Most instances we go to our beds at night and expect tomorrow to be just like our everyday routine. Even when we hear about a crisis going on in another part of the world, we don’t expect it to hit our country hard, let alone our personal world. In late 2019, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originated in and started to plague China.
I didn’t anticipate it to even reach the USA, but fast forward a few months from late 2019 and now many schools, colleges, and other institutions and businesses in the USA are shut down, with the general population under quarantine and practicing social distancing. Besides the coronavirus having such serious effects on my country, it has also affected me personally.
To begin with, the main way coronavirus has affected me is by increasing my anxiety. I have severe anxiety, so any little thing has the potential to make me anxious. Recently, I had to make my way over to my regular counseling sessions via public transportation. I stood on the bus in amazement as everyone still sat on the public bus seats as I was too paranoid to even sit. I wanted to touch as least surfaces as possible seeing that if you touch a surface with COVID-19 and then touch your nose or mouth, you can get infected (as far as I understand). As I was on the bus on my way back home from the counseling session, a woman coughed and I moved away from her just in case she was infected with COVID-19. I didn’t want to breathe her possibly contaminated air. Whenever I’m somewhere outside my house, I’m so petrified that I’m going to inhale the infected air where someone with COVID-19 just sneezed or coughed. My friend came to my house by an Uber and I made them wash their hands so many times and was afraid to let them even touch me; my mind was racing with fear the entire time they were sitting on my couch. I still haven’t sat in the spot of the couch where they sat and four days have gone by since they visited me.
I am trying not to let the risks of coronavirus swallow my mind whole, but it is proving to be an arduous task. I’m afraid to even go outside because I’m wondering if I’ll breathe infected air. Hopefully, a sense of normality returns in less than half a year so that I can stop living my life in heightened angst.