and of the world, because people travel from all over the state and the world to Houston to receive the excellent treatment from the most knowledgeable doctors we have there. I don’t want to put any of those children or doctor’s in danger.

On the hand, I don’t know who made the decision to open Texas Children to COVID-19 patients. Was it Governor Abbott? Mayor Turner? Was it Texas Children’s Hospital? If it was a collective decision that the hospital was a part of? I hope it was the latter because we’ve seen in New York that hospitals are not immune to spreading this virus. The last place that needs to see an explosion of the virus is this hospital. It’s frustrating as a citizen to see this happening, knowing maybe it could’ve been prevented. Our County Judge Lina Hidalgo implored people to wear masks a month ago, but Governor Abbott snidely called her a radical. Meanwhile, as I sit here on my couch recovering from surgery, having been a virtual hermit since May, all I can think is, “Radical? Is that what we now call people who are looking out for the health and safety of others?” Guess I am a radical. I’ll wear that proudly.

Moving on to my point of this post as my time is quickly running out- yes I’m on a timer! We often here the phrase “new normal,” but I think the only way we can handle this virus, especially upon hearing that the antibodies may only last a couple months, is looking at this as a New Way of Life, not just a “new normal.” In my opinion, the way I’ve heard a “new normal expressed,” I think can be interpreted by some, as something transient and something that can go “back to normal.” I think things need to be expressed in a more finite way. This is the way things are. This is the “New Way of Life.” Cut the cord of any expectation of things going back to normal. I don’t think we can fight this monster of COVID-19 and win, if we don’t change our life habits completely and never look back. I think masks are going to be a permanent part of our life until a vaccine is created that works, and works for more than 3-6 months. I think hand washing is a vital part of cleanliness and in protecting yourself from COVID-19, just the same as social distancing.

Our New Way of Life isn’t something that will be easy and isn’t something that will be like by all. It’s the nature of “new things.” But as Americans, it’s also our nature to come together and support each other during dark times, throwing aside differing views for one common goal, in this case- Annihilation of COVID-19! Whenever it becomes difficult- whenever it becomes frustrating to wear your mask or social distance, remember that. Remember the common cause. Remember who you are protecting.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.

Of Plague and Racism

@chianti_holmes on Instagram A Beautiful depiction of what has become a symbol of this movement.

It settled into the landscape-

like a toxic brume, infecting people

one-by-one, two-by-two

until we are engulfed

by staggering numbers of sick and

paralyzing numbers of death that

we’re ill-equipped to handle.

How ill-equipped?

People are arguing the “why’s”

of using masks;

they are questioning the government and how far they can infringe on their “freedom”

by telling them where they can go, and how close they can stand to people.

Meanwhile,

the virus doesn’t care about your political affiliation, all it cares about is how to infiltrate your body.

Are you going to allow it?

Over a little James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause, angst?

One day I woke up and our world was different.

A virus had dug in to almost every part of world-

some people were frightened, while others rebelled

and chose to live in a moment of time that no longer existed.

Because that world no longer existed.

Virus- had infiltrated our lives, and

at least for time as we knew it,

until a vaccine could be found,

this was life.

A summation of 2020:

Quarantine, working from home, homeschooling kids/parents who never home-schooled, no graduations for some Seniors, improvised graduations for others- on racetracks, zip-lines and jet ski’s;

Doctor’s visits became tele-vists, going out to eat became curb-side-pick-up or delivery;

bars were closed but delivering drinks became a thing, Las Vegas went dark, movie theaters shut down.

But plagues are known for peeling back and revealing humanity’s stark cruelties,

which is what it did-

showing us in living colour how not only a certain populace can be brutally attacked by a virus,

but how it has been brutally attacked by police, and institutional racism, for decades.

It is only now, with the power of our cell phone- and with the power of the media- that we have been able to shatter the consciousness of the people.

A year ago, was a different world.

It was uglier.

We’ve been awakened to the offensive nature that goes against our humanity,

but we must fight those that wish to keep it in place,

in order to change the system and bring our vision of humanity.

Peace and change don’t come for free or without some kind of cost.

But in the end, it could mean a world of inclusiveness;

where your colour or being LGBTQIA is seen as a thing of beauty and

you’re respected for what you bring to the proverbial table.

LMZ  ©June 14, 2020

I didn’t have photos truly stark or horrifying, but I had surgery 3 days ago and it’s still unsettling for me to have to go into a hospital alone and have to deal with everyone alone. I’ve had some very traumatic experiences in hospitals, so doing all of this without my husband or children was difficult. And this surgery proved difficult and it was an emotional reminder that COVID-19 still has its grips still firmly hooked into our society. That we should treasure out time with those we love.