The rain is whipping the window and the wind is caressing the corner of our house. It is dark and silent outside. The city is still. More still than we ever seen it and its inhabitants are staying put while waiting for this storm of uncertainty to pass. This is a time to reflect, a time to think about each other and realize that together we are strong. I am surrounded with people who care and love. Surrounded by people who extend their helping hands and thoughtful diligence. That warms my heart.

My heart, that is beating fast from walking up the stairs and I try to catch my breath. It is getting more challenging but the difficulties come in waves. I find myself chipping for air and trying to control a sneaking feeling of panic. I can not get enough air.

That is when I make the decision to go to the emergency room. Nothing dramatic. Only a precaution since I have not experienced any improvement at all today. Just a short car ride away on the almost dead highway that usually carries thousands of cars on their way somewhere. The same road is now lit up by a single government messages with phone number to a COVID 19 hotline. No more exhortations about seat belts or HOV lanes. The only disclosure we see is a number to call when you are infected with the virus we are currently carrying in my car. On our way to see the doctor.

Patients are spread out in the waiting area with plenty seats to separate the needed. Everyone but one is wearing a mask to protect themselves from the Coronavirus. We walk in and get escorted to a private room by the nurse right away. I know my life is not in danger but I am worried anyway. Not to be able to grasp the air you need is a very scary feeling even though I only experience it in short periods. The physician is great and I am given exactly what I expected. An Xray and an inhaler to breath through 3 times a day. She tells me I have asthma- like symptoms and I need to pay attention to my condition. I will be ok and we are 30 min later heading home.

My mind can't help but wander towards a positive place. With all this chaos and worries I believe that we might also see some good come out of the darkness we sit in. I see a possibility to reflect, to put stress of everyday challenges to the side and turn inwards.

I do not wonder why me. I wonder why not me? I am blessed to have the strength to fight this. I have nothing but gratefulness towards everyone who keeps our healthcare strong and operational. Could it be that we need a catastrophe to halt our everyday routine and selfish motivations to see the blessings we have and turn to each other?

When we can not lean on our daily chores and rush to the gym, to work and to all our errands. We have each other and that is what we need to focus on. I see a great chance to use this downtime to reach out to my friends and extended family members. The ones we might usually be too busy for to call and catch up with - or use this opportunity to take care of your own self. Having nothing to do and hear your own thoughts might just be what you need. Look after your home and maybe read that book?

Boredom can be a blessing in disguise and perhaps attract the creativity to flourish. Neighbors find ways to support each other, managers create ways to guide their teams in a shaky path and families bond closer. Now is a good time for reflection on how we can help the fellow members of our communities, who lost their income and lifeline. What can you do today to help someone else for a better tomorrow?

My concerns are the elderly and weak, the people with asthma or other underlying conditions. Especially with my new challenging experience as a young healthy woman I can not imagine what they go through fighting this.

I am worried about our economy and employments, but In God we trust that all will be ok and we can all go back to work, healthy and strong.



When I was recently hospitalized over Christmas, it was the first thing I told the paramedics when they asked what was wrong "I can't breathe", I was having trouble getting any air and it was really scary. I had read Matt Taibbi's book just last year "I Can't Breathe" about the Eric Garner case. There's no doubt that a crisis and adversity and life-threatening situations really force one to reflect on what matters and how precious and fragile life is. I hope and pray that is how the world adapts to this new post-corona world, by seeing everything through that filter of deep gratitude.
Willi Swora
Get well soon! ( via Wellem Bougie )