By Morgan Morton
As the pandemic progresses and the number of deaths and overall devastation continues to increase day by day, it feels like my anxiety is progressing along with it.
The United States of America alone has over 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 5,113 related deaths. The global cases are just shy of a million.
When the US announced that they were going to be closing their borders I had a very difficult decision to make in a very short amount of time: Should I stay in the UK? Or should I return home?
Each option had its merits but also meant that I would have to lose a part of my life and a part of myself.
I decided that it would be best for me to remain in Wales. Despite being confident with my decision I find myself questioning every day whether I made the right choice.
It feels like my heart has been broken in two. One half remaining in North Carolina with the family I left behind and the other here with the family that I’ve found. I worry every day for both of them.
My partner’s mother works for the NHS, his sister at Tesco, his grandparents isolated because of their old age. Even though we’re not related by blood the love that bonds us all is immense, and my heart still aches.
Back home my sister Megan works at an auto-part store where two members had to be isolated, my stepsister Tiara works as a nurse, my oldest step sister is enrolled in school while also raising two kids at home, and my father must be cautious because he’s still working while my stepmother is currently battling stage two breast cancer.
My friends have lost their jobs or their hours have been cut, others find themselves in situations where their health is at risk or their home life is compromised. Some feel betrayed and feel like their hard work was all in vain because their graduation ceremonies have been delayed.
My mother assures me that everything is fine and that’s she’s doing okay. But I can’t help but worry for her.
The number of cases in the US has surpassed every country in the world.
The hardest thing about all of this has been realising that life goes on without me and that the situation is out of my control.
I feel conflicted because even though I know that I’m doing what I can, I also feel like I’m not doing enough. There’s a sense of normalcy that remains despite all of this but at the same time a panic that it can only get worse.
It’s hard to stay motivated when the world burns around me, but I know that things will recover, and that the world will heal itself.
The one thing that has kept me going is the love, compassion, and empathy that has been shown by individuals to their loved ones.
Stories have surfaced of people doing their best to help the vulnerable, checking in with those who may be alone, school teachers have been making efforts to help their students succeed– such as the teacher who drove to a child’s house to tutor her math outside of her window, and thousands of people clapping outside their homes to show their support for NHS workers.
My own brother married his girlfriend of five years last Friday with a surprise wedding.
My time in isolation has given me time to reflect on a number of things. I think that in today’s environment we’re so focused on what’s ahead of us that we forget what’s around us.
This pandemic has brought a lot of negativity with it, but it has allowed us to look within ourselves and realise what’s important to us, what we should do to help one another, and what we can do to be better after this is over.
This fight is far from over, but it is improving bit by bit. More people are recovering from the virus globally with the most recent number at just over 202,000, a trial vaccine is being tested, and more resources are being provided for healthcare services.
Boris Johnson requested the help of 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS deal with the outbreak, but 405,000 people came forward offering their help.
I may have my doubts and my worries, but I know in my heart that I made the right decision for myself and family. I know that they are proud of me and I know that things will be well in time.