In sickness, you’re too much with yourself. The whole body burns with memory, the volume of sensation is turned up. You are filled with an excess of remembering. Your skin, wherever you touch it, says “I.” There are muscles here, yes, there are nerves here, yes, there is pain here.
Then the illness subsides and you go back to self-forgetfulness.
But for the chronically ill, this is what cannot be forgotten. Every square inch of one’s body is at all times crammed with "I," with self.
I am an old hand at this, I should think. But it floors me every time something happens that triggers a flare up. Which is where I am currently finding my miserable self. The usual coping mechanisms are in place, dividing up the day into tasks and rest and floating in between these stages with equal degrees of anger and resignation. Autumn does not help, not my season, neither is winter. I could go on.
And I hate myself for it, this over dramatisation of the person I think I am and the futile attempts to pretend I am not. The anger that rises up inside my head when I watch someone about my age being active and fit. The futile attempts to pretend I don't care. That lesson in my childhood socialisation training, the one about cheer up and who do you think you are compared to others who are far worse, it sticks. I crawl to work and pretend I am superwoman.
As for the covid, it feels like an oncoming tsunami at times, despite the detailed information we receive. Numbers are climbing, even the shittiest tabloid has by now dedicated a front page to what exponential growth means and why it happens and what we need to do to keep it as low as possible - and why.
The virus only survives because we host it. It floats in the air because we send it there. It's a people thing.