“Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity.”– Fintan O’Toole/Irish Times
I haven’t blogged in weeks. I can’t. I’m in a state of shock! I’ve been frozen in place like Lot’s wife ever since I heard Trump announce that I could blast my insides with ultra-violet light and drench my innards with bleach, Lysol, and the likes of 409 Multi-surface cleaner to cure myself of COVID-19 should I unfortunately come down with the virus. I can’t say my response to Trump’s inane declaration loudly enough that has been careening through my head for days on end: WHAT THE FUCK!?!
It is clear that a madman dwells in the White House, and not only is he trying to kill me, but his ineptitude in handling this pandemic is making me disoriented and possibly mentally ill. I noticed it just the other day. A series of unfortunate events happened last week that make me wonder if President Trump, along with polluting TV Land, has released a “mental virus” in the water and the air that will slowly drive us all crazy as we self-isolate, scurrying to and fro behind our masks, so he can dismantle our government brick by brick without much resistance.
Something has happened to my bowels. I can’t stop shitting my pants when I hear Trump’s voice, read what idiotic things Trump says, or think/talk about Trump. It’s like clockwork. Trump opens his mouth, I feel the need to poop.
According to Kate Bratskeir of Huffington Post:
“If you’ve noticed changes in your bowel movements over the past month or so, you might be wondering why this biological function—that often comes like clockwork—has decided to get weird.”
She says I “might be experiencing what we can call nothing else besides a ‘pandemic poop.’”
I AM SLOWLY GOING CRAZY, ONE TWO THREE FOUR GOING CRAZY…
It’s been eight weeks since the shutdown, and I noticed that I have what some doctors are calling quarantine fatigue accompanied by coronavirus anxiety. It is affecting me in all manner of ways—especially my memory. I never know what day it is from sunup to sundown except for Friday. That’s when the garbage man comes. If it’s garbage day, it must be Friday. If my garbage man should go on strike in the future, I’ll be screwed. A psychologist friend thinks it is because I no longer do anything to bookend my days or break up my week. I am in a constant loop of the same ol’ same ol’…
It keeps getting worse.
Ten days ago I did some cleaning and gardening. I took off my wedding rings so that they wouldn’t get damaged. Yesterday I realized I never put my rings back on. When I went to do so, I couldn’t remember which hand wedding rings are worn on. I had to resort to the best solution I knew to find the answer: “GOOGLE: WHAT HAND IS THE CORRECT ONE TO WEAR WEDDING RINGS?”
OMG!! (You know the first thought that crossed my mind, right?)
A sympathetic friend told me that what I was experiencing was not Alzheimer’s—it was just coronavirus anxiety. She said, if I was coming down with Alzheimer’s, I wouldn’t have remembered what the rings were for in the first place or that I was even married. That was a good thing because shortly after speaking with her my husband walked into the room and wondered why my wedding rings were sitting on the counter and not on my finger. Oy.
I blame it all on Trump. I had just watched the morning news and watched him push three conspiracy theories and underscore four of his hate tweets against anyone who spoke truth. If he had not failed at his job from the very beginning (too much golf, watching the news, and rage tweeting), I would have been playing canasta with my gal pals (if it’s canasta it must be Monday) and known what finger my rings should be on because I could have simply glanced at my canasta partner’s hand.
I MISS MY BABIES AND MY BABY’S BABY
We are supposed to have a family reunion July 4th weekend in Seattle. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I know it isn’t. One coronavirus model shows a leap to 200,000 infections/3,000 deaths a day by June. I haven’t cancelled the plane flights yet, but it is inevitable we won’t go. It will be too risky to travel on a plane that far—especially as a vulnerable COVID-19 individual (this monster is disproportionately eating up Black lives as if we were a lion’s afternoon snack). I “Zoom” with my children and grandson most every week, and I know I should be grateful. I find myself clinging to their every word and sad when the Zooming ends. If we miss a week, I seem to slip into a mild depression. Their effervescent laughter makes my heart percolate and rejuvenates me. Normally, I am really grateful for the technology that can put us face-to-face, but as Mother’s Day approaches I guess I am painfully aware that I haven’t hugged my babies and they haven’t hugged me since last year. It hurts—it really hurts. (Who ever thought hugs would become one of the most precious and sacred gifts in the world.) What is even worse is that I haven’t kissed and hugged my grandson since Christmas. In our “new normal,” how long will it be before we can all be together as a family? What if one of us gets struck down by COVID-19 between our Zoom sessions? My heart breaks in missing and longing for my family—to sit with them, to hold them, to snuggle with them, to kiss their precious faces, to stroke their hair.
But then my God reminds me…
The hearts of the mothers of the nurses and doctors who have died fighting the good fight on the front lines of the coronavirus on our behalf would give anything to “Zoom” with their kids just one more time. Of the 70,000+ Americans who have passed from this horrid pandemic, if their mothers are still alive, I know their hearts are breaking beyond belief this Mother’s Day. The “new normal” for these mothers is something that I can’t even begin to fathom.
So I will stop whining and wait patiently for the kids to Zoom me this weekend. (Oh yeah, if the kids are Zooming me, it must be Sunday—it must be Mother’s Day.)
Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer. In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!). Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.” Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker. If you don’t believe me, just ask her!
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