Owen’s Story

Since contracting COVID-19, many people are taking extra precautions to avoid me, despite having surpassed the infectious 10-day period. Despite wearing a mask, some people have opted to not see me. This is fine, but humorous because my symptoms were very mild and had I not disclosed my condition (which morally should be disclosed when meeting people in person), other parties would have no clue.     

The most outstanding symptom that seems to linger is fatigue. Not a “ho-hum, I’m tired” but a mid-day full-on, dead-to-the-world 2+ hour nap. It is frustrating because my body did not need this before, but I am slowly recovering and working through the fatigue.

I certainly had some depressive slumps throughout the pandemic. Anxiety is real. Access to mental health professionals is limited.

I can personally manage going out and limit physical contact with others and surfaces. The larger struggle is witnessing others with no regard to masking or social distancing. It is tough to speak up because others have a propensity to become hostile.

I teach children who live in China over the Internet. In January 2020, I witnessed from my students what we could expect. What I could not have anticipated was how politicized it became in America! This disease is awful and we should take all measures to protect one another from spreading it.

If an opposing army were to invade our soil, there would be an uprising of patriots, guns in hand, to protect our homes and land. But because this enemy cannot be fought with guns and this enemy attacks everyone within confined spaces and this compromises our social lives and livelihoods, all of a sudden there is a disregard for protecting one another. When did the courtesy of wearing a mask to protect yourself and others make you less of a free thinker, or weak?

Why do we wear pants?

Because we live in a society and there are rules! If you want roads and stores and social gatherings, you need to abide by some basic rules! If I can’t go into a restaurant without pants, you shouldn’t get to go inside without wearing a mask.

To put it plainly, the last twelve months have left me quite jaded and bitter that Americans can be so petty and selfish.

My advice to my fellow community members:

Wear a mask.

Keep six feet from everyone that does not live in your house.

I don’t care what holiday is coming. Don’t be with other people. If you want the opportunity to see some of these people alive next Christmas, then cancel in-person plans until it is safe to gather again. Your future self will thank you.

-Owen S., Ferndale