How Does It Feel To Be A Health Professional’s Spouse During These Times?

Feelings, thoughts at home, how to “make use” of COVID-19

Yesterday, my sister messaged me. She hardly texts more than 4 replies in a row — mostly because she’s super busy. I often wonder what she’s doing with her time as I had more time on my hands when I was her age.

She asked how I was doing. I was fine. Then I made a joke about the fact that my wife is a doctor, so, even if I were to practice social distancing or self-isolation, I could still contract COVID-19 if she came in contact with it at work.

As the world panics ( and everyone brings out data about the spread of the virus, what is true vs what isn’t or how every country in the world is reacting to the epidemic), I find myself feeling that the people we should be praying for, aren’t getting our kind thoughts or concern.

Anyone who starts having symptoms is going to head to a hospital. Doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, dentists are going to be working round the clock.

I have seen tweets saying that in some cities, shifts are dead. Meaning: you work until you’re tired (or infected); you rest when you can.

People are hoarding toilet paper here in the US -at least, that’s what I saw when I tried to buy some this week.

Yesterday, on her day off, my wife tried to get groceries and Walmart was empty.

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Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

If you’ve ever been to Bafoussam — or any full market in a Cameroonian urban town — the weirdest feeling you could ever get is stepping into a space that is usually filled with humans, food, noise, etc, and have no one-or very few people.

That’s how my wife described Walmart yesterday.

When I moved to the US, the size of Walmart was one of those things that made me tap into the inner “villagois” in me and just stare with my mouth open.

Now, we have memes of people hoarding toilet paper, screaming matches to get stuff, and empty stalls.

Of all these happening because of the virus, the personal issue I face each day is that my wife cannot stop working as I can.

At my job, the company is doing its best to move everyone home so that in the event of a lockdown, we’ll still be able to work. You might see this as the ultimate sign of capitalism — work no matter what! Especially if it’s a global epidemic! This is America!

I see it like this: our landlady would probably still require us to pay rent if this were to happen. Period.

For a company to choose to send its employees to work in the safety of their homes while getting their paychecks, I think that’s really compassionate.

I’ve seen people-especially event planners-who have lost their jobs entirely; reaching out on twitter for help.

Others, stuck home trying to work with their kids, and having to discover that remote work/working at home, is not as “fun” as they’d thought.

When I was sick two weeks ago, coughing my eyes out and had to take two days off, it never occurred to me how that was actually a blessing.

Imagine me coughing the way I did then. Dude, no one would find it funny or try to give me cough drops.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In all this, nearly everyone can be classified into three groups:

Those who believe the world is ending.

Those who believe this is media manipulation.

Those who believe this too shall pass.

I think a combination of those three could work best.

First, COVID-19 is real. There’s a high chance we don’t have all the true numbers being reported and like every virus, there are healthy carriers who show no symptom, yet, could be infecting others. Refusing to be responsible at such times is not the human way to go about this.

Second, the media always blows things out of proportion. Even before the virus, if you turned on the TV, you’d only find the worst of times and the worst of times. I stopped watching TV years ago because of this.

Third, as a generation we are so far removed from things like the bubonic plague and Smallpox that it’s frankly incomprehensible to accept that it is possible that a lot of people will die, others will develop immunity, and that others will survive.

Educating ourselves with relevant sources is very essential. It allows us to at least not panic and to prepare for the worst-case scenario while continuing our day to day activities.

If anything, this is a good time to look at your life and ask:

If I contracted COVID-19 now, and it was clear I would die, what would I do differently?

This could be an opportunity to reconnect with the people we care about, make amends, go back to a relationship with God, and do the best with what we have.

I’m not even trying to be optimistic here. I see people still buying stock. I read this morning in a newsletter, a lady who bought her home in 2008 in the US when the housing market was crashing. She said it still paid dividends today, that decision.

The event planner who lost her job? Replies to her tweet were numerous about people wanting to help.

This is a good time to prepare to bounce back with full gear when things return to normal.

Because they will.

And if they don’t? Would you rather spend your last days panicking or with love?

Would you rather scan from channel to channel, looking for the worst-case scenario or making jokes with your family and laughing?

Would you rather use this time at home to up your skills so you can upgrade your job or business or numb yourself with movies and shows?

And more importantly…

What if this ends tomorrow?

Will you be ready?

Mankind has survived a lot. God, for some reason, still wants us to be here. And if He decides this is the end, there’s not much any of us can do.

I hope as the panic floods in, you’ll find the space to practice some stillness and take in everything while being responsible and ready.

Every day, my wife comes home and I’m glad to see she’s safe. I wash my hands, I don’t touch my face. I have a call in a few minutes to see if I can invest in a coach to help write my first non-fiction book in the next few months- it’s more money than I have ever invested in my writing. I will be shooting a YouTube video later.

Then I’ll head to work.

I hope you keep this in mind during these times.

Originally published at https://kamga.substack.com.

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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