At the time I’m writing this, my daughter is officially one week old. It’s hard to believe that it’s been but just a week since she was born, because there are times where the last few days have felt like eternities, and then there are times where the hours have flown by, leaving me scratching my head to what just happened.
Several of those days were spent living at the hospital, as mythical wife was still recovering from surgery; and as crazy as it might sound, in spite of the uncomfortable bed, the cramped quarters, flimsy water cups, crappy television sound, and the general feeling of a lack of privacy, I kind of enjoyed it a lot. There was an intimate feeling being there with my wife, just the two of us that’s hard to explain, but ultimately, it was the comfort in knowing that at just about any time, I had the capability to walk to the NICU to see my daughter, being nursed into readiness for the real world.
And I did just that; even the first night after birth, I personally delivered mythical wife’s colostrum to the NICU at all hours of the night, just so I could have an excuse to see my newborn daughter, even if there were all sorts of tubes, wires and hoses coming from her frail little being. She was still the most beautiful thing I’d ever witnessed in my life, and it’s hard to not get teary-eyed just thinking about those quiet moments of just the two of us in a room with me watching over her. I must have scrubbed my arms raw several times over, thanks to the required 2-minute scrubs in order to enter the NICU, but I’d rather deal with some dry skin than know some germs can get in and harm babies.
In fact, not a day goes by where I don’t get overwhelmed with an emotional feeling and get teary-eyed at some point, whether it’s thinking about one of the many unforgettable moments over the last week, or it’s looking at a picture of my baby and feeling what unconditional love genuinely feels like. In other words, daddy is a great big crybaby, but I don’t really care what anyone thinks about it, because nothing is really going to change the fact that I’ll probably bawl my eyes out thousands of more times over the next few years.
What’s interesting about this period of time is that if not for the fact that my precious baby were in the picture, the general conversation around the rest of the world surrounding me would sound so much more different.
It may be just March right now, but I think it’s safe to say that the year has already gotten its main storyline of the year, barring the results of the presidential election in November. And it was only a matter of time before even someone as ambivalent as me would have to touch the topic of the Coronavirus that’s basically spreading across the planet like the T-Virus did in Raccoon City.
But in the time it’s taken my daughter to reach a week old, the Coronavirus has long since made its way out of China where it originated, and wrecked shop in South Korea, Japan and Italy, primarily, and has already made its way to the United States, where cases have been popping up all over the place over the last week alone, when it started on the West coast.
I said to mythical wife that it would probably take a week to make its way to the East coast; it took two days. And once it was reported in Florida, I knew it was only a matter of time before it would be in Georgia. A day later, it was reported in Georgia. It was only a matter of time before it hit Metro Atlanta. A day later, cases were reported in several metropolitan areas.
A Waffle House in the county in which mythical wife teaches had an employee test positive for Coronavirus. One of the schools that my daughter might possibly attend in the future had an employee test positive. And just today I found out that while my wife and I were staying there, a patient at the hospital where our baby was born, had Coronavirus and just recently died.
It’s crazy to think as I sit here in my relaxing home, beyond my doors, my neighborhood, and my city, on a grander scale, people in the world are going ballistic right now, over the officially declared pandemic in the world. Last week, before the sudden arrival of my baby, I went to Costco for some odds and ends; the water section of the store was completely wiped out. Today, I drove past the same Costco, and it looked like Black Friday, with cars lined up all over the place trying to park and get in and hoard things, as if the apocalypse were coming.
All across the internet, all I ever see on my news feeds and social media is stuff about the things Coronavirus is affecting, from commerce, the stock market, to all the things needing to be postponed or outright cancelled on account of the world trying to put the kibosh on all things that would cause people to gather en masse and create scenarios where infected people could easily infect others.
At the time I’m writing this, off the top of my head, E3 has been cancelled, the remainder of the NBA season has been suspended, across the college ranks all conference tournaments have been cancelled, and the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been cancelled. Wrestlemania is facing impending postponement, and numerous conventions, sporting events and concerts have been cancelled or put on hiatus, in order to help prevent large masses of people from gathering.
Worst of all, is the racism that has bubbled up from the closeted minds of everyone that isn’t Asian, towards Asian people, all because Coronavirus originated in China. Suddenly, all Asians are seen with scrutiny and skepticism, if they dare cough, sniffle or dare sneeze in public. Never mind that pretty much the entire country of Italy has gone into lockdown because of it, Coronavirus has more or less turned into a very convenient excuse for fuckheads of the world to turn on their Asian racism.
I’ve actually been under the weather for last few days, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s seasonal allergy, or if I actually have the cold, but I sneezed while I was in the store the other day, and I could feel the widening berth people were taking around me afterward. Pretty sure it’s not Coronavirus considering there’s no fever, and I’m actually feeling fine enough to have gone in to work today, but my boss was pretty quick about shooting me an email to stay home if I felt that I had any possible contagions; given how unhappy with my job I am, I was more than happy to oblige. And if I get any sort of passive aggression about these sick days, I’d be happy to remind them of how xenophobic these optics are turning.
Throughout history, there have been numerous notorious diseases that have ravaged the world, but never would I have imagined in the technologically advanced society we live in now, would I see one wash over the globe like such. And yet here we are.
It’s funny, during mythical wife’s pregnancy, we joked about how we bemoaned the thought of our child being born with the orange shithead sitting in presidency, because that’s one of those things that often people slap onto a “when you were born” thing when reflected on later in life. But ironically, the shithead in charge seems like a massive afterthought considering there’s a literal pandemic scattering across the globe as we speak, and it’s pretty crazy thinking about how we’re bringing a life into a world where there’s something threatening large swathes of it at the same time.
Yet I find it really difficult to care about such a serious matter when the health of my wife and baby daughter are at the forefront of every waking thought I have these days, but I guess that that’s one of those things that comes along with becoming a parent.