I’m Sorry: Pandemic Edition

I’m sorry that I overlooked how severely impacted communities in China were impacted when the virus first developed. 

I’m sorry I initially believed the virus was simply an intense version of the common flu. 

I’m sorry to the healthcare workers and first responders who sacrificed their lives for the entirety of this pandemic, even at the start when information about the virus was sparse. 

I’m sorry our administration undermined this virus from the very beginning, invalidating science as a whole. 

I’m sorry Congress can only seem to pass one substantial stimulus package for those who need it the most.

I’m sorry to Dr. Fauci for being insulted and criticized while being the true voice of reason.

I’m sorry to the elderly and other at-risk communities who felt stuck and paralyzed during this time, forced to put yourself at risk to grocery shops or grab medication because you couldn’t afford or operate online curbside or delivery services. 

I’m sorry to those who had to quarantine alone. 

I’m sorry to those who have had to manage a domestic or international long-distance relationship. 

I’m sorry to those who had to postpone or cancel stunning, memorable 2020 plans.

I’m sorry to those who missed out of senior year celebratory activities and graduation. 

I’m sorry to those who laid off and now live below the poverty line.

I’m sorry to those international students who had to return home during the pandemic, but find it difficult to keep up with a curriculum on spotty WiFi and time zones. 

I’m sorry to business owners who are struggling to get by.

I’m sorry to those who have needed to stall their dreams. 

I’m sorry to those who lost loved ones without a proper goodbye. A video call before being unplugged from a ventilator is horrific. 

I’m sorry to those who contracted the virus because of the selfishness of others.

I’m sorry to the long-haulers who continue to suffer with symptoms post-recovery. 

I’m sorry to those suffering with mental health issues, as your symptoms, triggers and disorders have magnified. This includes those struggling with addiction. 

I’m sorry to those living on the street without adequate access to basic hygienic accessories. 

I’m sorry so many feel oppressed for wearing a mask, but you suck.

I’m sorry to the healthcare and front line workers who are forced to treat patients who continue to berate them, and challenge the legitimacy of the virus they are literally dying from.

I’m sorry to the medical community who has to remind others of basic scientific practices, and the validity and promise of vaccines. 

The United Kingdom has just approved of a vaccine that will begin rolling out this week, while the United States is awaiting approval this week for anticipated distribution on Friday, December 11. 

There is a sparse light at the end of the tunnel. I’m thrilled and forever indebted, as we all should be, to the brilliant minds across the globe who managed to produce a vaccine in record time. This vaccine was made possible because this pandemic, not epidemic (research the definition of pandemic), affected us all. It halted our progress and plagued our communities. It threatened our livelihoods and stole our loved ones. I’m more hopeful than I have been in months and yet, the number of cases surge nationwide. The cases are higher than in March. Nurses and doctors are turning down patients because of a lack of space and resources. Makeshift hospitals are being organized in parking lots and convention centers. It’s distressing to read. I can no longer update myself during a brief 15-minute “Worry Period” without triggering my anxiety. I continue to remind myself: Just make it through to March. 

I anxiously await the day my parents are vaccinated in full. The day I no longer have to stress about an immediate hospital visit should they contract the virus. Of course, I’m also eager to be vaccinated myself, but like many who have older and/or immunocompromised family members, this pandemic has been all the more poignant. I’ve been so conditioned to sport a mask and keep my distance from others that I believe it will take awhile before I will truly acclimate back to normal. What is normal? To greet strangers on the street, to travel freely, visit friends I haven’t seen in a year, work in a coffee shop, or to shop frivolously in-person. 

If this spike in cases is to assert anything to you, do not travel this Christmas. Do not travel this Christmas. I repeat, do not travel this Christmas. All these cases are because of those who traveled during Thanksgiving, and there is no end in sight. Hospitals are overloaded and its employees overworked. Begin preparing new holiday traditions virtually, and plan for an extravagant gathering next year. You can discuss your ideas over the phone or on a Zoom call! 

Share this on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or wherever. Please stress to everyone you know to stay the f*ck home this holiday. We cannot allow things to worsen even more than they already have. 

Please, for the sake of your loved ones, my loved ones, the medical professionals who have not had a break since March and the people who are expected to perish in the pending months.

Do not travel. Stay home. 

I’m sorry in advance. 

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