Insane in the Membrane: My First Covid-19 Test

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

Coretta Scott King

Dear Friends,

This past week, I got a sore throat, followed by a stuffy nose, runny nose, and head congestion. Of course, I got paranoid that I might have caught Covid-19. My husband has been getting tested every week for work and he doesn’t have it, so he was sure I was fine. But I wanted to make sure. So I went in for my first test.

If you have done it before, now you understand the title of my blog this week, “Insane in the Membrane.”

For those of you that haven’t taken a test yet, well, let me explain. First, they give you a tissue. Then they take something that looks like a q-tip, but twice as long, and they stick it up your nose and twist it around for 5 seconds. When you’re ready, they do the other nostril. During this time, you are supposed to be calm and trying to breathe steady. Instead, you will be the opposite of calm. Your eyes will water. You probably won’t be breathing. And it does feel like the q-tip goes into your BRAIN. Definitely NOT the most pleasant experience. But it’s super fast and obviously super important.

Thank goodness that’s done! But there is a real dread when you’re waiting for the results. I tried to re-think all the places I had been in the past 2 weeks, any people I might have seen, and worried that I would have to call each of them to tell them they were exposed. I thought of the next 2 weeks and any plans I might have had, and would have to cancel. Then there’s the question of how to quarantine in a house as a sick mom with my kids…

My result was negative. SUCH a sigh of relief. But, not everyone is so lucky… we need to all keep doing our best to stop the spread and stay safe.

Science is Real.

Last week after I posted my blog, my dad sent me a link to a video of 2 guys trying to do an act of kindness by giving away free masks in Huntington Beach… but the people they encountered were either on the anti-mask or Covid-is-a-hoax side. Have you seen this video??? I was blown away!!! Once again, this is California and I guess I just never really questioned that phrase, “Science is real.” The world is insane. Covid-19 is real!!! Please wear your mask!!!

Black Lives Matter.

I’m sure we’ve all been following the Black Lives Matters protests, but specifically in Portland, it is Day 60 of endless stories like US Navy Veteran Chris David getting beaten to ask a question or Lewis & Clark History Department Chair Maureen Healy shot at a friendly protest (thank you Jean for sharing). There are moments of hope, humanity, and inspiration, such as the Wall of Vets, Wall of Moms, and Wall of Dads, but the struggle is far from ending. Why is peaceful protesting met with tear gas and violence? Keep educating yourself and staying in the conversation.

No Human Is Illegal.

I saw a false video that Hurricane Hanna knocked down part of the US-Mexico wall. As humorous as it might have been against Trump if that were real, it made me dig deeper into the phrase, no human is illegal. Humans can do something illegal, but humans aren’t illegal. It’s not a label we want to attach to anyone or any race. Taking it to my own personal life, I relate it to talking to my girls about how they might have made a bad choice. And they make LOTS of bad choices. However, I always emphasize that they are not bad kids. There is a huge difference in creating a label on a person versus their actions. No Human Is Illegal.

Love is Love.

If you need something on the happier side… watch these Golden Retriever parents adoring their new pups. Or did you know you can sing a duet with a cow? Or look at the hug my little one gave my older one to thank her for teaching her Volleyball. Maybe if we un-learn holding back, we could all show MORE love with our words and our actions, to the people right around us… and stop judging what love should look like. Love is love, and I still choose to believe that Love Overcomes Hate.

“Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a man decent. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.

Oh was this week crazy or what? Even on the steps of our Nation’s Capitol, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called an unacceptable name by Representative Ted Yoho. AOC’s response on the House Floor is inspiration for women’s rights. Watch if you haven’t! Now I am inspired by the #challengeaccepted #womensupportingwomen #blackandwhitechallenge that is all over Instagram. Basically, women are tagging each other to post a black and white selfie of themselves, in support of women empowerment. I LOVE scrolling my Instagram feed and seeing the faces of all the beautiful, strong, and inspirational women in my life.

Kindness is Everything.

Now, with masks on our face, and 6 feet apart distancing, we have become even more of an unfriendly community. You can’t even tell if someone is smiling or frowning. And even if they are smiling or trying to be courteous, the body language of scooting aside adds on to the feeling of awkwardness.

So maybe…

Add a friendly “Excuse Me” AND “Thank You” if you have to pass by someone.

Wave your hand and say “Hello” if you pass someone on a trail.

Make eye contact and ask “How are you?” to a store employee.

That photo above of me jumping in front of the Golden Gate Bridge with friends Vicky and Sara, was taken by a stranger who saw us taking awkward selfies, and kindly offered to take a picture. We all hesitated, and my initial thought was “No, thank you.” Then I realized… I can sanitize my phone. I can sanitize my hands. It’s ok! It’s ok. Thank you so much, sir, for just being a normal human again, offering to do a kind gesture for another human.

Be safe, take precautions, but don’t be an unkind stranger. We are still a community that needs each other and we are a world that needs more kindness. A little effort to acknowledge someone else can go a long, long way.

Love,

Grace

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