Thursday, December 17, 2020

Pre-pandemic Panic

Final grades are in, Semester released me at last, the Christmas tree and lights are up, and 9 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, a vaccine is finally here. We can’t get it yet, but PRAISE BE to the developers, shippers, pilots, drivers, and shot-givers getting it into frontline workers and nursing home residents so far.

Interestingly, once my grades were submitted and I DIDN’T breathe a huge sigh of relief, I realized just how tightly wound this past year has left me. I’m guessing it’s partly fear of the virus—you know, the dying alone on a ventilator part—and partly isolation/separation from my pre-2020 life. However, I also realized recently that my up-tightness may be a “pre-existing condition,” which I blame, in part, on my HHN-i gene (for more on this anomaly read

The insight that I’m a wee bit panic-prone and pathologically hyper-responsible came into full and glorious focus recently as I was cleaning out closets and cupboards, something I’m guessing 98.2% of educators do over holiday breaks.

You just never know...

Among other things, I came across a Rubbermaid tub of mostly-outdated medicines and leftover or unused prescriptions—for pain, skin rashes, eye/ear infections, respiratory ails, coughs, fungi, various forms of itching, dizziness, diarrhea, anxiety, constipation, and more, including bulb syringes, regular syringes, splints, a single ear piercer, plantar fasciitis boots, Ace bandages, and Castor oil. I also found in various locations deer jerky, a flint fire starter, collapsible cups and dog bowls, an ex-boyfriend’s 45-year-old mountain sleeping bag, 16 extra CPAP hoses, a camping French Press, home-canned QUARTS of jalapenos from 1999, and two LifeStraw water filters. It also seems I have makeup, some dating back to my early teens, stashed in several locations around the house (for quick access, I guess, in spite of the fact that I don’t wear makeup).

What ARE these, I wonder?!?

It’s clear to me now—I have been preparing all my life for the Apocalypse.

This kind of self-realization might startle some people. But after coming across these essential supplies squirreled away in forgotten caches all over our house, over-analyzing their potential usefulness, and dusting jars and bottles (then re-stashing all but the fungus cream), I have come to believe that my preparations are just wise and careful planning. Because if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that once this pandemic is finally over and we can unmask, I may still have to pull out the 50-year-old Yardley lip gloss (disguise) or the jalapenos (weapons) and go out to face the Horsemen.