While on Facebook I have been talking a lot about the political side of this outbreak, I haven’t discussed how it’s affected me on a personal level very much. Part of it the reason is that how I feel changes not just day to day, but hour to hour, much like the news we get up the virus itself. Like everyone I’ve gone from bitterness and anger to hope and every emotion in between.
I’m sitting here in my office eating a fried bologna sandwich with Chicken in a Bisket crackers and an unsweet tea from Sonic I’ve decided to tackle this subject a bit.
I work for a company that is considered essential and has remained open during all the panic and beyond. I have to admit that when the state first announced that all businesses that were not considered essential I assumed we would be closing. What’s considered essential is a multi-meaning definition now. While I’m not sure how really essential we are, we have stayed busy and sold a lot of stuff that is making people’s self-isolation a little better, so perhaps we are essential in that regard.
Still, I was a little angry at first. I thought we would be closing. Part of me was kind of wishing we were and I would get a couple of weeks off. I think at that time I was figuring we’d be closed a week or two and then reopen, maybe a month tops. I figured I could handle that if that was the worst as far as finances go. I don’t know if the company would pay us if they closed, but I do have PTO and even without that, I was ok for a little while with my savings if worst came to worst.
Also, I was a little scared. I’m at the age that has a higher risk of death if I get it. Even though I still think what I went through at the end/start of the year was this, I can’t be 100% positive and even if it was there are no guarantees that you can’t get it again.
As I see more and more companies closing and with the very real possibility of quite a few of them never re-opening I’ve come to be thankful that I have a job still. Eventually, I may not and I have no idea how long that could last, what was once thought a month or two may drag into months or longer and looking at where I could end up money wise is a lot scarier, so every dollar I can add to my savings now could be a big help later. Who knows if the company I work for will survive? I’m too old to be looking for a new job, or having companies want to hire me at my age.
Yes, it’s very frustrating when we get customers that are “only browsing” and just coming to us because they’re tired of being cooped up in their homes and want to get out. I see parents bringing their kids, even babies out shopping, and wonder how smart they’re being. They could be exposing their kids to the virus, they could be exposing those of us in the building to it, there is no guarantee that the kids don’t already have it. It’s scary. At least when the other shoppers are coming in for a specific item, they get it and leave as quickly as possible. I know there’s just as much chance that they could be infecting us as anyone else, but it just feels a little better when they’re not just wandering around.
Stay at home isn’t going to work unless they put more enforcement into it. Until then people are going to come out and shop. They get bored and until it happens to them or someone in their family most people just don’t think they’ll get it.
There are so many emotions involved with all this. Stress is always there, wondering who has it, who may get it, who may transmit it to others. What happens if we close? How long can I survive? I’m lucky enough to have some savings to help get through some of this, but I don’t want to spend everything I’ve been saving up for on just surviving. Will I get it? My Mom and sister live in another state, I worry about them. I wish I was there to help them get groceries and what they need, so they didn’t have to go out.
There are no easy answers. We don’t even know all of the questions to be asking. Looking at what’s happening and how the government is, or isn’t in a lot of cases, reacting to the pandemic is scary enough, but on a personal level, it’s even more frightening to think about what may or may happen.
On a daily basis, I go from wishing we were closed and I was sitting home without anyone near me to being thankful I have a job still and income. Heck, on an hourly basis I go back and forth sometimes. I’m thankful for my co-workers that have stepped up and done an outstanding job dealing with all this madness. I’m thankful I still do have a job. I’m thankful that I’m healthy still. And in the end I guess that’s got to be enough for now.