Pandemic Panic

Cindy Tillory Avatar

By the time I post this, I will be one day till have (hopefully) have my first dose of the COVID vaccine. I know that there’s a lot of misinformation out there, but that’s not what I want to talk about right now. Right now I want to talk about my feelings and the pandemic: my pain, my fear, and my panic; people more empowered than myself would have said, “I was living in my amygdala.” In my own words, I was living in a state of fear. I wanted to have a discussion about that fear and how it has shaped me. the best way I know how to do that is with a timeline.

March 2020: The panic had not yet set in, the possibility of a global pandemic wasn’t on my radar yet, I heard rumblings but I assumed it wasn’t going to be a big problem. I certainly wasn’t taking it seriously yet and apparently, neither was the US Government.

April 2020: Lock-down and social distancing was a reality we all had to face. I had to face the possibility of a new reality, I feel like we all did. And in this new reality, I was scared. scared of change, scared of getting sick, scared for my family getting sick, and scared that it could last forever and the people in power weren’t helping at all. things felt bleak and hopeless. the panic began to set in, What if there’s no cure? Would this virus end the world? Would society eventually crumble under the pandemic? all these seemed like possibilities but in retrospect, that’s what my fear manifested.

June 2020: This fear muddled with panic and anxiety wasn’t going to go away any time soon. I began to worry, what if we can’t go back? what if it kills me? what if someone in my family gets it? what if they die? thoughts quickly turned into fear spirals and I would go down them nearly every day. the news was bleak and not getting any better. fear set in, I didn’t leave the house even when things opened up again for the sake of the economy. I stopped taking walks outside for fear of Covid. I wanted to feel safe to have a guarantee that I wouldn’t get Covid, that nothing bad would happen.

October 2020: I wanted to take my power back, to not be afraid anymore. so I did what anyone would or could do in this scenario, I decided to volunteer for the blood bank. I get out of the house and also do a good thing. it’s a win-win.

January 2021: back to fear, though there is a ray of positive hope. but the world may never be the same, I may never be the same. I have accepted this as the truth, but it still hurts. like walking on broken glass while looking down. You know pain is inevitable, but to reach your destination you have to keep moving forward.

Now: I feel fear, but now I’m holding more than that, I’m holding hope and possibility. It’s no different now than any other fear that I have. there are enough other feelings that make me worry less about it. My fear no longer shapes my actions in a positive or negative way. I am me again.

What about you? What does your timeline look like? What have you done not to be afraid? Comment down below.

2 responses

  1. candlecarmengmailcom

    Very realistic. You didnt put 2021 in. Or mislabeled it 2020


    1. Cindy Tillory

      so, it’s a typo it’s meant to be January 2021. I fixed it, but thanks for pointing it out.


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