My heart is breaking. A common feeling for many, I think.
First, the pandemic hit the news. Coronavirus ravaged China. Then, Italy. I remembered the trip I took to the north several years ago to Lake Como and Milan. I recalled the breathtaking view from a scenic lookout at the top of the Duomo, and I prayed for the health of the people there.
I watched press conferences with the new White House Coronavirus Task Force and saw the claws of Covid-19 close around America. I learned new terms like “social distancing, “wiping down,” and “respiratory droplets.”
I watched so many press conferences that I hit the mute button when certain people spoke and turned it up when the experts took the podium.
I grew a fond appreciation for Dr. Birx’s scarves and admired the many ways that she tied them. I wondered where Dr. Fauci could be when he wasn’t there. And I wondered if it was weird to develop a crush on a seventy-nine-year-old man.
I heard the phrase “six feet of distance” so much that I could measure it with my eyes closed. I washed my hands until they cracked and itched. I started keeping Cortizone at my bedside. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I scratch my fingers so much that I wake up, my fingers feeling like they’re on fire.
I had bizarre dreams. Some of them feature old friends from college. In one, a friend I hadn’t spoken to years, was being chased by three wooden bears. After I woke up, I contemplated calling her so we could get a good laugh. Maybe one day.
I heard about celebrities having Covid-19, then friends of friends then my own family members.
Every day, I checked the positive case numbers in my state, county, city, zip code. The part of town I lived in seemed to have fewer cases, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I recalled my family and friends who lived in other parts of the city, and I started worrying all over again.
I isolated with my hubby. Went outside for walks. Ate fruit, veggies, and vitamins. Learned how to make biscuits without eggs or milk. Perfected online shopping for groceries. I’ve had more deliveries come to my door in the past three months than I have in the past three years.
Overall, I stopped wondering how long we’d have to live this way and reached the level of acceptance. I gratefully accepted the masks my aunts made for me and wore them when I went outside.
I grew weary of this new, weird normal, all while getting used to it and wondering when it would end.
And then George Floyd was killed.
I was already a bit drained from the news about Covid-19. Watching the effects on healthcare workers and patients. Seeing the impact it has on working people. Trying to understand this moving-target-of-a-virus. Wondering about loved ones.
After processing all of that, how much was left in me to handle the news of George Floyd?
In fits and starts, I gathered news about the incident. The more I learned, the more I questioned: How much did I want to know? How many details? How much of the video did I really want to watch? Can my heart take it?
I feel ashamed that I can’t pour over every detail of George Floyd’s killing like I did when the pandemic hit. It’s like the emotions are too raw. A painful scab that can’t be touched anymore.
I struggle to put my thought into words even as I write this. So many things come to mind. It’s so jumbled I can’t express it properly.
I can say this, though: I’m angry and afraid and tired of the racial inequality that permeates our culture. I’m tired of feeling it repeat. Over and over again. I’m drained.
And I know I’m not alone.
Living in California, I saw this commercial by Blue Shield of California. If you don’t live in the state, you may not have seen it. I want to share it with you because it’s powerful, dynamic, and expresses—in a concise, poignant way—what I can’t seem to say on my own.
Enough is enough.
My heart is tired of aching.
My heart is tired of breaking.
Stand for equality, America. You can do this. WE can do this. Let’s go!