I should write how it all makes me feel, yet I am lost for words. I didn’t expect a call like this, didn’t think I could be of any help, yet I was and it left me with mixed emotions.
Just like all the other stores and workshops in my line of business, they asked me as well. “Could you sew masks, no pay, we provide the material, but we are running out of 1/4″ elastic, perhaps you have some?”
I did, and so I found myself sewing face masks for the nearby hospitals, to keep the staff healthy and safe. I always joke that I don’t touch clothing -ever- and refuse to even put a zipper in a pair of pants, or hem a skirt or dress for any neighbor or friend.
It is beneath me, just like my line of work is beneath the artists who call themself tailors or dressmakers. Yet now we all came together, transferred yards of fabric into masks, exchanged supplies -carefully with the required social distance between us. At a time when I need a hug more than ever, I find myself feeling left alone.
My mind was racing a hundred miles an hour. Stories my grandmother had told me about World War I and II came back to me. The women at home had worked in factories then, had built ammunition, were put at work where they were needed, while the men on the front risk their life for their country -dreaming of peace and freedom in the world.
The doctors, nurses, helpers and assistants in the hospitals are risking their lives on the frontlines these days. They are exhausted, scared senseless -yet they continue to do their job.
The ones I talked to have forgotten time and date. The work hard, fight against an invisible monster, a virus that will ultimately kill many of us. And I just sew in the comfort of my own home, in my workshop. I don’t risk anything! I always hoped to be a hero, yet I am not, or perhaps I am just not the way I pictured it?
My neighbor still thinks we are all overreacting, while another neighbor is afraid to bring in her mail. I stopped reading the neighborhood board, could not stand some of the comments that were left there, could not bear the ignorance and selfishness some showed.
One neighbor insisted we all should not drive for one week, while another one wanted to go around with a group of kids and paint our driveways and sidewalks with chalk. Dogs and cats are being given away for no reason, and I made a nice group of new enemies when I could not hold back what I thought about it.
I tried to collect 1/4 inch elastic, made very clear why I needed it and who would get it, yet some still asked for money, or offered me money for the masks. I will never understand humans, perhaps that’s why we have three dogs. The older I get the less I like humans. Do I sound arrogant? Yes, I know but I can’t help it.
Religious people on the board are providing food and free grocery shopping for the elders -all in the name of Jesus what has to be mentioned in every post. They offer online church on Sunday, yet they weren’t pleased when some of us posted that homeless people could come by for a sandwich, water, and an apple. Not much to give, but enough to share. My street was not happy with me. “Surely you don’t want them in our street,” they asked me and I didn’t say anything. I am tired of people!
“True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.”
I think it’s true. Heroes come out when going it tough because everybody can be a hero in paradise.
I have so many questions, just like everybody else. Will this be our new normal? Will we sit at home from now on because going outside will be too dangerous. Will viruses turn more deadly because we created them with the way we live?
My head is spinning. You all be well!