I watched the Inauguration of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr from a small window on my laptop while I manned the controls of a Zoom call. While I don’t see President Biden as some savior, seeing a person who can hold a coherent thought did give me a twinge of hope – no matter how small – for this country again. In the first hours of presidency, Biden began overturning Trump’s bigoted legacy. Whispers of the impending impeachment of former President Donald J. Trump littered the pundits’ commentaries as they covered the Inauguration. While this is the only action to take on the former president, January 20, 2021 was a day meant to celebrate the transition of power from one president to the next; however, Trump and family decided to leave with their tails between their legs and not attend the event.
I closed the window after Biden’s speech and spent the remainder of the day focusing on my work. Not an easy feat in my post-Covid condition. I returned to work on Monday, January 18 – though I had been working from home the previous week – after providing HR with my negative test result. The lights. The people. The sounds of the outside world both joyful and alien. Since the doctor cleared me, the most I ventured outside was to pick up my HEB order using their curbside service, going to Walgreens for my prescription refill, and getting my Covid-19 test (also at Walgreens).
While working at home, I noticed my struggle to focus on my work even though I made sure to turn off all my distractions off. My phone was placed on vibrate and away from my desk. My television remained off – except during lunch, of course. Made sure to close all my “fun” tabs on Chrome – though that hardly worked as I could just open a new one and type in twitter.com just as easily. Even after all my attempts to focus and work on my lesson plans, my mind still struggled to remain present. I replayed old scenarios, muttered words I’d spoken during those memories or, as is most people’s wont, the words I should’ve spoken. I recited lines to future scenarios in which I proposed my goals for the department.
My focus isn’t the only thing that struggled. My vision also took a toll. There are moments where my vision blurs. Where I once was able to read the signs from a distance, now it takes a while before they come into full focus. My mood spikes and slumps just as quickly. My sleeping pattern varies – some days I can fall asleep before midnight while other days I’m tossing and turning well into the night. While it’s normal for me to have a cough during the winter, the one that currently haunts me feels different.
I struggle to catch my breath after doing the most menial tasks – putting the sheets back on my bed, vacuuming, collecting books for a patron, shelving, walking from one side of the library to the other.
“You could have these problems up to 90 days,” I’m warned by a doctor. But is it possible for this to continue long after?
I began to doubt getting the vaccine. Not because I don’t trust it or fear what it’s in it, but because I don’t know how my already tired body will take the side effects. Maybe when my breathing calms. Until then, I’ll continue my social distancing. Continue wearing my mask around others and make sure they wear theirs properly around me.