Mixed Emotions… The Virus Experience

I’ve discovered, during this virus situation, that my obsessive need to control my situation has led to intense bouts of anxiety and a ping ponging mix of emotions while living life in lock down and practicing social distancing. One minute, I’m perfectly fine with thoughts of this virus situation being overblown while the next minute I’m freaked out and obsessively trying to avoid catching it. I’m living with a roller coaster ride of emotions and ultimately, it boils down to my need for control.

Uncertainty sucks. With little being truly known, or simply being kept from us, about this virus, it’s hard to know how seriously to take it. I rarely get sick, but when I get sick, I get seriously sick! My immune system is actually pretty good considering how many health issues I battle but when struck with even the flu, it’s pretty serious for me. I do NOT want to catch this virus. I’ve heard everything from it being like HIV to being similar to the flu. From being immune to having it settle in the body and reactivating. Those living with ME/CFS know all about viruses living dormant in the body and choosing to come out and attack you from within. Though we don’t even have certainty with the cause of ME/CFS, the thought process is out there regarding a virus being a possible culprit. Are we adding another, even more damaging virus to the possibilities that already exist for us, living dormant in the body and breaking us down over time?

Those of us who struggle already with health issues that keep us living a normally functioning life understand just how precious life can be and just how serious we need to take this virus, regardless of the mixed messages about it. Those who are healthy will never truly understand our fears, our precautions, our anxiety… they don’t live day to day fighting to simply get up without pain and/or fatigue to manage even self care on the daily. Never has the above been so apparent than it is now, while dealing with a potentially devastating virus. Seeing how family members respond and how they either seek to protect themselves and us during this time or act carelessly around us has been very enlightening.

I discovered that most of my anxiety revolves around control. I simply do NOT have control over my own life and this virus when living with other members of the family and finding myself having to depend on each and every one of them to keep both themselves and each other safe during this time. I’ve dealt with control issues since I was a child. I simply cannot control every factor of my life and have the assurance that those around me will have my best interest in mind. Trust is hard to come by and I’m learning that truly, you can only trust yourself and that’s a sad reality that’s become glaringly obvious during this pandemic.

Trust is a fragile emotion, easily broken, and hard to build or maintain. I have little trust, reassurance, or control and that causes my anxiety to flare and my emotions to bounce all over the place. It is what it is and it’s just who I am. I’m not a very emotional person and tend to compartmentalize quite well. This makes me appear cold at times but it’s simply my mechanism of handling emotions that I hold close to the vest and keep guarded quite tightly. I’m not cold. I just handle my emotions differently. Childhood had a major impact on making me who I am and how I handle things. It is what it is..

When dealing with a situation like this, it becomes apparent who really has your best interest at heart and who doesn’t. That doesn’t help those with anxiety and truly highlights that obsessive need to control and the obvious little control we truly have. Each and every person in the home has the same job of protecting each other and themselves during this time. Each action affects those in the household. We’re not simply responsible for ourselves in a situation like this, we’re responsible for each other. Each action having a ripple effect that touches those around you leading to possible consequences that can be deadly. Think about that for a minute. It’s a good opportunity to see who is taking things seriously, who is flaunting their control in your face, and who could care less about your life when it comes down to the bottom line….

Maybe they don’t realize the psychology of it. Maybe they don’t realize the very basic need that exists to survive and how paramount trust is right now. Are they so shallow and self absorbed that they don’t even realize the reality of it? Poking fun and taking risks just to laugh inside themselves and thinking it’s all a game? Maybe this virus isn’t as bad as some say. But maybe it is. I don’t have all the answers. I can only live and react with the information given and give this experience a trial run of a SHTF apocalypse situation, with much self evaluation and garnering insight about those around me.

I have time on my hands at the moment and being a deep thinker, this situation has truly given me a look into my world during a crisis and rather than simply reading about it in one of my post apocalyptic story books, a chance to actually live in a SHTF situation on a small level, giving me more insight into both myself and that of my community. I just wish others would take this time to reflect on how fragile life can be and how important building trust and community really is. Those of us with health issues that dominate our lives already know a little about this. We know about isolation. We know about the need to rely upon others at times and how fickle people can be. Now we have a chance to really know seriously or not those around us take things. How important they place our life and health and how well we can trust they’ll have our backs, making sure not to expose us to something that can be more devastating to us than most.

I wonder how those people would feel if the shoes were on the other foot… How paranoid would they be if they’re own lives were lorded over by someone else. How they would react knowing the risks to themselves and having someone else take that risk so carelessly. Deep down inside, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to show people exactly how that feels. I’m not cold, I’m just tired of people being so damn self absorbed and careless with their own actions. Tired of seeing others think it’s all a big joke failing to realize the domino effect they put in place with their own actions and how failing to realize how important it is to protect each other and build that trust, is the real foundation to a deeper relationship with others.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what the truth of this situation is. I only know I have anxiety over the severity of it, the need to control those around me to keep my own life and my children’s life safe in the event that this virus is as bad as some say and the realization that some of those closest to me don’t have our best interest at heart. That’s a hurtful discovery. But at least now I know. It just makes me think, that if I had money and a bug out shelter in the event of a large scale SHTF scenario, my circle of peeps would be quite small. Trust. It’s important. Maybe think about what truly matters in life.

Covid-19 VS the Flu

This is how I see the virus situation in relation to the flu, if as bad as they report. The flu does kill a lot of people each season but the difference is that the flu spreads slowly over the flu season.

Of those exposed, only 8 to 11 percent contract the flu with well under 1 percent that die. So the exposure and contractility is low in addition to it being spread out over time. This keeps the hospitals from being over run by those sick with the flu. Cdc.gov/flu/about.

If the reporting is true in regards to Covid-19, the exposure rate of this virus is extremely high compared to the flu with those contracting the virus and becoming symptomatic also being much higher.

With the numbers we have so far, and this is ever evolving, of those symptomatic, 80% experience mild illness while 20% experience moderate to severe illness. This is largely different from the flu rates. In addition, from reports I’m reading, the 20% who experience moderate to severe symptoms are the ones who end up in the hospital, taxing our hospital system. Of those 20% the death rate is between 1 and 5 percent depending on where you live.

So to recap, with less that 12% that contract the flu and less than 1% who die from the flu in addition to the slower spread over the season, this current virus could be much worse on our system and on our people due to how quickly this spreads and how high the rate of hospitalizations and death are in such short times.

Also the flu typically lasts 3 to 7 days. This new virus apparently lasts 2 weeks or longer with some having permanent lung damage and taking 6 plus weeks to gain strength back.

It’s odd how it largely affects the elderly and those with chronic conditions, vastly different from the flu which is dangerous for our young.

So if the situation with Covid-19 truly is a pandemic, the dangers to our society and hospital situation is largely that 20% who require need of the hospital and that need seems to require much longer times in the hospital compared to the flu as well as how large the exposure rate it compared to less than 12% with flu exposure.

Stay safe. Please share your thoughts in the comment section as I’m curious to what others feel about our current situation and if my post seems accurate to the situation at large.