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Collected Item: “Anger, Frustration, and Hope”

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Anger, Frustration, and Hope

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text

Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

In December of 2020 my family went to Florida to pick up our eldest daughter. All but one of us tried to be diligent in wearing masks, distancing and reducing the risks as much as possible. Yet despite that a week later, on Christmas day, my husband started feeling tired and slept most of the day. That was as bad as it got for him. The following Monday we were all feeling ill and I was in the car line being tested, it was positive. On New Years Eve I went to the hospital by ambulance with my oxygen levels in the low 80's. I couldn't say goodbye to my four kids (two in college and two in high school) because I didn't want it to be a final goodbye.

I spent ten days in the hospital. Thankfully the constant oxygen, medications and antibody therapies did their job and I didn't need to be intubated. However, the virus wreaked havok on my body. My eyes hurt and would not focus, my body and joints ached, my focus and cognitive function was shot. I struggled to find balance and felt like I weighted a thousand pounds (heavy, oppressive weight). I struggled for breath yet the oxygen took its toll as well leaving painful ulcers in my nasal cavity and after two months of oxygen, a hole in my sceptum. My sugar levels were dangerously high and difficult to regulate and I shifted from a daily pill to needing four shots of insulin a day.

It has been eight months and my body still has not returned to any sense of normalcy. I still struggle with controlling my sugar levels. My cognitive recovery has been slow and things that would take an hour in the past now take three or four (like reading and analysing text). I struggle with exercise as my lungs still have not healed. Even walking up a flight of stairs leaves me in tears as I struggle for breath and feel like I'm drowning. I have to divy up my workable time because my body will only do so much before it gives out. I struggle with odd symptoms. I struggle to sleep and struggle to stay awake.

I also struggle with depression and self worth. I now feel like a burden. No, I am not suicidal, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that there are so many times when I feel like my family (my spouse in truth), would be better off without this new version of me. They don't understand why I can't do what I did before and doesn't believe in COVID or vaccines or wearing a mask. It's all media propoganda meant to promote a socialist agenda. I only got this sick because I was overweight and had diabetes before COVID. It cuts like a knife when you hear things like that and when it feels like someone doesn't care enough to want to do what they can to protect the ones they say they love.

Maybe that's my biggest takeaway from all of this. It's redefining who I am and how I percieve the people around me. The people I thought loved me the most, who I loved the most. It's opened my eyes to the divisions and the anger that run deeper than just the pandemic. But I've also seen the depth of human compassion and love. Friends who made sure my kids had food and whatever else they needed when they were quarantined. The staff at the hospital who ran themselves ragged caring for patients. My nurse practitioner who has been on this journey with me the past eight months and worked diligently to help me recover. The students I've worked with who adapted and were more accepting and flexible in all of this mess than their parents, as they learned new ways of learning. It gives me hope that while there is bad in this world, there is so much good.

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

North Carolina, Hope, frustration, love, hospitalization, health, long-haul

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then put "self" here.)

AngelaMHarris

Give this story a date.

-0021-08-31
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