I have been blogging for six years now. For just one year, I have been sharing my home and design projects with you here @katepearcevintage – but before that, I wrote about something else entirely. I had poured by heart into that good old site. It was used as a journal and to raise awareness, and monetization was a concern that was further from my mind than Tahiti is from my zip code. Oh, the good ole’ days.
But, really, they weren’t so good.
The thing is, I started blogging because I had lost my job. I had lost my job because I couldn’t seem to stay out the hospital for longer than a month at at time. And I couldn’t stay out of the hospital for longer than a month at a time because…. well, damn, I just don’t know. If only I could ask my immune system some questions, I may very well be able to navigate this world in a very different way.
But ‘dem da breaks.
So, I’ve been sitting at home for the past two weeks and as COVID-19 envelopes my home like a swarm of microscopic bees, I burrow in just a little deeper…hoping I don’t get stung. Really, it’s little more than hope that I have on my side. Most models predict that 80% of New Yorkers will become infected within the calendar year. And truly what we’re all looking for here is access to treatment for all…. not avoidance of COVID-19 for all.
Still, I sit at home. Waiting. I think that’s what I’m doing anyway; waiting?
But as I wait, I find myself reflecting. Amongst the chaos of homeschooling and work, I’ve somehow found myself lost in thought, too, thinking about how I got here. How I came from a buzzing trading floor job in our country’s largest city…. to a quarantine that feels (minus homeschooling), very much like any other day, or week……or month.
I find myself more prepared for this moment than most. When I realized my health would likely never be sturdy enough to hold down a 9-5, the A-Type in me busily began creating a work-from-home career. In fact, my career quite literally morphed into my home, and my home into my career. I have spent SO much time inside these walls that I have made them look like exactly the place I want to be stuck. Because quarantine or no quarantine…. home is where I nearly always am. I often ask myself if it’s where I want to be stuck. And the only answer I seem to have for myself is intimately wrapped up in the fact that it is an unavoidable reality, and this idea that ruminating too long on that question can only lead to a dead end.
But in this moment I find that question especially poignant. And I can’t help but compare this passionately spun web of a home to the other place I have spent an inordinate amount of time.
It should take just 1/45th of the the 45 hospitalizations I have endured for one to realize that hospital beds can’t hold a candle to even the shittiest of mattresses that reside in your own home. But there is always a single overwhelming emotion I get in my hospital bed. I feel that emotion right now, in quarantine… in my home. But that feeling drenches me when I’m surrounded by the beeps of monitors, and the suction of nastogastric tubes. What is it, you ask?
It’s this very emotion that I have come to, time and time again, that I want every last citizen of the world to feel when they catch COVID-19, but can’t catch their breath. I want that hospital bed to be there for them. I want that nurse to have a moment to hold their hand, and tell them everything is going to be OK. I want that doctor to be available to intubate them, if the time comes. And I want that fellow world citizen to come out of it on the other side, like I have so many times. And I want them to go home, and lay in their beds… just as I am right now.
And I just know they’ll love the feel of their own sheets, and the smell of their own soap, and the sound of silence a whole lot more because of it.
So, let’s all stay home for now. Because it won’t be too long before countless among us will either face a frightening fate, or come out of this virulous war with the privilege of sitting in one’s home… and have the perspective to be able to see it in the same way that I see mine.