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  • Melanie Vaisberg

An Invisible Monster

It’s a late Sunday night and I'm writing this while sitting on my couch, watching the second season of Jersey Shore, with a glass of wine in hand. I’m wondering, is this my lowest low or my highest high?


Earlier today, I went grocery shopping with my boyfriend and we had an idea: maybe we could go down to the city and drive around a bit to check how things are over there, while, of course, staying safely in the confines of the car.


I was excited because Downtown Chicago is one of my favorite places on Earth, and being there usually makes me feel happy and free. The vibes I feel when I'm in the city are hard to put into words, in a good way, and I wanted to feel that way, even if it was just for a quick second. I thought that catching a glimpse, through a car window, of the places I will (hopefully) be able to enjoy again soon, would be uplifting.


The city looked as beautiful as ever, but it was darker than usual. On one side I could see the choppy lake and on the other the imposing Chicago buildings. Most of the shops and restaurants, usually filled with tourists, drunk college students and young professionals enjoying happy hour, had their lights off, and the only sources of light were the big red Navy Pier sign and a bunch of apartments. The city was lit from the inside out.


A myriad of feelings hit me all at once. I was grateful I get to call this place home and, at the same time, sad to see it hurting. It felt kind of like when your mom, the strongest person you know, cracks and shows she’s worried about something, so you feel like the world must be about to end.


So far all I’ve known about this virus has come from social media, family group chats, and news outlets. I’ve been lucky to be one of the few people (on earth?) that have not yet been directly affected by it. Up to this point, the Coronavirus had mostly been stats and data to me, but today it started to feel very real.


COVID-19 is an invisible monster. We can’t see it, but we can feel its presence lying in wait. It’s everywhere but it’s also nowhere to be seen. It’s a cloud of sadness and fear that has taken over the world. And today, I felt it waiting to attack me and the people I love. I felt it coming down on the awesome city I get to call home, and it scared me.


Regardless of how many grounding techniques you try, or how many chocolate chip cookies you bake, these are scary times. The uncertainty that is plaguing (no pun intended) every inch and corner of the world is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. The fear of the unknown + the fear of mother nature’s wrath = one hell of a combo.


Staying positive and centered is important, but feeling scared is inevitable. So just feel it, embrace it and let it happen. We have every reason to be frightened and that’s okay. Let fear become your friend, but don't let it take over your life. Once you acknowledge the fear and embrace it, you can let go of it.


No one knows how this will end, or when, but it will. There are brilliant people out there that are working day and night to fight this beast, and they won’t let it win.


We shouldn’t let fear win either.


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