This post continues a series on our experiences under COVID-19, inspired by the realization that “we are all field collectors” in the effort to someday tell the story of what happened in 2020. I’m sure we will long remember this time, as the world divides into memories of “The Before Times” and experiences “Since COVID.” Consider this an invitation to write your own stories of pandemic life, and to submit for publication on this blog–guidelines here.
By Patricia LaPointe
Nearly a year ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. That, along with other pre-existing chronic physical problems, made it very clear that I would need to isolate myself from the outside world to avoid succumbing to the virus.
The Parkinson’s had already been responsible for many limitations occurring in my life, in my environment. Because of issue with balance, I began needing to use a walker. I had made the difficult decision to stop driving. I was surprised to find how many things I had done all my life, had accomplished on my own, were now done only with help from others. Who knew how difficult it would become to reach into cabinets for dishes, bowls, and pans or complete minor cleaning tasks?
So, what has this got to do with the pandemic? It was about the time the virus started to threaten the lives of so many that I was facing a major decision. I, along with my husband, have lived in a large, two story, four- bedroom home, in a suburb of Chicago for nineteen years.
The bedrooms are all on the second floor. I was having difficulty climbing the stairs. We needed to decide whether we would move or remodel the house to fit my needs. One day we would decide selling would be best. The next day we would think it might be best to move.
The increasing pandemic with its threats to my health shifted our focus. We spent hours thinking what we could do to keep me safe. Any decision about moving or remodeling were quickly put on the back burner. I must admit I was relieved.
The answer to the question of keeping me safe was right in front of us. We have a single floor condo in Southern Wisconsin. It is in a much less congested area and would limit my exposure to the virus far more than staying in Illinois.
We have been at the condo since March. Now the only decision we need to make is when will it be safe enough to return to our home. But, when we get there, we will still have to make the other, life-changing decision. Someday, there will hopefully be an end to the pandemic. To Parkinson’s, not so much.
© 2020 Patricia LaPointe
Pat’s work has been published in several Durham Editing and E-books anthologies as well as in Story Circle Anthologies. She has facilitated women’s writing groups online and on site. She is the editor of the “Changes In Life” monthly newsletter for women.