Thursday, April 30, 2020

Same Storm, Different Boat?

I’ve seen a post making the rounds on Facebook recently; it talks about how the author is tired of hearing about how we are all in the same boat, because, frankly, we are not. The author points out that, in a situation like this, some people have really nice boats (houses, jobs, financial security, continued good health), while other people’s boats are…not so nice (homelessness, job loss, food scarcity, virus, etc.). So, instead of lumping everyone into the “same boat”, we should recognize that, while we are all enduring the same storm, we are navigating it in very different vessels.

This resonated with me. But, not for the reasons you may think.

My personal “boat” is one of the nicer ones (oh, it’s not Hollywood-standard-nice-I’m not relaxing by my pool while in quarantine, for example); I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and cash in the bank. I am beyond grateful for these things, because they make it more likely that I will successfully weather the storm.

That being said, I have to disagree with the theory about the storm being the same storm for everyone. It isn’t. I have, in fact,  had people tell me how lucky I am that it “hasn’t been that bad” for me.  My storm has not included quarantine; I have not spent weeks on end isolated in my home. I have not lost anyone to the virus. I am not suddenly homeschooling my children. So, yes, from the outside looking in, my storm probably looks more like a brief shower than a downpour of epic proportions.

Yet, it still feels like a natural disaster to me.

Because my job was deemed essential, I got to go to work.

Every. Day.

Every day, I left the safety of my home and ventured into the public, where, the chance of contracting the virus increased, tenfold.

Every day, I risked the safety of my family so that I could carry on work that is essential to the functioning of our society.

Every day, I woke before dawn to start my day.

Every day, I got dressed (in real clothes, no pajamas, no yoga pants), and I put on a mask.

Every day, I took my temperature (multiple times, actually), and, every day, I worried about each sniffle, sneeze, and cough (whether mine, or someone else’s).

Every day, I came home exhausted, ready to do the same exact thing the following day.

Yes. I “got” to go to work.

Yes, I was lucky.

Honestly, though? I would have gladly traded a few of my “lucky” days with someone who stayed home.

I would have happily slept past 5:00 a.m.

I would have been perfectly content to work remotely from the comfort of my couch, while wearing sweatpants and my favorite Old Navy t-shirt (the “vintage” one, with the blue pickup truck).

I would love to be able to say that I sewed masks for the frontline workers, or that I spent my days baking bread.

I would love to say that quarantine had given me weeks of uninterrupted quality family time.

But, that was not my storm. And, I certainly don’t think that anyone for whom it was, could be considered “lucky”, yet, I am not afforded the same consideration.

Different boats. Different storms.

But we all had to deal with the rain.




1 comment:

Mother of 3 said...

I agree; my husband has also continued going to work everyday being an essential worker. I always homeschooled (or have for the past 8+ years) & we too are fortunate to have a nice house, money in the bank, and food in our fridge/freezer/pantry. So on the outside our lives haven't changed as dramatically as others and while I think we are weathering the storm well it is by no means easy for anyone.