My Coronavirus diaries

I tested positive for the infamous #coronavirus on October 9th. That’s one text message I will save as a keepsake.

Since then, it’s been some 10 days of pretty intense up-and-down, both physically and mentally. I started to journal, because writing is what I do, at first as a coping strategy and to avoid feeling even more isolated – but soon I started to realize a lot of people were responding to my posts, with messages of hope, positive reactions, and their own personal stories to complement mine.

So I decided to collect all my journal entries in one single organized blog post here. It’s a bit long, you can definitely skip parts, and I will not edit the format even though some parts are more heavily emotional or dramatic. As I was feeling better, not so tired (and scared shitless), I was writing more, with personal reflections about life, politics, society.

You can just skip it all; or you can just read the last day, with my overall summary.

Some parts may feel exaggerated or out of line now. Please don’t consider them lectures or judgments. I decided not to edit anything because it documents my mental process, and it’s all been part of the experience.

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My point is not to spread panic, but to contribute to spreading balanced and dispassionate information about this global health crisis without precedents in the past 100 years of human history.

If even just one person will decide to take fewer risks to limit their personal exposure; or if someone gets sick and goes through it with a better understanding, maybe finding some comfort in this journal, feeling less isolated, my objective is fulfilled.

It’s been tough, there have been darker moments and lighter ones, it’s not “just a flu” (not at all) and even though we are luckily all moving towards a full recovery, we consider ourselves lucky. Numerous people in my same age group or younger than me, without previous conditions, have experienced severe complications and are possibly facing long-term lingering effects. I am in touch with some of them, they are my friends.

Not to mention that for older generations, this thing is simply very dangerous. When it touches you or a close member of your family, the debate on the “economical cost” of the pandemic all of a sudden stops being interesting. When it affects your 18-months-old baby, you just would like everybody to shut up and the whole world to stop.

TL;DR: this thing is nasty, try at all costs not to catch it, and if unfortunately you do have it, limit in every possible way its spreading and the damage to others – especially, but not only, the more vulnerable segments of the population.

I will respond to all comments but I will not get engaged in discussions about numbers and statistics. It’s not my job, and I leave specialists do theirs. I am just telling a story.

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October 8th, 2020

ok I deleted my previous (excellent) post – edit: where I compared myself to Donald Trump – because of some backlash, but here are the facts:

– coronavirus is real, we have it right now and we are quarantining;- symptoms started last Monday/Tuesday;

– it “feels like” a strange and strong flu, but it’s definitely not just a flu. Breathing can get hard, especially at night. What I experience are blocked nose, cold sweats (a lot), joint pain (a lot), fatigue, dizziness, a bit of cough. Some loss of appetite too (terrible);

– we are NOT worried, after 2 days we feel somewhat better already. So please don’t get alarmed. We are definitely not in danger (mental health is another story);

– these are not reasons to underestimate it though. This thing can be nasty, and other people are being much less lucky. Many friends report effects lasting one month and more, and lingering complications. Even young, fit people who are not in the “at risk” group. Nobody is really safe, so for everybody’s sake don’t act as you are;

– there is nothing wrong or shameful in discussing it as far as I am concerned. Feel free to ask in private or here. Just a few words to the wise: this is my personal page, so don’t make panic phone calls to my family members, they may not be as happy;

– we don’t know how we got it, but it’s no mystery that it’s doing the rounds in Prague so if you have a hint of social or professional life, chances are you are going to encounter the virus. Shame on the government for botching the response so badly this time, they are interpreting people’s feelings to perfection but their job is to run the country, not pander to it;

– the point is not to spread the alarm – but we SHOULD be at least a little bit alarmed. I see a lot of people who just want to carry on with their lives. I understand that – I do too – but this thing is here to stay and we are not going to contain it with “business as usual”;

– I am the living proof of this argument: if I met my parents now, that could kill them; – peace out. Stay safe. Don’t get it, if you can.

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October 9th, 2020

Judging this look? But this is how you would also look after 3 days with #coronavirus

Stay safe! Wear masks, practice distancing, wash hands and listen to the experts. Not the youtube ones. I mean the experts who can actually write.

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October 10th, 2020

Day 4 of #coronavirus – complete loss of taste and smell. Like, I can’t smell shit. Literally. On the plus side, changing the baby’s diapers has never been easier. Onwards!

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October 11th, 2020

day 5 of #coronavirus

after an almost sleepless night, I gave a speech from my balcony to address my fans in these challenging times.

Despite me being still ill and surely contagious, the event was considered 100% safe – because absolutely nobody attended it, not even stray dogs. It’s Sunday morning in Prague after all. So here is a brief transcript.

Everything hurts and my productivity is seriously limited. Domestic chores take forever and feel like big tasks. It’s at least good to keep busy, but my productivity is gone. I find it very hard to write or edit text on screen.

Even as I write this for fun, it’s far from enjoyable. I just keep doing because I look at the stupid expression on my face, and giggle to myself.

Children seem to suffer less from the virus, and that seems true in our experience. What reports don’t say is that children are affected in other ways. They are scared, confused and can’t sleep well. This means their parents can’t sleep well, and this slows down the general recovery process, affects mood and mental health.

I wake up in the morning and I wish this was only a nightmare. It isn’t, and it sucks.

I miss having the option of a Sunday morning walk to the park, or to meet friends, or to have lunch outside. It’s especially hard not knowing if this thing will last three, five, 10 days or who knows how long, and what will be the consequences.

You know what doesn’t matter, at all? Money, finance, numbers, work deadlines. The opportunities I may be missing, the cash… If you are expecting an email from me… sorry, guys. All dissolves in the background. Brain fog is a reason, but knowing that I am fighting an unknown infection that has a chance – however small – of killing me and the people I love is a very scary thought. And puts many things in perspective.

People seem so worried about the economy, the infrastructure… we will rebuild it. We have rebuilt after earthquakes and wars. That’s what public money is for, and if the governments say there isn’t enough, they are lying. There is no other priority, period.

The lost lives, the broken families, those are the only things that are impossible to replace. I sure wish I didn’t have it. I am sorry I didn’t do more to avoid it. I tried to be careful but obviously not enough. The numbers in Prague are just too high to be casual about it.

And I feel really sorry for the people who may have been affected by me. I may have infected people without knowing, and this feels terrible. No-one deserves this.

Avoid it, if you can. Stay safe. Wash hands, wear protections, disinfect obsessively. If you see people who are careless and don’t take the situation seriously, distance them, don’t meet them for some days. They may be willing to risk, but maybe you aren’t.

If you are immunocompromised or at risk, or are in contact with people who are, just don’t gamble with this. It may severely impact you or people you know, and it may kill somebody. It is killing a lot of people already. Don’t think that “it only happens to the others”.

We should let this thing limit our lives, at least a bit, until wisdom prevails and we can go back to them as soon as possible.

There are things that help. I am very grateful for my family who keeps in constant loving touch, my friends who cheer me up all the time, the essential workers who are delivering me badly-needed food (I can’t taste it, but I can remember it), the groceries, the toys to keep me entertained.

I am happy about the interesting pieces I can read or watch online, which remind me that the world is still a very interesting place.

And I finally convinced my adorable wife to watch “Community” together, and as cringy as it is, we are loving it. Peace out. Have a good Sunday!

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October 12th, 2020

unexpected #coronavirus benefit: food delivery, I don’t need to worry about disinfecting the boxes and I jump straight to eating

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October 13th, 2020

day 7 of #coronavirus journal

Symptoms all the same. No fever. Still a lot of sweating. Headache.

Zero willingness to work. Unloading the dishwasher felt like an epic task.

Taste & smell maybe a little bit back? I could “feel” the coffee this morning.

I maybe breathe a little bit worse, like I cannot draw air all the way in, but it could be my imagination. I hope everything is going on well in there.

I slept a deep and dreamless sleep, don’t feel fully refreshed. Maybe that’s it. Went to bed last night reading about the possible long-term, lingering effects of the virus and it’s been a big mistake. I generally prefer knowing to not knowing but I also need hope and good vibes.

To think that I could develop lasting lung or heart damage is terrible. To think that our 1-year-old baby could suffer from such conditions – through no choice or responsibility of her own – throws me in a pit of the darkest desperation possible, one that I cannot use words to describe.

Day 7 and still no light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I don’t even see the tunnel walls anymore. It’s important to keep my mind busy. It’s hard to find something smart, inspiring or funny to write all the time. Maybe later.

This is the moment when I realize I am not Matt Damon in that movie. I wish I was Matt Damon, but I am not. I am Kate Winslet. I know all the facts, I think I am very smart, then I make one stupid mistake and I become an anecdote in someone else’s story. At least we are not making mass graves yet.

Czech Republic declared a “soft lockdown” last night. Schools are closed until Nov 2nd, but kindergartens will remain open (note: that’s most likely how we got it). There will be small economic compensations to employees who have to remain at home. Only employees? Too little, and way too late.

This country expresses some of the smartest and brightest people I know, has the highest respect for science and culture, but is led by an ignorant maniac. The inability (or just blind unwillingness) of our leaders to do the right thing in the name of some personal beliefs or economic ideals completely out-of-touch with reality is especially depressing.

About that: this is also the moment when I realize I am not one of the world leaders, and I will not receive some ultra-rare, experimental treatment that will put me back on my feet after 3 days, ready to declare that “actually, the virus is not that bad”.

If you are still reading this: IT IS that bad. It’s like being infected by an alien from outer space and you don’t know what it’s doing to your body. Try not to get it. And tell everybody.

Stay home, cancel meetings, lose a few jobs or opportunities if that’s what it means, but believe me, you don’t want to live with this. The best way to “protect the vulnerable” is that YOU start doing your part. It’s possible that the cavalry ain’t coming this time.

You don’t want to wake up every morning thinking “what is this that I feel in my chest?” and then nervously dismissing the thought with “oh, I am sure it’s just my usual early morning snot” while you start sweating cold.

And especially, you don’t want to pass it to the gentle old lady who lives on the ground floor, just because you share the elevator.

If you do unfortunately report the symptoms, register yourself to the authorities and cooperate with the system in every possible way. Use the tracking app if it works in your country (here I can’t get it to function).

The authorities may be incompetent and make big mistakes, but they also need our cooperation, statistics, information to make the right decisions. You can share this, if you think it helps. I sincerely hope it does.

Peace out. Stay safe, please.

#coronavirus means we order pizza, it’s with pineapple and Bára Rodi gets away with it. Gotta pick my fights, guys.
My adorable wife Barbora in the photo. We went through this adventure together. She started having symptoms maybe one day before me, and her recovery was a little bit faster. She still cannot taste and smell food though!

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October 14th, 2020

#coronavirus journal, day 8

I seem to feel better across the board! I had a very good night of rest.

Breathing is good, sweating seems gone, my sense of smell is definitely coming back! A bit of cough. Tiredness and muscle fatigue are still there.

I can’t handle long stretches of screen time (including, sadly, “Community”). My productivity is still very low. Maybe it’s just the new me. All in all, things seem to be going well, on the way to recovery.

Don’t know how long it will still take but if there are ups and downs, this is definitely an “up”. The family is also showing small signs of improvement. Ups and downs. We are all quite tired.

As of today, the Czech Republic is entering its “soft lockdown” (see the article). Nobody seems happy about it. People advocating harder measures say this is too little and too late, and people who didn’t think there was a problem a) have no human feelings or b) can’t read numbers, so either way it’s pointless to argue with them.

As the infected (and sadly, the victims) continue to soar across the country, I wish I could paint a huge “I TOLD YOU SO” on the side of every building in Prague. It wouldn’t help as a containment measure, but it would make me feel a lot better.

These unpopular measures are a crude but effective way to contain the infection. Nobody likes empty movie theaters and closed pubs, but if it’s the only way to prevent thousands of deaths, oh well. We tried the other popular strategy (doing nothing at all), and it didn’t work well.

We can talk about the damage to the economy, inflation and so on (just kidding, please don’t), but I think we still need to acknowledge that 2020 was the year of the Big Global Pandemic, and closing our eyes wouldn’t make the problem go away.

This thing affects everybody and spreads fast. If it’s not the number one priority on the agenda of every policymaker in the world, there is something wrong. From the article: “The Czech Interior Minister said on Monday: “80,000 active cases is a problem, 120,000 is the point of no return. We’re now at 61,000.” Those cases are rising faster than anywhere else in Europe”.

Thanks to all the friends who have been expressing their support for me & my family in these challenging times, and have been asking for more stories. I started with sarcastic jokes as a coping strategy but then I realized my posts were really reaching a lot of people. In particular, many said I was the first “real” person in their contacts who was openly talking about having the disease, and this was an eye-opening experience for them.

With 39 million cases worldwide, including names like Tom Hanks and Cristiano Ronaldo, that says a lot about how our perception works. We need a personal connection to make a story work. I get it. I am glad I have been of help. If it contributed to avoiding even just one case, then it was well worth it. It’s not like I have anywhere to go, anyway.

Stay safe, people. Do everything you can not to catch Corona, and if you do, cooperate with the institutions to contain the spread. Stay at home, disinfect, wash your hands and wear a face mask, install the tracking app and feed it with your data. We will hopefully all meet on the other side of this.

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October 15th, 2020

#coronavirus journal, day 9

We are continuing to recover. Yesterday I felt significantly better for the first time.

In the evening, however, I started to feel some symptoms again (headache, sweats, weakness, some cough). A reminder that the infection is still on.

The night went well with no significant events. Again, I was drenched in night sweat. Our baby woke up a couple of times with a cough and crying, but other than that she doesn’t show any particular signs of illness.

Overall, we feel much better, although not fully recovered yet: the 10-days threshold for quarantine is probably there for a reason.

When I look back, the first 5-6 days were the worst part. We are probably still contagious, but out of the woods. Good thing I don’t feel like going out at all.

Now that the worst part seems over, I was having a good look at data. I change my approach to statistics completely when I am about to become one. To fight the infection requires a big collective effort from all segments of society, and it’s not working, but why is it so hard?

In the past, similarly strict public health measures were accepted almost without protest. I am thinking about the seat belts in cars, safety chairs for children, or the smoking ban from public buildings – all accepted more or less smoothly over the course of a few weeks.

Now why is even something so simple as wearing face masks meeting so much opposition? I think the reason is in the fact that Coronavirus affects people in different age and social groups very differently. (you can have a look at the sources in the pictures)

For those between 20-29 years of age, the danger of dying is basically zero. There is a chance of lingering, long-term damage but the human mind is not designed to think long term (and a young one even less so). But already for somebody in my age group, the % of needing hospitalization is 3x higher, and the risk of death is 10x. 0.7% for my age (40-49) seems low, but think about it, it’s almost 1 in one-thousand. Would you ever board a plane, if it had a 1/1000 chance of crashing, guaranteed? (although, I am sure, Ryan Air would find a way to advertise it and profit from that, too).

I had a couple of sleepless nights as I was wondering over these numbers, and believe me, the blanket felt damn too short even though I was sweating like crazy. To me, the discussion about Coronavirus was never academic. It was about personal survival.

*Edit: a friend helped me notice that these figures are very likely much higher than the reality, as in the first wave in Italy many asymptomatic and light cases were not tested and not reported.

It also doesn’t help that other risk factors include being overweight, smoking, heart conditions and previous conditions. Illness is so absent or vilified in our conversation, it’s easy to dehumanize those who suffer. All those people asked for it, right?

Now I don’t want to start (another) debate on numbers and how to interpret them. I gladly leave the “expert talk” to the experts. I am not one of them.

What I want to point out is that this is the reason why this pandemic is dividing us so much. We were already divided.

We organized society, divided it into clusters, segments, and there is almost no communication among them. Which means no understanding. The parts that see themselves as immune to the virus, are also the parts more hungry for experience, on the way to achieve financial stability, build a career, establish lasting social ties. And they don’t want to stop the party.

It’s hard to tell people “you need to show social responsibility!” after teaching that success in life is early independence, dating, traveling, money even at the cost of debt, consuming life experiences like they were a box of assorted chocolates.

Others, too economically vulnerable to afford a period without income or daycare for their children, have to make a terrible choice between their economic survival or being exposed to the disease. Maybe they do it at an unconscious level, also to preserve their dignity, and the self-defense strategy manifests as aggression. “You lazy and fat cannot tell me how to live my life!”

And the whole “ok boomer” thing? Seniors being joked about and described as stupid, out of touch, pathetic. Now a disease comes along that targets them primarily. Boomer remover. Who cares, right? Not my problem.

Again, all this has been engineered by us, as economic differences were growing and the redistribution of wealth stopped being a priority in society. Different groups look at each other now as if they belonged to completely alien worlds. But we built those worlds, day by day. Is it really that surprising? All of a sudden we realized we have been working very actively towards the disintegration of social ties. And we did a very good job at that.

This could be the single, stark lesson to take away from all this. Or else all this death and suffering will have been for nothing.

If everything goes well, I will probably end this journal tomorrow, just as I reach day 10. Thank you if you followed me, wished us well, shared your personal experiences and if the story inspired you or motivated you to action even just a little bit.

Many reached out to express how my stories helped them to “make it real” or to look after their loved ones. This has been the biggest reward for me. Many others chose to share with me their experiences with the disease, stories they didn’t feel like telling as publicly (and vividly) as me. Rightly so. I respect and honor each of those as a gift.

My bottom line: this thing is dividing us and it really shouldn’t be. It’s actually designed to bring humanity together in a common challenge maybe without precedents in a few generations. What to do with it, is up to us. If we find the motivation to act so that at the end we are better, healthier and more unite, we will be. If we forget this, or if we fail to act, it will divide us. But it’s all in our hands, right now.

Let’s not blame the virus. Peace out, and stay safe.

October 16th, 2020

#coronavirus journal, day 10 (last)

All symptoms in check. The night went really well, we all woke up rested and in much better shape. It seems reasonable to say that we are out of the woods.

Evening tiredness is still a problem and we have a bit of residual mucus in our throat, but the energy level is gradually going back to pre-infection times, there is no fever or body pain, even taste & smell are back. It seems we made it.

Yesterday I felt a strange feeling of euphoria, I was so glad to be alive, well, and surrounded (physically or digitally) by so many amazing people. The first 4 or 5 days were tough, but now they are fading away, like a bad dream where I was having pizza with pineapple.

All in all, it’s a very interesting “back to life” experience.

This will be the last daily update in this series. Thank you for following and offering so much support, jokes, personal stories. It really helped, a lot. Some people have asked me to collect them all, and I think I will write a unified blog post sometime soon. It will be an easier resource to check and share later.

Many of you know I am obsessed with stories and the concept of the “hero’s journey”. This couldn’t be complete without going full circle, back to the light but with a renewed understanding, a deeper experience.

What have I learned from this personal ordeal? This will be that story. Going full circle.

When the first, slightly worrying news arrived from Wuhan in China, almost a year ago, I – barely registering the information – wrote something like “it seems that a stronger flu is coming this year. We need to be careful, follow basic hygiene measures, don’t panic and it will be over soon. There is nothing to worry about”. I made some quick calculations and I concluded that, at that rate of infections, the number of victims was not worrying. “Hippos kill more people in one year”, I wrote.

I was so wrong. The virus spread, and like water, it infiltrated the cracks in our system. And as we got flooded, those cracks quickly got deeper. Our inability to react to an international public health crisis became apparent very soon. Political and economical responses were slow and inadequate, but, always ready to blame the governments, we didn’t do much better on the individual level. A global pandemic was declared and nobody had any idea what would happen next.

Italy, a place I love very much, found itself on the frontline, clearly unprepared to receive the full blow. This exposed its weaknesses, but also the incredible qualities that Italians have under duress: solidarity, levity, resourcefulness. As the numbers started to grow exponentially, I – like so many other people – had to become familiar with concepts like the “R factor”, forced ventilation and the grim realities of exponential growth, battlefield triage and containment measures.

The photos of body bags being carried to mass graves by army trucks went global, a shocking sight I will not forget. My family in Italy locked up, terrified, and we only had our daily phone calls to bring each other a little bit of relief.

I watched “Contagion” by Steven Soderbergh and that old TED talk with Bill Gates and I found myself thinking “my god, we had so been warned. The writing was on the wall the whole time. What have we done?”.

The virus kept spreading. In our fast and completely interconnected world, it inexorably reached one country after another. When the pandemic crossed the Atlantic, it wreaked real havoc in the US. The reports were terrifying. Again, the virus just amplified the existing divisions in society – the United States being not that “united”, right now – and turned people even more against each other, while when we suffer all we need is support and unity. They will not have a “second wave” in America, because the first never ended.

This is maybe a lesson we could learn, in Europe? To stay united, even when it’s hard? Especially when it’s hard?

Some other places – like the Czech Republic, where I live – were able to deal with the situation surprisingly well due to a combination of geography, infrastructure, good decisions, discipline and pure luck. While still worried about all my relatives and friends everywhere, I was relatively safe and untouched. The virus wasn’t spreading around here. Our income was affected, but not drastically. I felt like we dodged a bullet.

Not everybody had been as lucky. The worst was yet to come, but we didn’t know it, at that time.

We got a moment of collective relief in the summertime. In Prague we had comedy shows and movie nights. I was able to meet my parents for a short holiday together. Like many people, we were wary, but we were happy. We wanted to feel alive and share simple pleasures like the sun, sea, eating together.

But while we paused for relief, the silent killer started to spread again. We were vaguely aware of the numbers as they were rising again, at first slowly, then picking momentum, little by little. This second time, I feel, society as a whole botched its response. We really should have been better prepared. The tools were ready and tested. We could have learned from success stories (like South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand).Instead? We didn’t do much, and got separated again.

The infighting became more fierce: angry and powerless, people started to fortify their positions on every side of the fences that we create to divide us. We forgot that the real enemy was invisible and moved completely unbothered through political trenches. The numbers kept rising, and rising.

Before we knew it, the second wave was here. We got ill ourselves. I woke up thinking “we got the coronavirus”, incredulous that all the terrible news I was reading all the time were now talking about me. It all became very, very personal. I still don’t know exactly how dangerous it was, but I was worried about my life and the safety of my closest family, my wife, our baby. Believe me, besides numbers, that feeling alone is terrible.

And I know it was NOT “a stronger flu”. This was something else, something my body didn’t know how to deal with. I had the strangest symptoms: cold sweats all day, headspin, fatigue, confusion. I could hear my internal monologue speaking out loud in my throbbing head. It was like being bitten by a radioactive spider – but without all the cool superpowers.

We were facing the fear of this nasty and unknown parasite which breached the perimeter of our closest family circle, and were unable to do anything but wait. The first 5 days or so were the hardest.

I felt absolutely powerless, hopeless and guilty, on top of the physical hardships the disease meant. I cried out loud, with tears, while holding Stella, our baby. That was my lowest point.

Then, things started to get better. We now think (hopefully) that the worst part is behind us, but so many people haven’t been as lucky. As I am writing this, 1.1 million people have died globally of covid-19, and there is no way to know how worse things will have to get, before they can get better.

I almost feel relieved we already had it, with the system still far from its breaking point. But so many worrying doubts gather like heavy clouds on the horizon. Europe is sliding into a second shut down. We are in this together, again. And yet, again we show surprisingly different levels of preparedness and even awareness of the situation. Haven’t we learned the lesson? We could have been surprised once – but twice, by the same emergency?

If we are not able – or even willing – to react to a global health crisis, what else can motivate us to act? What chances do we have to solve future emergencies like armed conflicts, or fast climate change?

With these questions in mind – too big for me – I turn to my personal lessons from the past few weeks. First, I was wrong. I was wrong at the beginning in assessing the situation, cuddled in a strange sense of self-righteousness and blissful denial thinking that something that happens on the far side of the world cannot possibly affect us, our technological and modern society, here. I was wrong: it can, and it does. If a few suffer, we all suffer. We really are one organism.

All throughout the crisis, my biggest support has been the feeling I was not alone. I had the comfort of real, warm personal connections always around me. I had people constantly checking with me on the phone or by text: close friends or distant acquaintances, doesn’t matter – sometimes it was even nicer to hear from somebody after a long time, not exactly remembering where or how we met.

And I was journaling, with hundreds of people responding to my stories with theirs. This reassuring web of community all around me kept me warm, and kept me hoping. Like what I was going through was still relevant, not just an accidental mistake.Luck played its part, and I am well now. But through it all, I was not alone.

If the disease spreads and gets stronger by playing on our weaknesses and divisions, the way to contain it is to show strength, connection and resilience as a united organism. Once again, “we are ecosystem” as a friend reminded me, and that we are. Part of many complex systems all around us – through which all the things and beings are connected, including deadly viruses.

If we alienate ourselves from our communities and nature, the result is an illness. Possibly lethal. If instead, we acknowledge our place in all things and embrace the active role we have in them, we can work towards a healthy regenerative balance.

Because, it occurred to me, what is the real disease? A virus is just a tiny bug that cannot even move or spread by itself. In order to be dangerous, it exploits us: our imperfections, our divisions, our needs. So the real danger is inside us. It may be harder to fight, but at least, we know where to look.

This is the end of my journal. Thank you for making it so far. Good luck with the few following weeks, they will not be easy. Try everything you can to avoid the illness, cooperate with the institutions – however imperfect they are – and if you do unfortunately catch it, be easy on yourself. It could be a bumpy road, physically hard and ridden with feelings like guilt, blame, anger, shame.

Limit the spread by thinking most of all about the most vulnerable members of society. And reach out. We are in this together. Despite all the bad news, there is still an amazing lot of great things going on. Whether you are ill or healthy, offer and look for support among your friends – the close ones, and the more distant ones. You will be surprised by how many people will be glad to establish a positive connection with you. Even strangers. Even people from the “opposite sides” of political barricades.

Because you know what? At the end of the day, those lines are not real. They only exist in our minds. We create them to protect us from our immaturity, but at some point, when facing bigger threats, it’s time to grow. I could experience it, so maybe many more people can. Maybe overcoming these lines will be the biggest achievement, part of our collective healing process. Or maybe this is just me, trying to stay “positive”. Ah-ah (that was a punch line).

Peace out. Stay safe. Good luck out there.

3 thoughts on “My Coronavirus diaries

  1. Your October 8th entry is interesting because it’s become a fascination to me how we all make so many built-in disclaimers whenever we talk about COVID because we know that people will become angry regardless of what we say… either you’re being a coward because you went to the store with a mask or you’re a Nazi because you dared go shopping for toilet paper.

    COVID hasn’t had the effect on me that it has on others. I’m grateful for that and I still try to understand the perspective of people who have been very negatively impacted. The only thing that makes me angry is when I hear people spreading clear falsehoods. There’s definitely so much that we simply don’t know the veracity of because of how poorly everything was handled in the early days (especially here in the U.S.) but there are some things which are obviously untrue which my coworkers delight in sharing with one another (genetically engineered disease designed to kill black people, for example).

    I think this is the first post of yours which was directed inward and it was fun to get to know the writer a bit more. Your closing thoughts on what a disease is and the reasons they spread so easily were insightful and something that deserves further exploration, I think. When we’re all at our best, regardless of ideology (aside from the most extreme ones on either end of the spectrum), I think we all can admit to ourselves that we seek unity and cooperation with everyone regardless of who they are and what they believe. It’s only when we’re manipulated by bad actors that we begin to develop tunnel vision and only see enemies in front of us.

    Glad you pulled through, and your family as well. On the bright side you most likely don’t have to worry about catching it again, at least not in the near future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hello :) thank you for your words. Well yes, it feels kind of strange now, feeling “safe” while everywhere around us the emergency is raging and the numbers keep piling high. Czech Republic will face a public health crisis and the peak is expected in the next 2 weeks. It’s pure arithmetic at this point. The sad thing is, a lot of it could have been prevented.
      Yes, what scares me is the “political” side of it. Completely unnecessary. We should be all together in this and YET we find reasons to fragment and attack one another. This is depressing beyond measure.
      But I am always trying to find a silver lining and even in this situation, I have to say that I see a lot of solidarity, generosity and heroic altruism everywhere. It just depends where I look. And it seems that the eyes of many observers are simply not pointed in that direction: for many it’s more interesting or profitable to spread (and profit from) stories of fear, hate and confusion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I think we are all headed toward a realization that the only real way to get positive things done is to do it ourselves and ignore government.

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