In February, I started following the news coverage of the wide-spreading coronavirus. Blown away by images of people in China, wearing surgical masks, I did not think this could happen to us, here, in America.
I was in denial.
And I let denial shield me from my fear of this fatal virus traveling to the US and impacting our lives. As much as I wanted to live in denial, deep in my subconscious, I knew it was only a matter of time before the universe said, “Tag, you’re it.”
Now that it has arrived in the US, my favorite person is at home fighting this dangerous virus.
My mom works at a nursing home, and when she told me she was taking care of COVID-19 patients, I had to mentally prepare myself for the potential that my mom could get sick. After two weeks of caring for patients, she told me that over 30 residents had become ill. During one of our daily phone calls, she said, “Tiana, I am not feeling well. I think I am going to get tested.”
After learning she had tested positive for COVID-19, I went to the grocery store to shop for her. While in the store, reality hit me. Everyone in the store wore masks. While waiting in the ridiculously long checkout line, I thought of the images I saw on the news. I thought, “This is real.”
Later that night, my little sister called me in a panic and shouted, “Tiana, you know that mommy got the virus. I can’t lose Mommy!” I assured her that Mommy is a fighter. I also say this to reassure myself and keep it together.
I check in on my mom each day, but I check on her with a fear I have never felt before.
For breakfast, I had an egg and cheese burrito.