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Some thoughts during a surreal time

Posted by Ryan Piccirillo on

I don't know if anyone ever really checks this blog, but I think its a fair space for me to share some thoughts about Coronavirus.

I didn't get much sleep last night because I was information overloading by refreshing reddit constantly while watching the latest episodes of Better Call Saul. A few weeks ago on reddit, I told a poster on r/boston that they were being "hysterical" in regards to their concerns about the virus. I feel really foolish for that comment now that the situation has become more serious, and regret my lack of foresight and compassion.

I am anxious about the whole situation, but it also doesn't really seem real to me. I don't have much of a social life and have been practicing social distancing for years due to social anxiety. I don't really go out and I hate crowds, I haven't gone to the grocery stores to see the long lines and empty shelves, I haven't been commuting to see the empty highways. And things are pretty much business as usual at the shop - its been a relatively normal week customer-wise. And yet I am being inundated (and inundating myself) with frightening coverage about the virus.

I'm mostly thinking about my parents. They're older, and healthy enough, but still are more vulnerable than most. I have told my mom to stop coming down to the store for the time being (she misses it) and am encouraging them to stay in. I rely on my parents for so much, and right now the virus seems so far away, but I can't imagine how frightening it would be if it got close enough to make my parents sick.

I've got a close friend traveling right now for a wedding (one more high school crush getting married!). I am worried about her and hope she gets home safely when the trip is over.

And ya, I run a small business. I rely on the public to pay my bills and put a roof over my head. Its been a humbling experience in the past years of running this store to directly rely on others for my livelihood, and it has taken a lot of trust. Right now there seems to be such a flood of small businesses beckoning their customers to continue supporting them by shopping and dining. I get that, and I feel solidarity with that, but I still feel a little uncomfortable joining in. It seems strange to ask people to be good consumers during a time of crisis. At the same time, big businesses are getting bailed out and the "president" is on TV lauding giant corporations like WalMart that pay their employees starvation wages. And that kind of pisses me off - why are big corporations getting trillions injected into them? Where is the bailout for small businesses, the uninsured, the unemployed, the underemployed, the vulnerable, the service workers? It sucks in this society that the economy is so in focus during a health crisis.

Healthcare is a human right and a universal basic income should be part of our future (if not our present).

So ya, these are just some thoughts I'm having and wanted to put down and make available.

Felt anxious, might delete later.

Ryan

Edit: Be sure to reach out to your loved ones suffering from mental illness during this trime. In so many ways this situation can exacerbate symptoms of a variety of illnesses from depression to phobias and OCD. It could be a challenging few months.

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