George Floyd, COVID, and other updates
I cannot believe it has been over three weeks since I made a post! This is going to be much more of a freeform entry, you know, a bloggy sort of blog post.
First off, the main reason it has been so long is because of the major protests occurring in my home state of Minnesota due to the murder of George Floyd. I meant to sit down and write last week, but things in the cities really came to a head last Wednesday, and I have either been very busy with other things or not been in the right headspace due to all of the chaos mere miles away from where I live.
I really do not have a lot to say about the cause the protests are for other than Black lives matter, George Floyd was lynched, and I have strong confidence that the person who lynched him would not have gone to jail within four days, or possibly at all, if not for the protests, and if the victim was white, he would have gone to jail instantly. Other than that, I think the best thing for me to do is listen to POC around me, be aware of my privilege, and do what I can to not only educate myself on this impossibly complex topic, but encourage other white people to do the same in their day-to-day life.
As for my part in it (it is my blog after all), I have done what I can when it is asked. I have donated supplies a couple times to donation centers that assist the protesters and those who have become homeless. I’ve given rides to a couple people who did not have them due to the chaos of the situation. I visited 38th and Chicago twice, if for no other reason than to bear witness to what will forever be a significant historical event. In the thick of the protests and riots, we did have a few stressful nights where we were up late keeping a close watch on our street. We are not in Minneapolis, but we are close enough, and live on a major street with easy highway access, so the chance existed for our area to be affected by looting and violence.
As for another major world event in 2020, I wanted to share my experience with the COVID-19 pandemic that is devastating the world.
I have been holding off on saying this, but Danielle and I were infected by COVID-19 in early March, before Minnesota even had any confirmed positive cases. Collectively, we had all of the major well-known symptoms. I did run a fever for a few days and lost my appetite, but the worst symptom I had was severe debilitating body aches for over a full day. I only ended up needing to miss one day of work, however, other than that it was pretty tolerable. We really did not know what it was, we found out from the doctor it was not the flu, and we knew about COVID but had no real reason to suspect that was what it was.
Then the national emergency happened, everything went on lockdown, and we only went to work or stayed home for about a month. At certain times we had our suspicions that what we had in March was COVID, but we couldn’t know and had no real way to know. Then we learned about antibody testing, and went to a lab in Edina to test ourselves, where we both tested positive for the antibodies. It was expected but for some reason it still came as a shock. Almost immediately I looked into donating convalescent plasma at the Mayo Clinic, and a few weeks later made a day out of going down there to donate.
The virus certainly had some unforeseen and indirect consequences for myself, however.
At the same time that the virus was gaining traction in the US, I had begun a writing workshop in downtown Minneapolis. I had received the registration as a christmas present, and I was very excited for the opportunity it offered. Due to the virus, in-person sessions were cancelled until further notice. They offered a continuation of the workshop in an online format, but I was not nearly as excited about that, and I could tell the instructor was not either, so I cancelled my registration. More and more, the signs point towards writing being my passion, and I wanted to use this workshop as an outlet to explore that potential passion, and it cut me deep when that outlet was eliminated. I decided to start this blog as an alternative, or perhaps as a supplement, and so far it is acting as a suitable replacement.
Additionally, the virus has potentially affected my work life. A week or two before the quarantines, I applied for a new position at the company I work for. I was very qualified for it, and my hopes of being hired for it were high. Unfortunately, the virus understandably disrupted the normal flow of my company’s operation, and the position was either put to the side or removed due to the financial upheaval it caused. We are recovering from our loss of business and our adaptation to these events as well as any company could, but I am not very hopeful that the position is still on the docket to be filled. I know this seems like counting chickens, but the fact is that this was a cause of stress for me.
Even with these personal setbacks in my life, I am probably as lucky as anyone could be regarding the pandemic. There are many thousands of people who have been affected far worse than I have, and the tragedy of the entire situation cannot be understated.
There is no rational reason to believe that the construct of luck actually exists, but day by day seemingly coincidental occurrences lend themselves as evidence that luck may actually be some sort of existential, abstract, transcendental trait that we all possess.
So far, I have taken everything 2020 has thrown at the world and it has for the most part slid past me only leaving a few minor scrapes along the way. I am ready for whatever comes next.
I have a lot of things to write about in the coming weeks, don’t worry. If nothing else, I still have to finish documenting my trip last year. Stay tuned, and thank you so much to everyone who has read and follows this blog. I have found no greater joy in life than knowing that people read the things that I write.
Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and remember George Floyd.
For up-to-date information on the worldwide statistics of COVID-19, I use https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/