Monday, April 13, 2020

That Feeling...

I've been feeling pretty lonely lately.  I feel like I've lost something important and my heart hurts everyday, but I haven't really lost anything.  Everything is great around me - I have my family and friends in good health, I've started different projects about things I wanted to do but I was always afraid of doing them, and I've even found some solace in books.  However, something is missing in my life.  It hurts and it makes me cry.  I'm not sure if I'm happy or if I'm just moving through the motions.  I've stopped posting on social media because the content has really begun to bore and annoy me.  I've been trying to reevaluate my life to see what I'm doing right or wrong.  I just don't know.

My quarantine has gotten me to be very productive as of late.  I've come up with a three year plan and I think I finally figured out what I am meant to do in life.  I've been reading about the study of numerology and how numbers correspond to your spiritual being and the universe.  I can see many correlations between this particular study and religion, and I find it enlightening to know that angels communicate through numbers.  I know big changes in my life are coming and it will be for the most amazing years to come.  I've been working out to get in even better shape than before.  But... even with all of these things... I feel so sad.  It's worse because I bottle everything up inside and I know I shouldn't, but I do.

Being in quarantine also has shown me who my friends really are and who cares.  People who tell me they're friends with me have disappeared.  Bonds I thought I made with others aren't really bonds.  I know I'm usually the one reaching out, so I guess when I'm the only one making the effort, then it means we're "friends."  Maybe I need to cut everyone out and start all over again.  That'll happen soon enough, I suppose.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Social Media Blues

Being quarantined to a confined space really makes a person think.  It's been a while since I've had some time to myself to gather my thoughts.  I used to focus on the minute details of work and what is necessary to feel socially acceptable in front of my employees, my friends, peers, and colleagues.  As of late, I've been spending my days in pajamas, sweats, and trying to figure out what my next big career move will be.  Time and social isolation really changes people.  You start to miss the simple things in life, like hugging your friends.  As a society, we are supposed to practice social distancing from one another, which means we need to stand at least 3-6 feet away from the person next to us.  When you can't hug or have any means of physical contact with people you care about, it starts to eat away at you a bit.  For instance - I was not able to hug my own mother when I saw her the other day and it was emotionally wearing on me.  This is the price I pay for working in the medical field.  My parents wouldn't even let me touch my dog because they were afraid that he would catch Coronavirus as well.

I also noticed how frequently some people use their phones to check their social media platforms.  It's like an addiction to see who gets the most reactions on their news feed, or how many likes they get on their photos.  I used to be one of those people who needed to be liked across social media.  I used to want the attention of others to be "heard," but the other side of that coin meant that everyone had an opinion about you... and likely, you'd have haters.  Don't get me wrong - I love posting pictures about my foodie life and creating modeling content, but I realized along the way that those posts only showed a person I wanted to portray.  Instagram never showed my messy hair, my "I just woke up" face, or my runny eggs and toast for breakfast.  It showed the glamorous sides of my life.  After all of this mayhem that turned the world upside down and after knowing that so many people have died, is being on social media really worth it at this point?

Social media also creates an addiction to the phone.  You want to be liked by others.  You want people to notice you.  You want those same people to interact with you because they might think you're cool.  You post about the coolest places you've been to and how awesome your past vacations were.  In reality, you're still the same individual who needs to work and you have those daily stresses.  I feel like socially disconnecting myself for a bit to understand who I really am as a person.  I want to be liked because a person likes me, and not what I post.  I want to have real friends who will be there for me when I'm at my lowest and not when I'm just having a good time.  I want to be able to create memories with people who find the time to come out and have dinner or coffee dates with me, and not when we're just going to the next party.  Wouldn't life be a little more meaningful that way?

It's great to know that you can find your friends on Facebook and know they are okay.  However, Facebook is also spammed with fake news, as well as bad news.  I don't know how to react or feel when I hear someone else has passed away from COVID.  That news came straight from social media, and not my friends.  I've had instances where there has been a death in my family and other friends who found out posted about it before we had a chance to decide if it needed to be posted about or not.  Those things are very personal and private and shouldn't really shared on social media, unless the actual party involved decided to share it first.  I think people start posting about subjects and things because they mostly crave the attention.

I've been slowly shying off of Facebook and Instagram over the past few weeks because I just feel like it's mentally draining.  I don't get to interact with my friends too often, but that's what messenger and my cell phone is for.  If I keep looking at my phone every five minutes just to see who posted what or who liked my status, I think I'm going to drive myself insane.  I miss social interactions and I miss my friends and family.  I have begun to realize how much I've taken for granted as a young woman living in NYC and how much money I've spent over eating, going out, and being the adventurous spirit I am.  This quarantine makes me realize how important some people are in my life and how much I care about them.  I am sometimes afraid that if COVID gets to them, I may lose them and that's heartbreaking.  I can't always be there for them and that bothers me.

Do yourself a favor and hug someone you care about today, if you can.  You won't know when is the next time you will see them, so make sure it is a tight one filled with all the love you can give.  I only give one hug per day, so if you were lucky enough to receive my hug, that means you mean the world to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Year of the Coronavirus

Hello!  It's been quite a while... I started this blog back in 2013 and I am realizing that it is in serious need of a face lift.  I will work on that in the meantime, but let's talk about 2020.  This year has started off with an interesting series of events, which has led to the world's current state.  We are currently under quarantine due to a global pandemic.  Non-essential employees are not allowed to work and 6.6 million employees have filed for unemployment.  I am currently one of the essential employees, since I work in healthcare.  However, the front liners are doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists, hospital staff, etc.  As of right now, most employees have been working from home and are trying to hold the laboratories together to avoid further contamination of this virus we call COVID-19, or Coronavirus.

The origins of COVID-19 are still unknown and researchers are working restlessly to find an antidote.  People have predicted that the virus originated from Wuhan, China.  However, other sources have come to wonder if this is accurate.  I personally don't think it originated from China, but that's another story to tell.  The virus is non-discriminatory, so it attacks anyone who is in close proximity with another person who has been infected (sounds like some T-Virus stuff from the Umbrella Corporation, right?) and will have an incubation state of 14 days.  There are symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.  Symptomatic patients develop a high fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, and can be lethal because it attacks the respiratory system.  Asymptomatic patients may be walking around and infecting others without even knowing they are positive.  So... due to the rapid spread, the world has shut down and advised the entire population of humans to quarantine themselves at home and wait it out.  Hospitals have been overbooked with unprecedented numbers of patients and laboratories have been working together to run PCR testing in order to develop a rapid response for patients.

So, what has Coronavirus led to?  Let's see...

  • Panic buying over random items like toilet paper, household cleaning items, and paper towels
  • A significant increase in racism against the Asian/ Asian American community... random people on the streets are hurting Asians or blaming the spread of Coronavirus on them - especially since Trump called the virus the "Chinese Virus"
  • People all over the world are dying - especially the elderly
  • Travel bans and border closing, which means an economic crisis due to the shortage of goods
  • Lack of PPE in hospitals to protect healthcare workers from being infected and taking the virus home to their families
  • Increased fear of sickness and death
  • Many people began implementing the practice of proper hygiene and hand washing (though, I don't know why they didn't do this before... it makes you wonder) 
  • Families being notified of the passing of their loved ones and not being able to retrieve the body or see them in the hospital because of fears of being infected
  • Daily activities have been halted and people have retreated to their homes indefinitely, unless it is to go to the stores to buy essential products
  • All department stores, malls, and restaurants have been shut down, unless you order online for take out or delivery
  • Many employees are left unemployed and are wondering how to survive without pay
  • Government tries to create a stimulus package to bail out the country from possible economic crumble
The list goes on.  I thought a new decade would bring change, but I didn't know the change would come straight out of the Book of Revelations.  In these times, I have seen and read many different stories and articles on Facebook, of which I've dubbed to be fake news.  However, one thing does remain constant... people feel entitled.  I say this because regardless of what the government tells their people to stop the spread, people still go outside due to cabin fever, they feel they can hurt others based on their irrational fears instead of actual facts, and they lie to nurses and doctors to get things done their way, which shows selfishness.  It's so sad to see who people actually become in times of crisis.  Healthcare workers are striving to work day in and out to protect and help others, and lying to them about where you've been or what you've been exposed to due to your own irrational fears of having the virus doesn't help anyone.  It's surreal.

During these times, I've been able to reflect a bit on what is important and what isn't.  I've become closer to my family and those around me.  I saw my mom for the first time in a month yesterday and I had to give her an air hug, since I had to be six feet away from her.  My mother is immunocompromised due to an autoimmune disease, so it is heartbreaking for me to not be able to hug her.  My dad offered me his elbow because I wasn't able to hug him either.  My sister is a nurse and has been exposed to the virus because her patient coded on her and passed away while she was doing chest compressions to try to save him (he coughed in her face, even with a mask), so she has shelled herself up in a hotel because she is afraid to come home since she lives with my mom.  My brother works at a pharmacy so he's dealing with patients daily, and you don't know who is sick and who is healthy.  He's also afraid of bringing the virus home to my parents.  My siblings and I have made arrangements for them to live away from home for a bit, and my parents face the reality that my brother and sister will have to grow up quickly (they're not happy).  This is the world we live in.

I miss human interactions with others.  I miss going out and hanging out with my friends.  I miss dinner date nights and laughing.  I miss hugs from people I love and care about.  Among all the things I miss?  I miss my freedom.  You don't realize how much you take for granted when you have it, but when things are gone, you end up thinking about what really matters.  I'll save that for the next post. 

Let's see what this new world will bring once this is over...