When COVID-19 Destroyed the World

Ireland

Up until a few days ago, nothing seemed real. I was in rural western Ireland on assignment for a magazine. Fresh air, fields of sheep, mountains, and the all the Irish Breakfast tea I could ever dream of.

We would see the news from time to time. Westchester County in New York was in a red zone. The death toll rising daily. Italy was beginning to collapse. But, then I’d look out at the lake, the fresh smell of spring, the birds in the trees. It was so easy to feel unaffected.

Then, the news came that Trump was closing off entry from Europe except for the UK. Ireland is not part of the UK for anyone wondering. Suddenly everything became real. Talk of having to rush to the airport and escape Ireland circled the table of reporters… But luckily, Trump soon came out and rephrased, saying, “The UK and Ireland.”  The consensus around the country was that Trump didn’t realize that Ireland wasn’t part of the UK. We all had a laugh, and life went back to being delusional and removed the outside world.

county mayo

That lasted for a few days… Until more news came, that the UK and Ireland were now included in the ban. Reality came flooding in. It was time to leave Ireland. The entire world was shutting down. The feeling of being protected, of being immune, of being separate, suddenly vanished.

The next morning we were on a flight back to New York City, only to find that the city was now in lockdown. Gyms, restaurants, cafes, bars, and stores, were are all closed. A few restaurants are still open for delivery and take out only. Now, a full lockdown is set to begin tomorrow. It will now be illegal for offices to ask employees to come into work. Places will be fined if customers are found inside. And there is a general sense of Armageddon in the air.

However, as I write this, the sun is shining out my window. The cherry blossoms in Williamsburg are beginning to bloom, and birds are chirping in the sky.

It’s strange. They say the coronavirus could end up killing close to 100,000 people…and yet, Mother Nature wouldn’t even know. Life goes on, whether we’re a part of it or not.

~ The Dark Horse

2 thoughts on “When COVID-19 Destroyed the World

  1. It doesn’t feel real at all. Here in my part of Western Australia things aren’t anywhere near as scary.

    Reading your post about Ireland and how different it felt to return home made me appreciate living in a rural area.

    We’ve been stuck at home for a week (son has a cold so no school) and having 5 acres has been a blessing. We’ve been able to pretend it’s a bit of a holiday of sorts (a lonely one but not much feels different). I feel very sorry that you’re surrounded by so much fear.

    Hope you keep writing and keeping positive as well as safe.

    Sending a big virtual hug from Australia (at least those are germ free huh ❤).

    1. Your comment actually reminds me a lot of being a kid. Being gay and in Ohio, life really sucked. But I remember, I had just turned 11 years old right before 9/11, and my teacher turned on the news after the first tower had been hit. We watched the 2nd plane crash live on TV, watched the people jumping from the buildings, and watched both towers collapse. All at school.

      I remember walking home from school that day. It was warm. The sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful blue. And all I kept saying to myself was, “For the first time ever, I am SO GLAD that I live in the middle of nowhere.”

      But, I’m young and healthy, and I’ve never smoked. So fortunately, I’m not at high risk for complications. But it is horrifying to see the true power of what a little virus can do.

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