A break up letter to Covid 19
3rd June 2020
I know that you’ve been busy and that you’ve put quite a bit of energy into what you do best. I can’t bring myself to read about how many people weren’t able to fight you off and sometimes I feel guilty for not honouring the names and faces of people you won against.
I spent one day in your home turf. A unit of a hospital dedicated just to you. A nurse called Sergio made people tea while doctors asked about hearts, lungs and shortness of breath. In a CT scan I told the radiologist I couldn’t breathe and they gathered round looking for you in case you’d taken hold but instead we all determined it was your faithful twin: panic.
It is now almost three months that you’ve been sticking around my house. Some days you’ll have me sobbing with agony, and others sobbing with shock at what you’ve done.
Somewhere on your person there is proof of what you have stolen from me. I sometimes wish I could kneel down in front of my own body and say ‘tell me what you need.’ But she is so afraid and so exhausted that she can not answer.
I felt jealous of a sunset last night, knowing I had to shut it out as my mind had closed in on itself in order to nurse one of your tantrums. I miss dinners when I could laugh too. I miss mornings where I’d bound into the day like into the arms of an old friend.
You have made me so deeply, so chronically, so terrifyingly, tired. You’ve damaged nerves in my chest and feet so I have constant buzzing and pain to remind me you’re not gone yet. You’ve made the world tilt on its access so I’m constantly sick for having to stand up straight.
Have you been useful? Have you taught me anything I didn’t know?
Not yet. Not really. I already knew about pain. I already knew about how those that love me have to hold themselves when part of their world falls apart.
I try to believe you’ll be off soon. I have understood your strength and you’ve left your mark so there’s no need to stay. Yes it really is time to be going.
We are told that ‘most healthy people’ have you stick around for a few days or weeks. And then there’s us. The freaks. The ship of fools. And no one can help us with getting you gone. GPs offer stabs in the dark and put us on all kinds of medications that you simply scoff at. We self organise and make groups in order to share the strangeness of you.
I could buy into your plan of wanting our species gone but then there’s the small perfect
parts of this life, this human life that I find myself guarding from you. And yes I would guard them to the death – my teeth gnashing in order to keep you back, keep you the fuck away.
So I don’t know how long you’ll stay. And I don’t know if I’ll have to get used to you for the rest of my days. And in truth I don’t know how I’d do that yet or if I could.
What I still hope for is that one day I’ll be sitting quietly and I’ll look up to watch the change of light through the window and realise I’ve not thought of you for an hour, or a morning, or a day.
In short, please let us all breathe again.
This relationship is over.